Monday, January 31, 2011

Get Fit Keep Fit

For many people a New year's resolution is to exercise in some form or other. People join gyms, buy bikes, join dance or yoga groups, start swimming, walking or running or doing whatever they feel like to get fit. It is a good cause for all people, and I was pleasantly surprised to see an article on just that topic in relation to chess. As a non physical sport, chess players can become lazy about physical fitness but as the author of the article says in summary

"You may be wondering how all this is related to your chess. But think about it. When you feel healthy, full of life and in spiritual upheaval, the four main emotional attributes of self-confidence, experience, concentration and adaptability strongly come to the fore. When your body and mind are in perfect shape, so will your chess."

Check out the whole article here.

So let me take myself as a case study. Some 10 years ago I was running 3 times a week between 25 and 40 minutes, and playing 5 a side soccer once a week. I was a non smoker, and drank a moderate amount of alcohol, perhaps 6-10 units a week. But soon after this I started smoking again ( a habit I picked up fairly young, but which I stopped in my early 30's) and stopped running. I still didn't drink much but I lost my level of fitness.

Now I am 44, overweight and unfit and it is time to do something about it. I have always enjoyed running, so I started this week on a plan that I found on the internet. I did something similar the last time I started but the cool running plan seems good and gives me a goal to follow. I also intend to use my wife's Wii fitness program, mainly for stretching and balance exercises. I could do these myself and there are plenty of sites to help out, such as this one.

The main thing is to have a goal in mind, and then the fitness doesn't seem quite so painful (and believe me, my first running session sent me dizzy and left me disoriented for a bit as well as leaving me with aching muscles). My goal is a combination of weight loss and the self esteem that comes from being able to run for a 30-45 minute session. I am giving myself 6 months to achieve these 2 goals and by setting a time frame I am focussing my efforts and staying positively minded.

I'll keep this blog updated about my fitness regime, but for now, I'm going to curl up and wait for the aches to stop!

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