speaker, consultant, coach

The power of exercise

I have taken part in sport for as long as I can remember:

  1. Shotokan Karate

  2. Bodybuilding

  3. Cycling

  4. Golf

  5. Tennis

  6. Running

  7. Swimming

  8. Table tennis

  9. Badminton

  10. Squash

  11. Climbing

  12. Rugby

The only major sport that is missing is football. It wasn't my thing.

For the last 10 years, I have stuck to cycling. I have ridden an assortment of bikes including mountain bikes, cyclo-cross and a DIY time trial number.

I remember attending a Zen class and discussing with the teacher the fact that cycling felt like meditation. For me, it not only ticked the flow box, but it was more of me than any other sport.

It saddens me that so few people enjoy sport or any form of exercise. I suspect there is heady number of people who do no exercise and quite a few who do no more than one hour of moderate exercise each week. I wouldn't pretend to understand the reason but I suspect it's because of a bad experience as a child or because they don't see it as part of who they are. For me exercise is something that runs through my veins. I can't imagine stopping despite the wear on my joints. I know that, if nothing else, it gives me the best opportunity to see out my life.

I don't know how you get people to change their lifestyle where they include 15 minutes of exercise per day. Exhortation doesn't work. Nor financial incentive. Perhaps we need greater participation through the workplace.Perhaps businesses should see it with the same importance as dealing with stress, bullying or human resources (whatever that means).

I still recall watching a programme on one of the Japanese behemoths who had a group exercise and stretching programme for 15 minutes. Why don't we do that in the West? It would be a lot more productive in the long term than another dull breakfast meeting.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing in the next 10 years, but I suspect it will involve a few more cycling journeys across France and Dartmoor on one of my bikes.

I can't wait.

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