For me fitness has taken on many different meanings over the years. For a while it didn't really mean anything to me it was just a part to life with PE, sports and dance. Then it became a negative thing as I used exercise as way of control and punishment, burning off or earning food/drink. Once I started working within the industry it started as a passion that unfortunately manifested as an all or nothing approached. I lived and breathed fitness becoming consumed with the need to always be "in" the bubble. It was here I was all about the bodybuilder style of training focusing on ratios and cutting/bulking stages of working out and diet. "Prepping" for shoots and being very "fitspo" for time, which made me fall out of love with fitness.
After some work on myself and mindset fitness began to mean strength. I was focused on challenging my body focusing more on the functionality of it. Which is pretty much where I am now. For me fitness means doing exercise that makes me feel good. Working out to be fit, to be strong and to be healthy. I don't care about numbers on a scale, I don't need to workout for an aesthetic reason and the biggest change for me is that fitness no longer consumes me. I work within the fitness industry but fitness is not part of my life in fact fitness works within my lifestyle and enhances what I do and who I am.
What does "fitness" actually mean?
The dictionary definition of fitness is: 'the condition of being physically fit and healthy'.
I want to further this by saying I believe that being fit not only means physical health, but emotional and mental health, too. It defines every aspect of your health.
There is nothing about how we look or being a certain size, it's all about health and I think it can be forgotten. As we get bombarded with quick fix transformations and stories of how people dropped weight / size by doing a certain exercise programme it is easy to see how fitness has this meaning for a lot of people. When in reality fitness is all about your health, being in a fit state of physical, mental and emotional health. This what it means to be fit.
Why should being fit be important?
I totally get people have aesthetic goals, you do you boo. That however should have nothing to do why exercising and being fit is important. These are the reasons why you should have some form of exercise in your life.
It improves your health as mentioned above.
Exercise releases endorphins. These are your happy hormones so by doing exercise you will help make yourself feel good. Sometimes you might not feel it when doing the workout but I bet you will after.
The more active you are the more you are keeping your body in check. You are helping to keep the blood moving around the body, improving your cardio vascular system and strengthening your muscles. It has been proven having some form of weight bearing training in your routine will improve your bone density, reducing your risk of breakages as you get older.
It keeps you functional, able to move day to day. Making daily life tasks like climbing the stairs, carrying shopping, looking after kids a lot easier.
It's fun! If you find movement that you enjoy then fitness becomes fun like it should be. You get to see what your body can do, how it can move and the enjoyment you get from it. I always love trying something new, yes I might fail at the start but when I get it there is no better feeling.
Time for you. I see exercise as a form of self care, for that 45 mins to an hour I am doing something for me. It could be a HIIT session, weights, yoga doesn't really matter it's still a form of self care. It's the act of spending that time working on bettering your health in someway that does it for me. The mental clarity I get from working out is a massive deal for me.
It can offer you a challenge,to see what your body is physically and mentally capable of.
I think it easy to get sucked into thinking fitness and diet go hand in hand, to associate working out with some kind of aesthetic goal. We see it all around us it's a message that gets talked about again and again. "Workout to lose this or be this" "6 week shred" "follow this plan to look like me" Rather than for all the reasons I have mentioned above.
IF you are currently in a negative relationship with fitness I want you to really think about fitness means to you, have a read again over the points I have made to help you see another reason to be fit. I also recorded and IG Live with a fellow PT and friend Giuila which you can watch here: all about creating a positive relationship with fitness, how to take away the pressure and create non aesthetic goals.
I'd love to know what does fitness mean to you ?
Love Vicki xxx