So far I’ve gone on & on about diet. It’s a crucial place to start. What you eat is fuel for everything else you do! But it’s not the only part of a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthfully is wonderful but what you’ll begin to notice is your body beginning to give you sublte & not-so-subtle hints that you really need to move. For me this began as an underlying antsiness, a kind of irritability soothed only when I moved my body, really challenged it. My legs would jiggle when I sat at my desk, I would be walking only to find my pace quickening & any companions asking me what the hurry was, I’d be overwhelmed with the need to stretch. And stretch. And stretch. I’d find odd requests from my body like “Can we run? We really need to run!” It was odd to me because though I was a sprinter in junior high & ran for fitness in high school, I have grown to strongly dislike running. I love speed walking, hiking, cycling, working out at the gym, but run? There’s nothing I want to get away from or need to get to badly enough that it requires me to run. Still, my body alternately whispered, cajolled, screamed & demanded that I run. Even through my cooked food time I still felt compelled to run, so run I did. I hated it. My legs felt like lead & I felt overall like I weighed more than 3 semis. I was not a happy runner. I switched back to speed walking & cycling.
That, in a nutshell is why I say fitness is simple. In the spirit of Ortho-Bionomy, which says to go in the direction of ease, I went with what felt good to me. Running felt awful so I ditched it. I’ll toss in a good sprint when my body asks for it, but overall I leave it out of my plan. I do what makes me happy! The same principles apply to fitness as to diet: if you have to will power your way through, you’re not very likely to stick with it. I ride my bike because it feels good & I enjoy it; I dance because I love it; I speed walk because I think it’s awesome. I even enjoy going to the gym, but there are so many people I met as a personal trainer that went to the gym like going to slaughter out of some misguided sense of obligation. They hated being in the gym, they hated lifting weghts, but they were told that they needed to exercise & most people somehow have gotten the idea that exercise = the gym, so there they were, detesting every minute, watching the clock, longing for the end of the hour when they could speed to freedom. It doesn’t have to be this way nor does getting fit require an entire hour’s time commitment. It can be done much more simply, worked into your day! Your chest & arms won’t be any less defined because you did 3 sets of push ups in the 5 minutes’ break you took from your computer at work instead of combining it with another 55 minutes at the gym doing a bunch of other stuff & you’re much more likely to have a lot more fun!
FUN??? Yes, fun. We’ve turned fitness into yet another exercise in deprivation, just one more thing in an increasingly long list of “shoulds” to accomplish before we allow ourselves any pleasure in life. Fitness is about a lot more than a broader, harder chest, flatter abs or a smaller dress size. How much energy you have to complete your day without falling on your face half way through is a far better measure of fitness than a number on a measuring tape. Can you do the things you must as well as the things you want to do & feel merely tired instead of exhausted? Is your outlook positive or is your butt dragging so far you need to make a call to the next county to find out what it’s up to & everything seems impossible because of it? A better level of fitness & a better diet will help this tremendously. It’s very simple to accomplish.
The best way to improve your fitness level is to just START MOVING. Go for a walk, take the stairs, park further away from your office or the stores. How does your body like to move? If you’re not sure experiment, play around & enjoy the discovery process! You’re probably already familiar with a few ways your body enjoys moving & quite a few it does not. Your body is your home, your friend & ally. It’s also the only body you’ll ever have in this life, crazy sci-fi/fantasy scenarios aside. Supply your body’s needs for superior fuel & comfortable, happy movement & treat yourself to feeling the best you’ve ever felt. Get up & get moving! Fitness is a simple matter.