Do you remember when you first heard about fitness? Depending on which year you were born it could have meant many different things. If you were born in 1935, fitness might have had a military vibe to it. If you were born in 1955, fitness could have had a Venice beach tone or Bally’s Fitness feeling connected to it. In 1975, fitness was about sports performance or had a “lose fat” focus. In 1995, there was definitely a health vibe “ring” to it.
Today, it is my experience as a professional fitness trainer that, in most cases, either feelings of pain and intensity or notions of performance are attached to the word fitness. As you can see, both cultural ideas about what fitness does and actual fitness practices have changed, and changed, and changed again over the past decades. But have our bodies changed with them? To some degree, perhaps – but fundamentally, no. The fact is, fitness and its definition are up to you. Each individual must determine his or her own definition of fitness. Ask these questions to figure out yours:
- What is fitness to you?
- How does fitness help you to live the life you want to live?
When you really think about the answers to these questions, you may notice that these general observations I have made over the years apply to you too:
– Fitness is not he highest priority in most peoples’ lives.
– Fitness does not drive most peoples’ behaviors.
– Fitness means different things to different people.
The goal of this exercise is to make you aware of where fitness sits in your life.
For example, fitness can help someone be a better father. It can help employees do their jobs more effectively and with greater safety. Fitness can help people transform their psychology. Fitness can be a base support to help someone live long, and for others fitness is a sport. Today I invite you to think about fitness and its place in your life. To me, it should not be the last thing on the list when there is finally ‘free time’, or something that begins in a blaze of good intentions, with a regime which is not realistic or sustainable. It should be part of the day to day balance of our lives, like work and rest, eating and moving, and excitement and peace.
What is your definition of fitness? And how does it fit within, and enhance, your life?
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