What is Physical Fitness, Anyway?

April 23rd, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Yes, I want to be physically fit.  But what does that mean? 

Does it mean I can do a certain number of straight leg pushups, or run a mile in a certain amount of time?  Does it mean I can lift a certain amount of weight?

Sure, that’s how you can measure fitness in a controlled environment, but who lives there?!  Not me. 

So what is physical fitness?

To me, physical fitness is a couple of things.  It is having a knowledge of and confidence in my body that it will most often respond to a physical stress in a way I expect it to respond.  Fitness is making choices every day to keep myself moving without pain and with as much energy as possible.

My goal of being physically fit continues to motivate me even when I’m not wearing my running shoes.  My aspirations of physical fitness manifest themselves whenever I park far away from the door and when I take the stairs instead of the elevator.  It’s when I shake someone’s hand with a hearty grip and when I maintain good posture as I sit, stand, and move.  It is when I spend a long time in the produce section and when I drink plain water all day long.

Physical fitness also means listening to what my body tells me.  It means some days, I take it easy and some days I push it.  It means some days I skip the run and opt for a lower impact workout.  It even means some days I don’t do a thing.

It has taken me a long time to figure out how to make these changes a part of my life.  I have figured out ways to make exercise a daily part of my routine and how to get some dedicated exercise in when I don’t think I have the time.  I have figured out how to forgive myself for those days I really don’t have the time—there will be a new chance to work on it tomorrow. 

As long as I keep my goal of physical fitness in my sights, I can relax more about my exercise routine.  I know I won’t abandon it for long.

The more often I make these choices and opt for physical fitness with little, routine things the easier the choices become.  The more often I challenge myself when I can and push my own limits, amazingly enough, the limits evaporate as though they never really existed.

When you put it that way, who wouldn’t want to be fit?

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