The benefits of physical fitness are many. It controls your weight, makes it less likely that you will get sick and keeps you in shape. It improves your mood, makes you sleep better, boosts energy and improves your sex life.
But there are key personal development benefits in good physical fitness as well. Honing the mind, creating discipline, treating the body with respect and setting and achieving goals are all excellent things to cultivate for a badass young man.
When a woman sees the chiseled body of a man in shape she is attracted to him. It is not just the physical appearance but what that physical appearance represents. The ability for a man to take charge of his body, to care for it, to push it to its limits, to challenge himself and to have discipline. These are all highly attractive traits.
It is the same when I see the body of an attractive woman. I am attracted to the fact that she has power and control and knows how to set and achieve goals. It is the mental elements associated with the body that are the real spark. The mental aspect is one of the key benefits of physical fitness.
Why do you feel jealous when you see another man in much better shape than you? Do you feel less of a man? It is not just because he is better looking and could beat you up. It is because the discipline and training he has gone through to achieve that body makes him more of a man.
Look around you wherever it is that you live. The people in high socio economic areas are generally fitter than people in low socio economic areas. The benefits of physical fitness are such that people who succeed in fitness tend to succeed in other areas of their life. It is not because they can afford to go to a better gym. They are not rich because they are fitter or more good looking, they are rich because they apply the principles of success in all areas of their lives. This is why fit people tend to be wealthier.
If you learn the principles of success in fitness you can use them in other areas of life. The attitude it takes to succeed is the same, whatever it is you are trying to achieve.
Those who struggle with fitness are often self-loathing or blame the world for their problems instead of taking charge of their lives. This attitude will affect all aspects of their lives including fitness and career. This is why overweight people are less likely to be successful in other areas of life. The benefits of physical fitness are that you will succeed elsewhere and conversely if you fail at fitness you will fail elsewhere.
The physical body is an excellent place to learn and develop the principles of personal development. You can see it and measure it. Progress or lack of it is easily apparent. There is no mystery as to what is required to succeed. Diet, cardio and resistance in an effective manner over a long period of time. You will see results if you stick to it. Most people do not see results because they set weak goals with weak intentions and give up.
Once you learn to master the art of goal setting and hone your discipline on your body you will be able to set your mind to other goals. Martial arts are an excellent example of how the body can be used to learn and understand deeper spiritual and mystical aspects of oneself and of life in general. The importance of physical fitness goes beyond mere physical benefits. The body and mind are deeply interconnected.
What Is It You Really Want?
A common problem in goal setting is that people set arbitrary goals with no real purpose or meaning. You have to ask yourself what is it that you really want. When you are smashing yourself with physical punishment the question will eventually come up. You need a good answer to motivate yourself to continue.
During my military training the question for me was easy. I wanted to pass the course and become an officer. Others dropped out when the going got tough. It was not because they were weaker. They just did not want it badly enough.
Now I train for several reasons. I like continual improvements in all areas of my life. The benefits of physical fitness are that it sets the tone of constant improvement in a very tangible manner and it has flow on effect throughout the rest of my life. I like being strong, fit and powerful and I like looking good but these are secondary benefits. The most important is honing my powers of personal development.
The Art Of Goal Setting
Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. This is easy when it comes to setting fitness goals but not always as easy for other things. That is why fitness is such a good place to practice.
Aiming to achieve 25 dead hang pull ups by Christmas ticks all the boxes. It is very specific with no element of waffle or vagueness. You can measure it anytime you want by doing a max out to see how you are going. 25 is attainable for a person of moderate to advanced fitness and within the time frame is realistic. The timing locks the whole thing in stone and stops you pushing the goal into the future and never actually achieving it.
25 is an arbitrary number and it does not make me much stronger than if I could only do 24. And I am only a little bit weaker than if I could do 26. The number itself means little and the ability to do 25 pull ups has little impact on my day to day life. But by achieving the goal I achieve something else. A lean strong back, self esteem and experience in setting and achieving a challenging goal.
A Holistic Lifestyle
The more you immerse yourself in personal development the more you realize how interconnected all aspects of life are. Living a holistic life where achieve growth and balance in your career, relationships, finances, fitness and spirituality becomes important.
Fitness is the easiest one of those to control and it is the easiest one to gain mastery of. Developing your skills there is a good stepping stone to making more serious changes in other areas of your life.
And when you make positive change in one area it has trickle down effects in all areas. The benefits of physical fitness will be felt in your work, relationships, finances and spirituality as well.