What is fitness?
What does it mean to be fit? What does fitness mean? Fitness means something a little different to everyone. To me, it is more than just what time you can do a race in, or how many weights you lift. Fitness is an increased enjoyment in life. Fitness has so many benefits: getting sick less often, relieving stress, burning calories, better sleep, improved disposition, and so many more.
Getting in good shape is boring…
Achieving fitness and working out does not mean an hour or two on the treadmill every day, and it doesn’t mean marathon weight training. The key to achieving and maintaining fitness is keeping training and workouts fun, challenging, and varied.
Keys to Attaining Fitness
Here are a few basic things that will help in getting in shape once and for all.
No single type of training: Unless you are training specifically for a marathon, there is no reason to spend countless hours running long distances or to do 3 sets of 10 repetitions on the same exercises three days a week. MIX IT UP! Lifting, jogging, cycling, yoga, calisthenics/bodyweight exercises (push-up, pull-up, dips, etc.), sprinting, swimming, plyometrics, stretching, and more!
No “routines”: Try to not develop any specific pattern. There is no need to jog everyday, or even every Tuesday for that matter. No need to workout at the same time everyday. Constantly try new things and new workouts, as you learn how your body reacts it will become easier and easier.
Net time requirements: Some workouts should be short and high intensity, some should be long and low intensity, and some in between. Constantly switching it up prevents your body from settling into any type of routine.
Cross-Train: You don’t need to do “training” everyday. Play! Play different sports (basketball, soccer, football, hockey), go ice skating, play games outside with your kids (or nieces & nephews), go for a long walk or a hike. Play like you did when you were a kid!
Set a few goals: Setting a few goals helps you stay on track. Make the goals as specific as you can. Set short, middle, and long term goals. Maybe your short term goal is to workout for a total of 3 hours a week, the middle term goal is to lose 10 pounds by the end of the year, and the long term goal is to be able to play catch outside with your grandson when he is able to.
Track all workouts and progress: Record every workout in a notebook or on your computer. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, simply write down what you did that day, and how long it took you. Periodically measure yourself against your goals. From the example above…maybe you have lost seven pounds by the end of November, only 3 to go! You may want to use the same notebook to track your workouts and your diet side-by-side.
Tell people your goals, get a partner: If you tell everyone your goal, and what you are aiming to do, it makes you accountable. Sharing your goals with the people close to you may even result in them helping to put you back on track. Getting a workout partner can also be motivational and help out.
If you want to get started in fitness, here are a few books and gear that might help you get started… You would be surprised if what you can get done with just a book to guide you and a few simple pieces of equipment!