Does Exercise Equal Health?
Being healthy is not just about exercise and exercise is not just about going to the gym.
I’ve been religiously going to a gym for 20 years. Lifting weights and strength training had become my absolute normal and even when travelling, I ensured I found a gym wherever I went. In recent years I have had a new revelation…
Nutrition plays a far more powerful role in health than exercise. Yes, I still love working out and will always incorporate the gym into my weekly routine, but reflecting back, I realised I blindly believed that working out and my slight physique was an indicator of health. Years later I understand the power of nutrition and eating a healthy diet has enabled me to feel healthy from the inside out. I have a life energy I had never had before and exercise comes with an added bonus of endorphins.
I still highly value exercise but I now understand the connection between the way I exercise and how this mirrors functional movements (real world situational movement- lifting, bending, twisting, pushing, pulling, and squatting) that can be applied in everyday activities. Exercise to me now is more about strength and performing movements that we were designed for, rather than body image alone. Understanding our primal past means I have more understanding of why I would want to lift heavy things, squat and deadlift regularly and have upper body strength. In saying that, I still train hard and set monthly and yearly goals for myself. I am proud to share that I have worked hard to be able to do 10 full chin ups and this year I am working hard on a 100kg deadlift! The personal satisfaction I have gained from achieving these strength goals is extremely rewarding in so many ways.
How do you feel when you do something you never thought you could do?
I had often chatted to Farmer about my love of exercise and wondered how this compared to life on a farm. I knew she was always active but didn’t have a real appreciation for the daily tasks she was involved in. I used to often think that Farmer really missed this part of the ‘health’ puzzle. Boy was I so wrong about that!
Since the development of Pinkfarm we have spent much more time chatting on the phone. I soon came to learn just how active Farmer was on a daily basis. Whether that meant lifting bags of potatoes onto a truck, mulching, planting trees, or helping with fencing, Farmer was actually engaged in functional movements almost every day. Lifting, pulling, pushing, squatting, bending and twisting. On a recent trip to Far North Queensland to visit Farmer, she invited me to apply my gym skills in tasks around the farm. This particular afternoon I was to roll out barrels of hay, carry buckets of grain and chop firewood. I think she was especially chuffed to deck me out in the farm overalls and put me to work! Once engaged in the task, I was loving it. Loving it because I was working out, but more so because I was getting real work done. I was going to reap the rewards of my labour when done. It was then I married the connection of two passions… I got to apply my strength training with a purpose and appreciate the reward of life on a farm.