Best Fitness Books of 2009, Anti-Facebook Rants, and More
Happy New Year … just 14 days after the fact.
Some quick updates:
* I went back to my old site, Male Pattern Fitness, with a guest article. In it, I review my favorite new workout books of the past 12 months, including Adam Campbell’s outstanding Big Book of Exercises.
* I did a really, really fun podcast with Mike Robertson. The goal was to talk about how fitness professionals can improve their writing to move their careers forward, but the most memorable stretch comes when I go off on a spontaneous rant about how annoyed I am by Facebook. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, so I guess it was going to come out sooner or later. Still, it caught both of us by surprise. I just hope it’s as entertaining to you as it was to me when I was getting it off my chest.
* One more trip back in time: I did an interview with actor Sean Faris for Men’s Health magazine, talking about his workouts and diet. Sean is a smart young guy, and comes off as truly passionate about sports and exercise.
* Finally, going all the way back to October, I did this interview with Sean Barker for his Dad Fitness blog. In it, I make a point that I think is important for all parents today:
Our kids should see that fitness is a lifelong pursuit. If they see us make time for it, and invest energy in it, they’ll understand that it’s an important part of life.
If they understand that Dad goes to the gym three times a week because he enjoys it and considers it important, it sends the message that structured exercise isn’t just something you do in gym class because the school says you have to.
In our parents’ generation, there wasn’t much of an organized structure for fitness activities. You played outside as a kid, then maybe you played on sports teams through high school or even college, if you were one of the lucky ones. Many of our dads also did physical training in the military, where it was used as a punishment as much as a tool for activity-specific performance. Once you were out of the military, and presumably finished with sports, there wasn’t really any structure in place to encourage lifelong fitness.
Now we apply that to sports and fitness. At a certain point, I think kids start to ask themselves if they’re playing sports because they enjoy it, or because their parents expect them to play. If Dad is still playing something in middle age — golf, bowling, slow-pitch softball, or anything else that involves competition and some degree of coordination and focus — it reinforces the idea that sports are something you do for yourself.
But with our kids, everything is structured. There’s almost no such thing as backyard sports, or neighborhood games. If you play something, you play it on a team. If you do pure exercise, it happens in gym class. So it’s important for them to see their parents using those same structures to pursue lifelong fitness, and doing it voluntarily.
We all know as parents how important it is to read to our kids, and to have lots of books around the house. But it’s also important for kids to see their parents reading books for pleasure. That helps them understand that they aren’t just reading because adults say they have to. They’re reading because it’s such an important part of a fulfilling life.
So that’s what I’ve been up to. What about you?