Recently, I’ve had a number interesting of conversations about sustainability, usually in the context of discussing environmental or economic issues. These conversations often drift in to discussing sustainability as a lifestyle, and how it can relate to things like relationships, work, hobbies and many other aspects of our lives.
So how does the idea of sustainability relate to exercise, and what does sustainability mean exactly? Here a couple of definitions I pulled down from the interweb.
- of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged
- of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods
These definitions are perfect for this discussion. How do we exercise in a way that does not deplete or damage our resources, and then how do then incorporate that practice into our lifestyles?
What exactly are these resources? I would argue that, at a minimum, they are the following
I would also argue that the following are relevant.
- General quality of life
Okay this is short, and incomplete, list of resources, but how do I use this list? Well, Perhaps more important than the resources themselves, are the questions they bring up. Below is a short list questions I ask of myself and others to start addressing the idea of sustainable exercise as part of a broader lifestyle.
- Do I often get injuries from exercise?
- Is my health improving, or at least not getting any worse, because of exercise?
- Can I realistically fit what I’m doing into my life indefinitely?
- How is what I’m doing affecting others?
- How are my efforts affecting other elements of my life?
- Why am I exercising?
As I write this, it becomes increasing clear to me that this topic is bigger than one post. So I will continue this discussion in future posts. However, in the meantime, I would like to hear from others about their thoughts on this subject. So please feel free to chime in.