Living Well – Fitness begins with healthy choices

Wayne Little's monthly column on fitness motivation and training.

Steve is fit, he can bench press 300lbs.  No, Tracy is fit, she can run a marathon. Colin is fit, he plays tennis four times per week. Val walks miles every morning before most people wake up.

I hear people say, “I’d like to get fit”, or “I’m not fit like you” all the time. But, what is fit?  The dictionary says fit is, “in good health, especially because of a regular physical exercise”.  So the way I understand, if Tracy runs on a regular basis, she will be fit enough to run her marathon. Steve can bench press a small cow, or more if he keeps at it.  By doing the activity that interests us at the time, and by having a plan or a goal on a day to day basis will keep us fit. If Tracy keeps running will she be able to bench press 300lbs or be able to beat Colin at tennis?  No, but that doesn’t matter. Fit people find the exercise they prefer, and stick with it.

According to google, the fittest people in the world are Crossfit people. Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program which uses a mix of aerobic exercise, body weight exercises, and Olympic weight lifting. Someone that has been doing crossfit regularly has an amazing body shape, something in between a body builder and a triathlete.

Some of the fittest people I know, are cross country skiers during the winter and triathletes during the summer. It is simply amazing what these people do to their bodies every day, then go to work the next day like nothing happened.  They love it, the way they feel, the way their bodies feel and look.

What people do I consider fit? What is MY definition of “fit”. I would say someone who chooses the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator, someone who can go and play soccer with their children without being winded, or someone who walks their pet on a daily basis, walks them because they want to, not because they have to. People who make time for fitness on a daily basis by choosing activities that increase their health instead of hindering it I consider fit.  I’m not talking running a marathon every day, or doing squats with 400lbs. Just make choices to promote health, like putting the TV remote down and mowing the lawn.

Who are the most Unfit people I know?  Well, these people’s hobbies are – watching TV, playing Computer games, going for coffee, overeating at the local smorg diner, driving from the Grocery store to the bank because it’s too far to walk (across the street), or picking up their prescription drugs for things that can be easily be cured by simply having a basic exercise routine.

People can be in denial about their health.  Some people are afraid they’ll get hurt, be embarrassed, or fear they will fail if they start to exercise. It comes down to making choices, and realizing that you have no reason to be embarrassed about walking to the post office, or riding your bicycle with your kids, instead of waiting in line at emergency to see the doctor for more medication.

Wayne Little