Who came up with the term “workout” anyway?  Frankly, I rarely see it work anything other than doubt and frustration.

The idea of having to exercise and workout are mainstream concepts that are actually quite bizarre when seen from a “natural” point of view.  In other

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words, I highly doubt animals go about their business obsessing about having to work out or exercise.  They just do what they do because it’s in their nature and are always living truthfully and in the moment.

Working out is unhealthy.

There is something fundamentally skewed with the idea of separating ourselves from nature with artificial environments and habits, consequently developing all manner of physical and psychological imbalances, then seeking out the ever-elusive-holy-grail set of artificial solutions with the hope of regaining natural balance.

Technology is great and I’m certainly thankful of all the benefits and amazing achievements that human cognition allows us, but modern people are losing something absolutely essential to wellbeing. Connection with Nature.

A paradigm shift is long overdue.

Exercise is a thing we know to be critical to health yet it’s also a thing that so many have come to loathe.  It has even come to the point where those that do it to themselves consistently are awarded bragging rights and those that have the money to hire someone to do it to them are awarded a social status boost.

Maybe it’s just me, but this just seems backwards and wrong.

The human body was designed to move and flourish through motion and there is ALWAYS an inherent positively reinforcing element to do the things that are good for us.  Problems only manifest when we disassociate from our natural rhythms and environment.

It’s time to re-evaluate the practice of exercise.

Function over form.

Form is really just a function achieved through exercise but it may or may not play a role in your personal motivation.  Everyone is unique and therefore exercise and the respective approach to incorporate it should also be unique.

Function is the key.  In other words, if your motivation is to catch the eye of the opposite sex or impress your peers with six pack abs and bulging biceps, then that’s the function your exercise should be geared towards.  I have to warn you however, that the function of having an appealing form is not especially empowering nor does it provide enduring motivation.

Personally, movement is not only part of my profession, but one of the major avenues through which I express myself and a primary facilitator for my personal evolution/growth.  I exercise to develop and maximize that potential.

Most people don’t work in fitness or health, so I might not be a good example.  Let’s take a look at a few examples of other individuals with lots of variation in their approach and philosophy but all with successful outcomes in terms of achieving the desired goals and respecting their personal nature.

Case studies:

1. www.VictoriaVives.com
This is my wife.  We share a lot of activities together but Victoria prefers to take a far less structured approach to exercise and relies on a highly connected sense of intuition.  She stays incredibly fit and healthy by doing what she loves (Martial Arts, dance, hiking, gymnastics, stunts, acting, singing, etc.) without any kind of planning or program design whatsoever and sometimes taking on a sedentary lifestyle for months at a time.  This is a prime example of going with the flow and following one’s nature.

2. www.IluminatedMind.net
Jonathan is a rebel with a passion and it shows in his choice of physical training and the way that he immerses himself in it.  His approach is more structured, laser focused and very technical, yet still respecting the dynamic flow of nature with a resilient plyability.

3. www.QuestforBalance.com
Lisis (based on a recent post on her blog,) actually fits the perfect example of a function over form approach to fitness without any intentional exercise.  Although the post focuses on diet and she makes clear her preference for a sedentary lifestyle, it’s also evident from one of the comments that her primary function is of caring for her family which, I’m sure, can be a very physically demanding task.  Sure, Lisis is also conscious of form and the medical statistics that compose the modern idea of health, but it seems that what is truly important is having the ability to enjoy and nurture her son and husband — very powerful motivators in my book and also very much in line with Nature.

So, the real secret behind effective physical conditioning is knowing what you really want and what is important to you.  The term “workout” should be banned from the fitness lexicon.

Don’t ever settle for anything less than what makes you happy.