The 10 commandments of exercise to live a longer, healthier life

Year-end parties turned into Christmas drinks which resulted in New Year's shenanigans only to roll into January for Australia Day – making it 6 weeks of debauchery and Australian fun.

If you're in a haze maybe you're like Timmy, my golfing partner from the weekend, who had to sport his black, fat-trousers (bottom half of a wool suit) in 32 degree heat, because that's all that fits in 2017.

"I'm getting into exercise and ridding myself of this fat gut," he said coupled with expletives and burger, chips, and a beer in hand at the halfway house.

This column is dedicated to Timmy, you, and everybody else looking to up the exercise regime in 2017.

Ready to get moving? High on North Bondi's grassy knoll, here's me exclaiming The 10 Commandments of Exercise:

Thou shalt commit to memory when exercising 

Form, tempo, breathing, intensity. Whether you're on a bike, facing the squat rack, or jumping at Zumba class those four variables not only keep you healthy but they ensure a quality workout and serious calorie burn. Every exercise regime has different requirements – get involved and do your research.

Thou shalt eat like an adult looking after their body

Are you fuelling mind, muscle, and exercise? Or are you fuelling fat and bum-on-a-couch? Exercise needs real food. Portion control. Water, not fizzy drinks and endless booze. Fresh not fast food. Lifestyle eating not dieting. Add fruit, vegetables, and healthy snacks; subtract processed junk and the sweets aisle.

Thou shalt understand posture

Lordosis. Kyphosis. Forward head. Scoliatic. If these terms are foreign to you, then you're possibly exercising in a way that's harmful to your health and physique. Your posture determines exercise programming and how you should be strengthening and stretching. Ask your physio or personal trainer – it's damn important.

Thou shalt utilise bodyweight exercises

Everybody is time poor, so don't worry about the transport, change of clothes, long gym session etc etc. Bodyweight exercises like push ups, sit ups, squats, pull ups, burpees, skipping rope, and running stairs or hills will always be the most efficient way to lean up and drop some kilograms. Everyone has time for a high intensity, 20 minute session, five times per week.


Thou shalt rest and relax

Overworked, tired, and exercising two times per day seven days a week is boring and dangerous. Rest and relaxation is just as important as working out, as they aid in stress release, weight loss, heart heath, and more. I'll call sleep 'exercise' – and getting more of it is one of the healthiest (anti) movements around.

Thou shalt learn to run

Humans evolved to run, and whether you're bulking up or slimming down, every man and woman should be running. But we've also forgotten how to do it. Running requires head to toe form – learn it.

Thou shalt commit, be patient, and stay inspired

Nothing happens overnight. Exercise for two weeks, then a month, and then three months – your body will change. And then make it permanent. Your life will change. Patience is the most overlooked variable in fitness today.

Thou shalt do it outside

Dining, weddings, sports, sex, a movie, and exercise are all spiced up when done outdoors. Getting Vitamin D via the sun while exercising near the water provides mental stimulation and psychological benefits that a gym cannot provide.

Thou shalt get amped for a training session

…naturally. With caffeine (as a stimulant), music (increased effort), beetroot juice (boosts endurance). Mother nature, and scientific evidence, gave us healthy options that benefit energy that and increase exercise output. Energy drinks and pre-workout stimulants are not required.

Thou shalt get in touch with your feelings

Feeling fat and flat is no way to live. Feeling healthy, light on your feet and full of energy is the goal. Exercise gets the heart pumping, the mind working, and the body improving. Exercise will have you feeling better. Sweating, swearing, squatting, pushing, pulling – cherish the feeling that you're challenging your body. It means you're doing something positive and you're alive.

These commandments could go on…

"Do what you love. Do it with a mate. Ditch the excuses. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Spend less time emulating an Instagram star, and just concentrate on becoming a better you. Train to play, don't play to train. See a physio first. Enjoy cheat days. Stay positive and love yourself a bit more."

But I'm tired of chiselling and I've almost run out of concrete tablet.

If you're still unsure about exercise in 2017, then wake up, and...

Understand the basic benefits of exercise

Increased circulation. Reducing risk of heart attack and certain cancers. Bone health. Strength. Lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes. More energy. Looking better. Waking and working in a better mood. Stronger muscles and joints and a better, longer life.

Jack LaLane, known as the godfather of fitness, lived to almost 100 years old. Of exercise, he said: "I do it as a therapy. I do it as something to keep me alive. We all need a little discipline. Exercise is my discipline."

How will you stay motivated to maintain regular exercise?

Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his 'Cut The BS' diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.

Follow Michael on Twitter