Fitness Tips

Fitness Anyone?

Self Defense isn’t just technique — it’s Fitness, too!

By Andrea Barok, B.S.  Certified Personal Trainer

Does the word fitness bring you pleasant memories of your recent workouts and gratifying food choices you made today? Well, for some, it does. Yet, for some others, it can bring a feeling of uneasiness or even anxiety, over missed exercise sessions or not so optimal eating habits. Is fitness another chore you do not have time for? For these folks, let’s pause for a moment and think. What does fitness mean to you?

Let’s start thinking about fitness as an opportunity instead.  We are talking about an opportunity that is available to you to improve upon your health, looks, and general well being.

Ok, now that’s different. So, take the pressure off and change strategy.

If you have ever received an email from me, you might have noticed that the signature includes the line “Make it a fit day! Every day!” How can we make every day a fit day?

Do I have to work out hard every day to be fit? Absolutely not!
Do I have to be skinny to be fit?  Absolutely not!

What is fitness anyway? Components of fitness are optimal level of cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility, as well as the achievement and maintenance of ideal body weight, according to the American Council on Exercise. This means burning calories, building muscle, stretching, and eating healthy.

Fitness is a lifestyle. Making everyday choices can affect your fitness level greatly. Playing ball with the kids on the weekend is not only more fun but also healthier than, let’s say, settling down on the couch for the afternoon. Most of us know what our healthy choices are, but it’s just hard to get motivated. Remember, it’s always a good time to start. If, for instance, you missed your exercise session yesterday, just get back on track today. Leaving your office half an hour early will not only help you with rush hour, but might allow for some “You Time” either at your health club or home gym. You will feel so much better. By the way, when was the last time you used that piece of home exercise equipment?

Fitness is about making improvements and changing habits. This can be different for each individual. For an elite athlete, for example, improving a sprint time by a hundredth of a second can mean Olympic medal. For the rest of us, adding a 20-30 minute cardio session three times per week or exchanging a processed snack with a crunchy apple once in a while can be an improvement. Let fitness come to you gradually. They say it takes 21 days to change a habit, so take one step at a time. Buy seven apples each week. Take them with you to work and eat one each day. Sounds easy?

Fitness is about setting goals. Realistic goals. Ok, if you are already exercising and eating apples, what can you do further? Many people go to gyms and still do not feel that they are achieving their fitness goals.
Unfortunately, about 70% stop exercising after just 6 weeks. Why? Mostly, due to setting unrealistic short term goals, starting an exercise routine way too hard or not having effective strategy, and therefore get burned out and never return. Try not to be perfect. Consistency and a little patience go a long way.

More on these issues in future news letters…
Until then; Make it a fit day! Every day!