I have averaged two to three hours of exercise daily in the past two years. My exercise routine includes Basketball shooting, swimming, weight lifting, running, cycling, pickleball, lawn tennis, and badminton. It is one of the most consistent things I have done in the past couple of months, and I consider it very gratifying and joy-inducing. The benefits of exercising can not be over-emphasized from producing dopamine, aiding the aging process, and helping sustain a positive mood, sleep, energy and cognition. Exercise has been very therapeutic for me, and it has helped me deal with the dark days.
As the above is my Strava exercise stat for the month of July 2023, I exercised for 108 hours, covered 809 KM and did not miss a single day in the month. One of the reasons I have been able to stay consistent with my exercise regimen is that I habitually stack my exercise routine. To my daily routine more fun and purpose-driven, I schedule most of my personal development/self-improvement goals with my exercise regime. Here is what my daily exercise routine looks like:
- Basketball shooting for an hour – Listen to French Podcast.
- Swimming session for 45-60 minutes while listening to French learning audio materials and some of my favourite most played songs on my music playlist.
- Weight lifting – Listen to audiobooks for an hour. I average 2-3 audiobooks per week as I listen to audiobooks for at least 7 hours per week in the gym while lifting weights.
- Running – I sometimes listen to French podcasts, music or audiobooks while running. During marathon training season in the summer, I was averaging 13-15 KM per day / 100 KM per week, and one of the reasons I was able to stay consistent with my routine is because of the alignment with my personal development goal.
Most days, I don’t want to go to the gym to exercise or lace up my shoes to run, but whenever I remember my Why, such as qualifying for the Boston Marathon or my habit stacking routine that entails my self-improvement goals, such as the 100 books reading challenge or learning to speak impeccable french, I get up and keep it moving. As the saying goes, motivation gets you started, but self-discipline gets you going. I have been hearing of late that you look so fit, you are such a good pickleball player, you are a fast swimmer, and you look younger than your age. It gladens my heart to hear those words because I know how much work it took to stay consistent and follow through on my exercise goal.
In the past two years (2022-2023), I have participated and finished 15 Full 42.2 KM marathons across Canadian cities and provinces:
- 2022: BMO Vancouver Marathon, The Tartan Ottawa International Marathon, The Servus Edmonton Marathon, The Beneva Montreal Marathon, The Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and The Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon.
2023 (2 Half Marathons and 9 Full Marathons across the Ten Canadian Provinces
- Half Marathons: The Mississauga Half Marathon and The 2023 Marathon Beneva de Montreal Half Marathon.
- Full Marathons: The 2023 Toronto Marathon, The 45th Stewart McKelvey Fredericton,New Brunswick Marathon, The Emera Blue Nose Halifax, Nova Scotia Marathon, The Servus Credit Union Calgary Marathon, Alberta, Calgary, The Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Marathon, Winnipeg, Manitoba, The 2023 GMS Queen City Marathon in Regina, Saskatchewan, The Quebec City Beneva Marathon, The Royal Victoria Marathon and The Prince Edward Island Marathon.
The training regimen to execute the nine 42.2 KM and two 21.1 KM marathons is gruesome. It involves a lot of running and cross-training across multiple sports. I was able to reduce my marathon personal best time from 3 hours 44 minutes, which I ran at the Beneva Montreal Marathon, to 3 Hours 20 minutes at the 2023 GMS Queen City Marathon in Regina, Saskatchewan. It was a great feeling to reduce my time by 24 minutes within a calendar, and the joy of seeing all your hard work come to fruition is very satisfying. I firmly believe that doing one thing is how you do almost everything. The exact amount of dedication and grit needed to run 8-10 marathons in a year is what is required to run a million-dollar business. Hard work works, if you work hard, what is presently hard will eventually work, but if you take the shortcut, you will be cut short.
Exercise is immediately toxic to cells, leading to increased temperatures, noxious oxidants, and oxygen and glucose deprivation. Yet the evidence is overwhelming that exercise is health-promoting, and the absence of exercise, especially combined with chronic sedentary feeding—eating too much all day long—is deadly.
Exercise increases many of the neurotransmitters involved in positive mood regulation: dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, endocannabinoids, and endogenous opioid peptides (endorphins). Exercise contributes to the birth of new neurons and supporting glial cells. Exercise even reduces the likelihood of using and getting addicted to drugs.
In humans, high levels of physical activity in junior high, high school, and early adulthood predict lower levels of drug use. Exercise has also been shown to help those already addicted to stop or cut back. Exercise has a more profound and sustained positive effect on mood, anxiety, cognition, energy, and sleep.
As a youngster, as soon as he got back from school, he would do his homework and then rush outside to kick a ball around no matter what the weather. As he got older, his appetite for regular exercise grew – a 10-kilometre run every morning became part of his daily routine. Much later, curiosity as to his mental and physical capabilities – and no shortage of self-discipline – evolved into a penchant for endurance sport, as he built up from multiple marathons to ultramarathons, cycling trips to Tour de Franceesque feats, and, even at the age of sixty-five, an Iron Man triathlon, recognised as one of the toughest endurance events in the World. Formerly top of geography class at school, for Jim, this endurance drive is melded with a love of adventure and travel – a united desire to explore the world and his own limits. It is this passion that equally characterises and defines his unique management style.
In the end, hard work is really the accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have. It’s like diet and exercise. Everyone wants to be thin, but no one wants to make the right choices to get there. It’s hard work when you’ve neither eaten right nor exercised day after day. However, if you make small right choices each day, day after day, you see results. 3
- Daily Clam with Tamara Levitt – Perfectionism
- Mindfulness practice offers us the opportunity to soften our judgment and criticism. So many of us feel the pressure to be great, considered unique and maybe even extraordinary. What if you believed that it is okay just to be you as you are right now with all your imperfections? What if you believed that your best is good enough and that if you fail, all that matters is that you tried?
- This is part of practice, relieving yourself of the pressure to be anything you are not and accepting who you are. This is a form of radical self-acceptance; it doesn’t mean we give up our efforts to better ourselves and strive to succeed. All it means is that we treat ourselves with compassion and acceptance, ultimately leading to the success we all desire.
- Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – Letting Go
- Letting go is hard, but holding on is more challenging. So many of us get stuck holding on to little day-to-day annoyances. We get bugged down carrying all the slights done to us, but when we stop to consider how much lighter we would be without them, it makes it easier to put them down.
- When we see the value in releasing these burdens, we remember to do it more often. We all can take stuck. of how things are and choose how they could be.
- #322 Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines) Founders Podcast.
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.