We all had that friend who was the best athlete on the team and did not have to train and was still the fastest guy on the field. Many people find the same thing occurs with workouts when you invite a friend to join you at the weight room or for a run and he/she is able to hang with you even after a year of consistent training and you know he/she has not been training at all. However, don’t let that deter you from a daily fitness routine. There are many intangible benefits of daily fitness that your all-round talented buddy could be missing.
First of all, physical and athletic ability is a gift or talent. Some people have more of these natural talents than others. Be thankful to your genetics for that. But some also have more heart than others. Be thankful for your consistent good work ethic for that. However, developing natural ability to its fullest potential requires work and desire as well. Imagine if the highly talented would also put in the work – well, it is not that difficult as you see those who have reached their full potential as professional athletes or Olympians.
Here is a list of intangibles and character traits that everyone can obtain IF they put in the work consistently.
Consistency – Consistency is Key. The first intangible that is required for anyone to receive the tangible and more intangible results of fitness is begin CONSISTENT. You will find that once you start being consistent in one area of your life, it will spread to other areas of your life as well (profession, family, health, nutrition).
Discipline – Your self-discipline will evolve from your initial motivation to why you started this journey in the first place. After creating daily habits through your consistent efforts, you will be able to rely on your discipline when days get long and your motivation and energy levels are waning.
Gain Confidence - Confidence is an intangible quality that occurs after you start to see the results of your efforts. Do you go out for the team? Do you decide to serve your country? Do you go to that job interview? All of these questions are challenges accepted when you have developed your abilities and gained confidence from your work.
Productivity – You will find that as you journey into the world of consistent fitness programming, the productivity throughout the rest of your day will also be higher. The ability to focus with clarity also comes with a regular fitness routine.
Improve Sleep – With the new sleep study and adjusted sleep requirement changes recently published, getting more quality sleep is critical to your long-term survival from the daily stresses of life. Fitness allows for you to fall asleep faster and deeper.
Relieves Stress and Anxiety – Largely due to the increase of activity and the ability to sleep better at night, the stress relieving benefits of exercise are doubled with these working in your favor.
Improves Academic Performance – Studies have shown that people who did high impact exercise learned faster and had better memory recall and retention. Reference article.
Fights Depression – Getting out and moving has been shown to fight depression as well as aid in recovery from dependency from drugs and alcohol. Are you having a problem breaking some bad habits, try starting a good habit. Typically, success is associated with two habits: One you start and one to stop.
You do not have to be a world class athlete to achieve the above benefits of a fitness program. In fact, the ability to work hard to achieve a goal is far more valuable to achieving the same goal without any effort. Regardless of that goal you have, you will gain far more from the journey than the actual accomplishment. So remember, fitness is not a destination but the journey itself that yields the life long benefits that are both tangible and intangible.
Also, if you are thinking you are not athletic enough to become a member of the military or military special ops programs, you need to understand that these jobs simply require desire and a never quit work ethic that takes time to develop. Sure, you need a high level of fitness, meet and exceed the standard, but anyone can have an above average level of fitness. Sure, athleticism helps, but hard work helps more. Success in these jobs is only created through patience and time spent building up a level of durability to withstand the storm of training and the job itself.