Updated: Dec 16, 2021
What is the first thing that pops up in your mind, when thinking about FitLife? It is often associated with fitness. Not with the real definition of fitness, but with the industrial and advertised one. Lifting weights, running on a treadmill, Tabata classes, crazy CrossFit athletes doing burpees for breakfast. Sweaty clothes, big biceps, and shaped bums.
Well, it is true that the fitness industry is kind of pushing this trend. It is profitable as it targets the insecurity of a lot of people and then promising them the best results. This is a topic for another blog. For now, I just want to mention that mainly being fit is associated with a physical appearance, rather than performance and health. I think people feel pressure to look and live a certain way. So, they are either falling into the category of trying everything in order to change their look or the complete opposite, associating it with effort and judgment and completely exclude it as an option.
If we step out of that big trend and just utilize what the industry provides us, we will be one step closer to that fit lifestyle.
The truth is that you do not need to look a certain way to be fit. You do not have to spend countless hours running on the treadmill or counting calorie intake like a fanatic. You don’t need to attempt any classes that make you so exhausted that you can't move for three days straight, just to justify the wine from last night.
The real definition of fitness pulled out from google is: “the condition of being physically fit and healthy”. In other words, is capable of moving your body in space, or moving objects with your body, pain-free and with ease. A requirement that we face every single day. Climbing the stairs, running for the bus, loading the car, carrying shopping bags, or just a backpack for instance. There are so many people that struggle to walk for instance. An activity that was performed hours and hours in the past.
The equation is simple. if you can run for 10 minutes straight, 5 minutes won’t be a problem. If you can lift 20 kg with proper form, lifting 10 won`t ever be a problem. If you can endure a certain level of load, anything below that will be easy and safe for you. Let me ask you something? Who is going to climb the stairs to the third floor faster and with more ease? The guy that runs 3 times a weak for 30 minutes, or the one that hasn’t run in years and spends most of his day sitting.
I hope you get the idea. What I want to communicate with you is that physical activity is a requirement. It is not in such a demand these days and this is the reason for us to ignore it. In the past, hunter-gatherers were running after their prey for hours, then fought to kill it and walked miles back to the camp. For sure they haven’t got any issues walking 30 minutes straight, right. But they had to do it, they had to run, they had to endure that extreme load, to survive. Nowadays we are not faced with the same requirements. More stuff is accessible than ever, so the demand for movement is limited. Therefore we experience weakness in our body, due to a lack of movement.
Although the daily movements can be replicated in the gym, and that is one of the main benefits of it. We can train our bodies to endure the load, in so many different ways. There are so many different types of activities we can do these days. And we are free to choose. You don’t have to run, if you don’t like it, you dint have to lift weights if you don’t like it, you don’t have to go anywhere if you don’t want to. You literally need 2 square meters at home and your own body. So long as you ask your body to do a bit more than it is required to on a daily basis, you will be capable, ready, and Fit.
The main difficulty is resistance. There is a great book by Steven Pressfield called “The war of art” He calls resistance everything that we want to achieve, everything that we know we should do, but are finding excuses to do it. Resistance is to know that you should write today but is more comfortable to watch a favorite TV show. Resistance is to know that you can go for a walk and breathe some fresh air, but it feels more comfortable to stay at home and play games. The excuses we find are mostly stopping us from achieving goals and it is no different with the active lifestyle too. Consciously or unconsciously, we avoid activities, because it simply sucks. It is not comfortable. It requires effort. And we are not obliged with that activity. Our life does not depend on exercising (or at least not directly). What we need in those situations is a bit of push, a bit of stubbornness, saying, I need this, and I am going to that 30 min Pilates class. Or I am going to run for 30 minutes today. Try to push yourself sometimes. Doesn’t it feel great, knowing that you have achieved something? That you have contributed to the health of your body. It doesn’t take much, just a bit of motivation.
Fighting resistance is important for a lot of aspects of our life, but with activity, I have found that if you simply don’t like it, you won’t stick to it. It is true that it can become a routine or a habit, that you can`t live without, and that is great but is less likely to happen if you do not like it. the good news is that they are so many types of activity you can do. And each one has its own community that makes it special.
I have recently started bouldering. It is like rock climbing, but indoors on an artificial wall. I tell you what, it is hard, but so much fun. People there are great, they encourage you to try and help you solve the problems. and those people are just regular people that are enjoying this type of activity. They are not athletes, or competitors (well, of course, there are masters of the sport too) but the majority are just there because they enjoy it. And trust me, a woman that can hold her body weight using 8 fingers is going to overcome way more obstacles in her daily life, than the one that prefers to watch TV. And that is not every day. each session lasts from 1 to 2 hours, 2 or 3 days a week. That’s it.
Why am I saying this? It is an example of a fun type of activity, that provides me with a sense of achievement, benefiting my body, and helps me meet new people. My message is not to encourage you to go climbing. I want to encourage you to try different activities. Solo or group sports. High, low, or moderate intensity. Every day or few times per week, you choose. Go out and explore. Go for a run, or hike. Play tennis, swim, dance. Yoga or Pilate classes, or home bodyweight workout. That is going to provide you with energy and will benefit your health.
Another tip for busy people who want to implement some more movement can be using tricks and hacks to create demand. I know it sounds crazy, but it increases the overall daily activity. Simply park your car, as far away as possible, from the supermarket doors. Like that you will walk a bit more. Take a basket instead of a trolley (if possible, of course) to exercise carrying stuff. Sticky notes can be a great option. Just put a few of them in places that you visit multiple times per day. For instance, stick one on the fridge, saying “Squat 5 times to open me” it takes 5 seconds to do it. But at the end of the day, you will have logged 20 squats. How many did you have yesterday? Getting a dog is going to create a demand for walking. Choosing to go by bike to work when possible will increase the daily activity too.
There is so much stuff you can do. And it is easy to start. You just have to understand the importance of movement. This is my goal. To provide you with knowledge and resources to improve the quality of your life. We are not going to become immortal. But we all want longevity. What is longevity without the quality of that life? Learn to benefit your body and it will reward you with less pain and freedom.
Be the true definition of fitness. Be physically fit and healthy.
Check out Episode 17 of Fit Life Radio to learn more about being FIt.