What is Fitness and Why Should You want it?
If you are in your 60’s or beyond you may remember 40 or 50 years ago. The commitment to “Fitness” was a small part of our society. Today we have lots of “health clubs”. There are chains such as 24 Fitness, LA Fitness, MUV Fitness and many others. I don’t remember knowing of any health clubs until the ‘70’s, and then they were few and far between.
Today, in the 21st century it’s common to see cadres of runners, bicyclists, especially in the mornings, evenings and weekends. What is “fitness” and why has it become such a big deal?
I Googled it: From sharecare.com: “In a nutshell, fitness is defined as the state of being physically fit and healthy. “Fitness” is a broad term that means something different to each person, but it refers to your own optimal health and overall well-being. Being fit not only means physical health, but emotional and mental health, too.”
Many people would describe me as ‘fit’. And I would like to be more so. How about you? Regardless of your current state of fitness, would you like to be more so? If your answer is “yes” then I’m glad you’re here. If your answer is, “Naw. I’m good”, then I wonder why you’ve read this far? I’m glad you are here too.
Some Benefits of Fitness
From Healthline, “The Top 10 Benefits of Regular Exercise”
- 1. It can make you feel happier
- 2. It can help with weight loss
- 3. Regular exercise is good for your muscles and bones
- 4. It can increase your energy levels
- 5. It can reduce your risk of chronic disease
- 6. It can help skin health
- 7. It can help your brain health and memory
- 8. It can help with relaxation and sleep quality
- 9. It can reduce pain
- 10. It can promote a better sex life
Imagine you could pay a monthly fee and get all 10 of those benefits without having to exercise. Even if you exercise very little or, not at all, wouldn’t it be great if you could just pay a regular fee like Netflix or YouTube Premium and get all the top ten above?
“Motivation to Exercise Regularly”
There are various ways to get motivated.
Of course, there are many kinds of exercise. If you find one or more forms of exercise that you really enjoy your motivation will be higher. For many years I played racquetball, mostly 6 days a week. Then I fell in love with roller hockey and played on teams for several years. I used to think running was super boring. But when I lived at the beach, somehow, I was motivated to start running. After a few weeks I actually started to love running.
I have a friend who has a stationary bike at his home. He rides it while he watches TV. He can binge watch his favorite Netflix series and get more fit at the same time.
There was a time when I really wanted to start weight training regularly. But I had a hard time getting motivated to get up at 5:00 am. When the alarm went off, I’d tell myself, “I think getting a little more sleep will contribute more to my health today.” A friend of mine was having the same struggle. We agreed to meet every morning at a given time. And, we agreed to hold each other accountable. That was just what I needed to get out of bed and get to the gym every morning. After 3 or 4 weeks I was starting to feel really good and my motivation increased, big time.
I’ve known many people who have hired a personal trainer at their local gym. After shelling out a few hundred dollars AND having the trainer to hold them accountable, they overcame the hardest part… getting started. After 3 or 4 weeks, most people are feeling the benefits and improved quality of life and they are more motivated.
I was 47 when I decided to hang up my hockey skates. I entered a 90-day challenge. It had the structure I needed. I followed their directions and planned and recorded my workouts, meals and water intake. Also, once I committed to do the challenge, I had to see it through. I did before and after pictures. One of the things that helped stoke my motivation was looking at before and after pictures of former contestants. I wanted to achieve like they did. They showed it was possible and that motivated me.
Following are some specific approaches to inspire the motivation you need.
- Change the way you “see” exercise. I recently read a great book titled, “Automatic Influence”. The author, Erik Van Alstine, explains that the way we “see” something affects how we “feel” about something, which influences how we “act”. Also, clearly articulate your “why”.
- Find a challenge to join. You can easily find these on the internet. There are many 30-day challenges that can help provide the structure and motivation to get past the hardest part – starting.
|More benefit in other options||More motivation for other options||Avoid regular exercise|
|The full good of exercising regularly, the full danger of failing to, the full opportunity to following through.||Good about exercising, enough good to beat competing options in the moment of choice.||Exercise regularly|
- Select specific and written goals. Following are some quotes for inspiration:
- o Mark Victor Hansen is quoted as saying, “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be.”
- o “All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do.” – Norman Vincent Peale
- o “I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.” – Michael Phelps
- o “The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.” – Seth Godin
- Find a ‘fitness partner’ or ‘fitness group’; someone(s) who are like-minded so you can provide encouragement and accountability for each other
- Find the kinds of exercise that you will most likely enjoy. There may be more than one kind of exercise.
- Be sure to have structure, aka, a plan. If you join a health club and when you go, you don’t have a plan as to what you are going to do, you are destined to fail. The old adage applies: “If you fail to plan you plan to fail.” If you attend a class, like spin, aerobics, kick boxing, etc. The structured plan has already been created for you. In future posts, I’ll share a variety of exercise plans that have the basic structure provided for, you just have to plug in your specifics on an app on your phone, If you prefer working with hard copies and a pen, you can choose that option.
- Exercise the same time each day. The consistency helps aid motivation. If you exercise before or after work, for example, it’s best to do so the same each workday. You may have a different time if you exercise on the weekend.
- Give yourself some kind of reward. Set milestones on the way toward achieving your goals. For example: Let’s say your goal is to exercise for 45 minutes 4 times per week. A good milestone would be, if you completed 45 minutes, 4 times per week and you did that for 3 consecutive weeks, that would be a milestone worthy of some type of reward. Of course, it needs to be something that
you would truly enjoy earning.
- Join one or more fitness sites on Social Media. I’m part of 3 sites with like-minded people. There are new ideas and lots of encouragement. Questions get answered. Many share pictures, sometimes before-and-after pics. There are many groups that are age related. It’s helpful to be sharing with others who have similar age-related issues.
- Are you more motivated at a health club, at home or outside? Figuring that out can be very important. I am very motivated to work out hard in a health club. I’m not nearly as motivated at home. Part of that is because I don’t have all the equipment that is available at a gym.
The Role of Nutrition and Supplements
Getting fit involves 3 vital parts that are each important like the 3 legs of a stool. If any one of them is not there, doing its part, the whole thing falls. Those 3 are exercise, diet and rest.
In my next post I will dive more deeply into the topic of nutrition and supplements with specific information to help everyone who reads it.
Whether you are someone who is not very fit at all but would like information and help to start getting fit, or, if you have a level of fitness but would like to become more so as you age, I am building this site for you. I’ve learned so much from so many over the years and am excited to share it with you. Thanks so much for visiting. Glenn