Living the Fitness Lifestyle
In my own experience as a fitness professional, I have found that people never really get the opportunity to truly live the fitness lifestyle because they were never exposed to the magic of being – and feeling – fit in their lives. The connection that I found missing in all of the people I trained over the years is that they NEVER felt fit in their lives and as a result exercise was to them – WORK – hence the word “workout” which even seems like a burden to me. Because this basic truth has never been satisfactorily explored by me, I thought it appropriate to share some of my thoughts with you on what it’s like to feel fit – and energized and how that can impact our lives for the better.
5 Reasons to Live the Fitness Lifestyle
1. You wake up feeling energized and open to life’s possibilities.
The idea of a good night’s restful and peaceful sleep has been shown to affect both our mental and physical capabilities. Sleep is essential for recovery and healing – and also for bringing clarity into our lives through our dreams. Our mental makeup and attitudes about life form in our subconscious minds and through sleep we can access this great gift of purpose and clarity. Being fit brings this important aspect of life into our experience and allows us to develop our purpose and make new commitments to our ongoing development both mentally and physically.
2. You look forward with enthusiasm to training physically (NOT “working out”).
Being fit means WANTING to plan for and enjoy exercise – and moving – in all its forms. The idea of movement is second nature to people who are fit. We believe in expending energy positively and challenge ourselves daily to reach new levels of accomplishment. Setting and achieving goals is a part of the everyday aspect of living an active life. They make moving fun and enjoy every opportunity to see what lies ahead in terms of becoming stronger or faster – and ultimately happier. Training involves the mind and the body because visualization and imagination are a part of the life of one committed to the fitness lifestyle. Exercise is like brushing one’s teeth – it is just something we DO every day.
3. Food is something we need because it fuels our bodies and so we look forward to eating – healthfully.
Eating and the fitness lifestyle are partners – as is proper hydration and rest. Eating healthfully just comes naturally to someone engaged in the fitness lifestyle because it is in eating a balanced intake of all the nutrients our bodies need that we can accomplish what we set out to do physically – and mentally. We look forward to eating because it is an activity which is not only essential to our lives but to our performance as well. We don’t count calories because the food we eat can be burned through movement. Food is good for us and is not the enemy. Thoughts of dieting are not in our thinking because we focus on allowing food to fulfill its purpose and that is to give us the energy to live our lives fully and with the energy that requires.
4. Enhancing our ability to create and the ability to accomplish our dreams become possible through the fitness lifestyle.
We can’t serve others if we don’t take care of our needs first. Our ability to create and to see more clearly (and think more optimistically about our lives) allows the inflow of greater ideas creating less stress and worry about the “little things” so many of us focus on each day of our lives. I find that the more I embrace my own health and fitness needs, the greater opportunities I create for serving others. Confidence in one’s gift and abilities rises with each accomplishment of our goals. Being driven by forces from within, fitness habits and activities create ideas and thoughts from which great lives are created. The inner results are as great as the outer results when it comes to the fitness lifestyle.
5. Attitudes and behaviors that help us respond to life – and not react – build inner – and outer – strength.
The many challenges that life can bring our way – whether they are physical, mental, emotional, financial or personal, are faced more honestly and openly when one does not have to worry about the little things of life. Being fit both mentally and physically drives people to see the value of sacrificing some immediate gain for a long term result that has lasting value. My own view of this aspect of the fitness lifestyle is expressed in the following way: I am in my 60’s training for my 70’s and in my 70’s I will be training for my 80’s (to run a 6 minute mile on my 80th birthday). In this way my attitude about remaining fit and strong in my later years is being fulfilled in the present through each and every training session. I am my “future self” every time I run or lift weights and that thought brings me comfort.
Attitudes, behavior, creativity, nutrition, the quality of our sleep, stress management, choices, aging and so much more are affected by our decisions and responses to life’s challenges. It is so much easier to face life being fit and strong than weak and sick all the time. Making the choice to embrace the fitness lifestyle makes perfect sense to me because we are cutting the odds in our favor when we say “yes” to our own health and fitness needs first. Everything is added after that because once we take care of our own needs we CAN serve others and that is what life is really all about – leaving our mark and a legacy of contribution because we cared about ourselves – and others as a result.