Do you ever get discouraged on this journey of health and fitness? Do you ever wonder why do I continue on this course? It’s definitely not an easy journey all of the time. What is the point? Why keep working on this whole fitness thing? And what does being fit really mean?
I admit, being healthy and fit is a goal of mine. It has been for a long, long time. It is important to me – important enough for me to spend hours reading and researching and thinking about it and writing about it. But what does it really mean? Well, I will tell you what it is not. It is not being skinny. I have said many times, the goal is not to just get skinny. I have never been a skinny person. And unless something happens and I become sick, I will never be a skinny person. That’s okay. That’s not my goal. I want to be strong, well, healthy and fit to do the things that I want and need to do every day.
Don’t get me wrong, I have my own body image hang ups but I have finally come to realize that my body type is such that I am larger than some women and smaller than some women. I’m just kind of in the middle and that’s where I will likely remain unless I dramatically change my entire lifestyle to make dramatic changes in my body.
Right now, my main goal in my journey is to be fit. What does that mean exactly and how do we measure what fit is? Sometimes I feel stronger than other times. Sometimes I am more flexible than other times, depending on what I have been doing. For example, lately I’ve been trying to swim a few times a week. The first week was awful! I felt so slow and was ready to climb out of the pool after 20 laps or 30 minutes at the most. Arrgh. It made me feel really unfit.
So, you may workout regularly. You may do cross fit, practice yoga regularly, train for marathons. Does that mean you are fit? Well, maybe, but maybe not. A person may be fit in one area, but not in another. Some say that fitness can be looked at as being able to save your own life in an emergency. I think of this in terms of being able to take care of yourself and being able to have the strength and stamina to do your daily activities, plus more. Can you run after your kids on the playground? Can you endure all day long walking all over Disney World? Can you keep up with your dogs running around the park? If you fall forward, do you have the arm strength to catch yourself? Can you reach down to tie your shoes without straining? These are some of the normal, everyday activities that we all need to be able to perform every single day without problem. And more.
There are 4 things to you can do to test your fitness. Sparkpeople has a great layout of four tests you can take along with a chart for both men and women, based on ages, with rating from poor to excellent from the results of taking a push up test, crunch test, step up test and one mile walk test. It’s a great source if you want to check it out or share with someone. It can serve as a baseline for where you are today and track your own fitness journey as you begin to reach your goals. Check it out HERE.
So, maybe you can do these things. Or maybe you think you don’t really need to be able to do all of these things. So why worry about all of this fitness talk? What’s the big deal?
Because, as a society, we are becoming more and more sedentary. A sedentary lifestyle is becoming more deadly than smoking. Physical inactivity causes non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancers. Those are some pretty good reasons to strive to be fit. Here are some other reasons. . .
Here are 12 Reasons to be Fit:
1. Be healthier
2. Increase your chances of living longer
3. Feel better about yourself
4. Reduce depression
5. Sleep better
6. Look good (which boosts self-esteem)
7. Be in shape
8. Get around better
9. Have stronger muscles and bones
10. Achieve or maintain a healthy weight
11. Be with friends and be sociable
12. Have fun
Physical activity reduces risk for eight conditions
According to the Centers for Disease Control, exercise can reduce your risk of:
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
Breast and colon cancer
None of the reasons have anything to do with being skinny or looking like a person in a magazine. As you become stronger and more fit, your body may change. That is a good by product, just the icing on top of the cake, right? When I think of health and being fit I often go back to thinking of my parents. I watched them age fairly quickly. Their bodies were much older than their biological ages. I watched as they were unable to do the everyday things that they wanted to do. That is what I keep in mind as I remind myself why I keep striving to stay on this fitness journey. As I age, I do not want my body to let me down. I want to continue to be active, walk, run, swim, play tennis, garden, chase after those imaginary grandchildren I think about having in the future. Enjoy being every single day and enjoy this gift of life. . .
How’s your own journey going? What do you think being fit is all about? What is your definition of fit? Why does it matter to you?
Enjoy Your Day1