No program touting well being can be without a discussion of fitness. Why? Our whole body is loaded with tubes. These tubes are moving blood cells, nutrients and waste through channels smaller than the eyes can see. These tubes rely on movement to function properly, and movement is the key to fitness. Movement is required so our bodies can produce certain chemicals that help optimize energy levels and lower stress. Without movement, the vital nutrients we are feeding our bodies are not circulating properly through our systems, waste is not being removed optimally, and we’re not contributing to our overall well-being.
Nutrition, one of our other four pillars of wellbeing, plays a vital role in fitness. Our bodies need energy to engage in movement and fitness. When your energy levels are high, it’s just natural to get out there and do something. When your energy levels are low, you feel less desire to get up and move. Emotion, a third pillar, also plays a key role in fitness. Exercise releases feel-good chemicals like endorphins that make us feel energized, happy, and motivated.
In a modern life, we barely move. We get into our cars, drive to work, sit for a great portion of the day. Even if we do make time for exercise, it’s usually in regimented 30 or 60 minute bursts. Since most of us don’t have the purely physical work that keeps us moving every day, we have to make an effort to include fitness into our daily lives. For some people, that may be walking 10,000 steps per day. For others, it might mean taking up a sport or a hobby that keeps their interest while they’re moving.
So think about fitness as integral to your overall well-being. It is required to help move nutrients through your body; it helps you feel better; and it keeps your systems functioning.
What you can do: If you aren’t very active, aim to increase your movement throughout the day, aiming to get to 10,000 steps (approximately 5 miles) every day. Start slowly and build your acitivities. If you’re already active, experiment with combining aerobic activity (walking, running, cycling, aerobic style class, for example) with stretching and strengthening activities to boost overall strength, flexibility, and fitness.
We’ll be exploring trends in fitness, including strength, aerobic and flexibility regimens in this blog. And since not all new fitness trends are really worth the effort or investment, we’ll highlight activities worth trying and those you’ll want to avoid.