Now Does Not Equal Later
I’ll prepare myself tomorrow.
I’ll wait until the start of the week.
I’ll start at the end of the month.
Sounds familiar, right? Perhaps this is you in the now, you from the past, or even you in the future. We all have, am, and will say these words. Whereas it’s likely human nature to put off things that present a challenge, we have to remind ourselves that even whilst we do nothing, something is changing.
There is a cliché that goes like this ‘if you keep doing the same thing, you’re going to be getting the same results.’ This is true only for instances where many factors can be held constant. That is, the variables will always remain the same.
For example, if you design an experiment to see whether adding water to fire will put it out, and you used the same amount of fire, with the same amount of water, each and every time, you’re likely going to achieve the same results. That is because water and fire stay fairly consistent in their elemental properties.
However, when it comes to the world of health, the human body, mind and spirit are such dynamic organisms that what appears to be the same course of action – can lead to different results. For example, running four kilometres two days apart appears to be the same action, however, you’re likely now benefitting from some aerobic adaptations from couple days prior. There will also be other factors that affect the run, such as diet, temperature, footwear and sleep, to name a few.
Furthermore, in the case of inactivity, do not be surprised if there are underlying changes that do remain invisible until they become visible. For example, our arteries could be filling up with hardened plaque that we don’t see or notice until we head to the doctors. Or, worst yet, when we suffer blood-pressure driven headaches or cardiac issues. Amongst a myriad of lifestyle factors that could be impacting our health, it’s also prudent to remember that what doesn’t hurt us now, doesn’t mean it won’t hurt us later.
As we age, our bodies slowly begin to decline. This is inevitable. What we once did that had no impact, can have an impact as our bodies age. For example, there may be those who are able to sleep five to six hours a night in their late teens and 20s. However, as healthy as they may be, once they reach their 30s, the inevitability of sleep will catch up to them.
The opposite is also true. What doesn’t help you now, will help you later. There are many things in health that do not provide immediate benefit, but over time, will. For example, there is no noticeable health benefit immediately from one exercise session. I don’t think anyone can argue that. But over a week, a month and a year, consistent pursuit of exercise WILL lead to many changes that benefit the individual.
There is no obvious growth of muscle after one resistance training session, nor is there any display of increased strength. In fact, one might argue you actually become weaker and your body becomes sorer. But over time? Well, the results speak for themselves.