To say the past two years has been a challenge would be quite the understatement of the year. But here we are. What I do know is that life itself is a challenge and there will always be something. If you are like me, you’ve done about as much pivoting as you can this year. And like me you are probably thinking there must be a better way. Whenever I am embarking on a new exercise challenge I think about my goals and how correctly applying the exercise principles would help me achieve them. So I said, why not use the same approach for everything! So here I am exploring how to use exercise principles to navigate life challenges.

We all know the benefits of keeping fit and using exercise to improve our quality of life. So, let’s dive into applying these principles to our everyday life challenges. The new year might seem less scary as a result.

Using the Specificity Principle to Navigate Life Challenges

The type of exercise should be specific to the goal desired. When I am training for a race I do less strength training and more running variety to build speed and endurance. My approach to dropping weight would be different. No two-life challenge will be the same and the approach to each challenge needs to be specific. The goal is to focus on the immediate problem and apply the specificity principle to solving it.

The Progressive Overload Principle

When life is coming at you fast consider the Overload Principle. The body is very adaptable, but it can crack if the pressure is too hard and fast. Using the progressive overload principle, you can attempt to slow things down to a state that you can manage. By segmenting the problem, you can then tackle it bit by bit. This way you control the speed at which you add stress to your life.

Using The Maintenance Principle

Wouldn’t life be great and simpler if we could apply this principle directly. Maintaining your fitness level requires managing the Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type of exercise to achieve your goals. And seeing that life’s challenges are not bundled up into a nice WOD, the maintenance principle must be applied to our approach. For me, this means applying the maintenance principle to my vessel. This can be done by feeding the soul and mind. That way I can tackle the challenges when life throws them at me.

Navigate Life Challenges by Applying the Rest and Recovery Principle

And this leads right into the rest and recovery principle. The body requires rest to adapt to a new exercise routine and recovery to continue chasing those goals. Similarly navigating life challenges requires rest and recovery to keep showing up with our best selves. Recovery can take many forms. In exercise we would reduce the intensity of the work out or vary it. But the key is that we keep things light on rest days to allow the body to recover.

Similarly, when you have successfully navigated a life challenge it is a good idea to rest, slow things down. For example, if you are running a business, getting through the launch of a new product or service can take an immense amount of work. Rather than diving into the next project, take a break to get used to the win and prepare mentally and physically for the next steps.

Final Points

Last, but not least is the Reversibility principle – use it or lose it. We can successfully incorporate these principles into all aspects of our life.  Health for Teens have documented 7 reasons why exercise make our lives better. So go on and flex those muscles.