Every year many sign up for a gym membership they rigorously follow for a good 3 weeks. Then we move back to the pre-resolution habits. Some other times we start sports with the goal of practicing them for a long time, and also give up. Why is this?
The need to move is fundamental for humans. Our genes, body and mind thrive on movement and properly dosed stressors. When astronauts go into space they come back fragilized. Their bones can easily break due to the time spent without gravity. Physical exercise, light or intense, can give us stressors in the right amount and intensity, and a way to be out in nature. So which sport to do?
I started biking when I was 4 years old. Almost as soon as I could walk, I got on a bike. Over the years it became a transportation tool to go from one place to another, and a way to have fun. Comparing cycling to running: a 2-hour run requires significant pounding on the body. Each stride is an impact with the ground. On the other hand a 2-hour bike ride provides similar exhaustion and stimulation with, if properly trained, zero pain after the workout. That’s one difference: taking pain during sport can deter from wanting to do it again. It can also lead to chronic injuries in the long run. Moving naturally means avoiding chronic pains, to the extent possible.
Each of us has to find the activity we like. It can be any sport, or it can be simply walking or gardening. Walking provides many of the benefits of high intensity sports and it’s something almost all of us can do until old age. Walks don’t have to be long, the point is to raise the heartbeats for a few minutes each day and have a good time. In fact, having a good time is the most important aspect. If you don’t like the sport, just like the New Year resolution fads, you’ll only be able to practice it for so long. But if you do, you can have a lifelong hobby and activity to power your days. It could be the sport itself. It could be that your friends are doing it and it’s fun because you do it with them. Either or both of these can keep you going.