Workouts help you become a better version of yourself. Whether you are inspired by professional athletes, Olympic medalists, your BFF, your trainer, or that blow-your-mind Instagram photo- no workout is the same. What does that mean? Every person has variables surrounding which have a direct influence on their workouts. Think about, can you control the weather or if you have to take an emergency trip? What are your sleep or nutrition habits like? Even influence by the people surrounding you play a role in your daily routine. How you live everyday plays a role in your workouts and overall longevity.

It has been said, slow and steady wins the race. When it comes to taking care of your body, training and conditioning yourself for longevity is key. It does not matter if you are 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, or 70 – the goal is enjoy life, to keep living it at your fullest potential. That means what you do now with your workouts, nutritional habits, and daily mental attitude, can and will ultimately play a role in your future. Something Instagram workout posts don’t always relay.

Many aspiring to have a better body look up to professional sports stars or Hollywood stars.  Wanting to emulate them, they try to keep up with their workout schedules and techniques. While this is honorable, let’s dig a little deeper. Professionals getting paid to do what they do for a living, sort of live in a bubble that the rest of the world does not. Their demands are great. They have to train and condition to perform at their best and beyond. They don’t always have a desk job or the demands of education and schoolwork. Young athletes trying to adopt training regimen’s from those in professional sports fail to consider a number of variables that professional athletes are privy to. It is imperative workout programs cater to individual needs as it relates to their sport and surroundings.

Most don’t realize that professional athletes or stars have more access than the average consumer to equipment, facitlities, and skilled performance staff helping them train, recover, heal at the pace they need. The key to athletic or workout success, no matter what results you are looking for, is optimizing what works best for you without using gimmicks. There are many ways to hack the common workout program to be optimized without needing all the gadgets or equipment.  You want your mind and body to work for you throughout your entire life. Getting Instagram-worthy may cause short term gains to lead to long term problems. Even professionals have to decide at a certain point in their life, what aspect of health is of the highest value to them. Let’s use Lindsey Vonn as an example. Is this her last Olympics? Probably. Can her body keep her at the top of her game for the next four years? And at what cost does that come for her long term if she pushes to compete at this level.

Be mindful in how your training regimen helps or hinders performance at your highest level. Take into consideration the purpose of each variable for your program and how it would it effect both short and long term goals. In today’s world there are lots of options in order for these goals to be achieved, and most of them don’t have to be boring. From marathon options to conscious cycling class, and early morning dance parties to hip hop yoga there are a variety of ways to achieve health and increase longevity of life. Whatever that choice may be, the key comes down to asking yourself one question, “Why do you want to live longer? This is key to mapping out your life, your workout succcess, and your purpose.”

Habits often define how we take care of our bodies and in turn live out our daily lives. Understanding your habits can help you make the changes needed to form habits necessary to prevent degeneration to your body. Intuitively knowing whats good for your overall health can help you live longer and participate in activities where you thrive without limit.

Strength of community is a key factor to our happiness level. Being with people you like and doing something you love, helps you feel a sense of belonging. There is a fitness revolution. How and where you sweat is evolving, becoming part of our social structure and helping to fulfill passions. No longer are boxy gyms with rusted weights our go to routine. New options are popping up everday, including hip hop yoga. People are starting to do activities that feel good to them and that directly corrulate to their DNA makeup. In recent studies, dance, over all other physical activity, has been proven to help reduce the signs of aging in the brain. How we sweat and our sleep patterns lead to better health, wellness, and happiness.  

Comparing your workout, muscle tone, or appearance to an “Instagram Worthy” post or “FaceTuned” photo (it’s an app to remove flaws) is not the path to your longevity.