Fitness is more than looking good naked. Granted, looking good naked is a welcomed side effect of being fit, but it shouldn’t be your only motivation to put down that cookie and lace up your sneakers. Weight, or more appropriately body fat, is only one measure of your health. It’s the one everyone obsesses about. However, there is so much more to it. Blood pressure, body fat, bone density, triglycerides, posture, flexibility, muscle mass, good and bad cholesterol, even your mental health are things we can observe to determine your overall health.
You have to think of your health as a continuum. Every night you don’t get enough sleep, every day you don’t drink enough water, every hangover, every skipped workout and extra slice of pizza; they may not look like they are affecting you now, but rest assured they are. Everything we do, or don’t do, gradually pushes us toward greater fitness or toward morbidity. Being fit is the best way to protect yourself against disease. It's not just something you do to look good for bikini season.
Fitness is a way of life. It has to be a habit. Otherwise, you’ll never gain any traction.
The next time you feel intimidated by some hoss deadlifting 500 pounds, or that gazelle of a woman effortlessly bounding along on her treadmill, remember that we are not all starting from the same point on the continuum. Fitness is a journey. Everyone’s is different. Regardless of where you are on your journey, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Don’t despair that you’ll never look as good as that hoss or gazelle across the gym. Your workout is moving you a step in the right direction on the health continuum. And the next time you tell yourself you’ll make up for that overindulgence at the gym tomorrow, remember that it all adds up. You can't out exercise a bad diet. All your actions outside of the gym need to support your efforts inside the gym to make any progress on the continuum. Keep moving toward fitness and you'll have much more than a beach body. You'll safeguard your life.
There are a host of resources at Merritt Athletic Clubs that can help you continually progress your fitness. We have excellent personal trainers, group fitness instructors, massage therapists, dietitians, a meal service and even physical therapists, all on site. Improve your overall health by taking advantage of these available resources.
Joanna Meade (view bio) is a NSCA Certified Personal Trainer at the Downtown Athletic Club. She is a Level OneCrossFit instructor and competitor. She can be reached at Merritt Athletic Clubs Downtown Club at 410-332-0906 or click here for a Free CrossFit Session.