Set Your Own Standards for Fitness

The subject of physical fitness comes up daily everywhere you look There are dozens of movies featuring a stalwart young man or woman working out to the maximum to gain entry into the 5K Triathlon, or the Olympic downhill slalom ski race. These special young people want something more from the fitness principle than just the action or the doing of it. They want a good-looking body with no lumps or bumps around the midsection or flab in the hips. They want the glory of a Win, the excitement of the noise-prone crowd. Give us a large, round bicep and triceps and a set of abdominals we can call a six-pack. Give us hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles that normally belong to a certain Captain Moroni. People who have these enlarged muscles surely must be strong and healthy. The reason for their exercise may seem a bit shallow in principle, but the question is: Are they fit?

These people belong in the Beauty Contest section. They are great looking and probably are fit, too! There are others who train for a specific sports’ events such as the 400 meter sprint. Their workouts will center on specific parts of the body that are involved in the sprint. Are they fit? Still others work in areas that require expertise in handling physically demanding jobs, such as climbing telephone poles or performing the duties of a firefighter. What can they say about being fit?

And then there are those who reach a state of well-being by exercising every day, getting the proper amount of sleep and eating nutritious food. Those who come to a state of well-being through exercise, nutrition and sleep every day come from the older school of thought which was in vogue prior to the Industrial Revolution when people had to physically work for a living. A person is fit if he can meet the demands of the day, regardless of the nature of the demand and still not be overwhelmed by the effort.

Are you in the group that exercises for the sake of their own personal body beauty? Does the group who is required by their job to be fit for a specific task appeal to you? Or are you closer to those whose state of well-being is achieved through exercise, good nutrition and sleep?

Each one of us has a good start on a definition of fitness. I’m not going to do all that you do to keep slim, healthy and interested in life, but I will do enough to feel better and satisfy some of the goals I have, that is, to get rid of the fat tummy, shave off some of the hinders and achieve a good walking ability. In the past I have done a single exercise multiple times each day. I am not going to do those anymore. The weight loss experts have said that I must change the kind of exercises I do every three weeks in order to get one-ups on my body. This will keep me from getting involved with a weight loss plateau and I will be flipping from bicycle to walking, alternately. You won’t find me doing any more long workouts, either. I am going to tone down to 15-30 minutes per day.