Following my recent post on Tara Scott, I received several questions about exercise frequency. As mentioned in the original entry, Tara has exercised daily for over 2700 consecutive days. At age 46, she is in tremendous physical condition. She possesses a rare mix of strength, flexibility, agility, and more.
Unfortunately, after sharing her story, it appears that some readers confused the message behind it. I do not share stories of this nature with hopes that everyone will copy what they see. I am certainly not suggesting that one must train every day of their life. Instead, when witnessing an athlete such as Tara, it is wise to fall back on Bruce Lee’s classic advice.
The true value behind Tara’s story is witnessing how she embraces movement. The body is designed to move. We were not intended to be sedentary creatures. Tara is not running herself into the ground. Instead, she does what she enjoys. She embraces her body’s natural tendency to move and remains active by balancing intensity. She adjusts her workload according to feel. She listens to the feedback that her body provides. There are hard days, light days, and others that land somewhere in between.
Clearly, it is not necessary to exercise each day. It is however useful to be reminded of the human body’s potential for movement. It is also nice to see someone who enjoys her work. Far too many people have been fooled to believe that exercise is only useful when you are beating yourself into the ground. Tara proves otherwise. I highly doubt that anyone would remain so consistent without true passion for movement.
As for finding your ideal training frequency, there isn’t a definitive answer that can be applied to the masses. As discussed previously, answers regarding frequency depend on several factors (ex. volume and intensity). Personally, I do not pay attention to days on and off. I enjoy training so I strive to move each day. I approach every day as a new day however, where decisions are made based on the present not the past. If I feel run down, I back off. If I feel fresh and strong, I push myself accordingly. I’m always willing to make adjustments if and when necessary.
In summary, embrace the body’s natural tendency to move. Exercise and movement should not be loathed. You will naturally perform more often (and better) when doing something you enjoy. Personally, I love training. I’d much rather lift than sit in front of the television. I also enjoy the outdoors. If I am feeling run down, I’d rather take a brisk walk outside instead of sitting idle on the couch. The combination of light movement and fresh air will often recharge my batteries more than any recliner. Once again though, it is important to make individual decisions based on how you feel. Find what works for you. There will never be a singular approach that works for all.
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” – Carl Jung