The title alone is controversial at best. Sure, those who genuinely love working out, getting into shape, and staying healthy find fitness fun. Unfortunately, for a good number of people, the word “fitness” makes them cringe. It makes them want to run in the opposite direction.
Exercise, lose weight, get in shape, get fit, get strong – for some people, these are simply code words for “hide!!”
Where did it all go wrong? What happened to make people scared of movement? What made people fear getting healthy? Why did something so good for you inspire such negative, anxious reactions in other people?
I honestly think it all circles back to attitude.
For the people who have had no trouble getting in shape, or for those who weren’t all that far to begin with, it’s not as daunting a task as we believe. However, for the people who get into the fitness drive late in the game, “exercise” equals “gym,” “membership fees”, “athletes”, “better bodies”, judgment”, and “embarrassment.” It’s true! If you’ve ever been overweight or underweight, you know how self-conscious you feel getting into a gym and being surrounded by people with physically perfect physique.
What most people fail to realize is that you can get fit, get healthy, and get into shape anywhere. I’m writing this to let you know the fitness can be fun – once you debunk some of society’s common fitness standards and do your own thing.
Fitness happens in the gym. Who said? I know at least a couple hundred people who swear they lost ten pounds just be choosing to walk to work and skipping the elevator to take the stairs. I have seen enough men in their mid-50’s do Tai-chi in the park to know that fitness is not confined to the walls of a gym.
Fitness happens in 60 minutes or more. While it is recommended to have at least thirty minutes of cardio a day, no one’s asking you to put in more than you can handle. At least, not right away. Even if you start out with just 20 minutes on the treadmill, that’s still twenty minutes of physical activity. That’s still going to make a difference on your overall health.
Fitness happens when you cut out sugar. Now, wait a minute. Yes, eating healthy is part of fitness. Yes, too much sugar can lead to more weight gain and health complications. But that doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself! Yes, you can have that slice of chocolate cake after dinner. Yes, you can have an ice cream cone as a treat. No, eating that pack of cookies because you’re hungry won’t make you gain the five pounds you lost. Moderation is the key.
Fitness is a set exercise. Are you following a strict regimen? Thirty minutes of cardio, twenty minutes of weight lifting, twenty minutes walking, and then thirty more minutes of cardio? Is this a repetitive cycle you’ve been doing for the past three months? You can stop. Let me repeat; you can stop. If your overall goal is just to get healthy, it doesn’t matter what you do and how long you do it. If you’re moving more, you’re getting healthier!
Fitness is a way of life. I personally believe that fitness is a lifestyle choice. Yes, there are people out there dedicated to getting fit and healthy. You are not those people. Once you choose to get fit, you are not selling your soul to a life of detox shakes and Stairmasters. If you think working out two days a week is good enough for you, then it’s good enough! You don’t need to live in the gym 24/7 to consider yourself fit.
Long story short, you do you. You do what you want to do. If you’ve already made the decision to get healthy, then you’re already halfway there. If you don’t feel comfortable going to the gym, workout in your garage or living room. If you want to dance the pounds off but you don’t want people to see you, dance in your room. If you want to lift weights but don’t want to invest in a set, lift books, rearrange furniture, or start volunteering to move stuff around. There are multiple ways to get fit without feeling like you’re getting fit. What’s important is that you love it, you love doing it, and you’re having fun.