What does it mean to be physically "fit"? This question may evoke various images for different people. Some may envision a marathon runner, others a body builder, and still others gold-medaled Olympians. The Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
defines the word "fit" as "in good physical condition".
All of these references place an emphasis on the achievement of fitness as an end result - not as a process. However, it is important to recognize that acquiring good physical fitness really is a process. It is a journey that, with a little patience and perseverance, will lead to a lifetime of better health.
Starting and maintaining an exercise program may seem intimidating and overwhelming at first, especially since it is a process that undoubtedly and inherently contains barriers that must be overcome. I experienced these emotions about 4 1/2 years ago when my youngest child was 3. Although I had been an avid exerciser prior to becoming a mother, sleep deprivation and my husband's busy work schedule kept my efforts sporadic at best. Worried that I wouldn't be able to physically tolerate a longer exercise session, I started with 18-minute bouts, about twice a day on the stationary bike. Over time I was able to accomplish one exercise session of a longer duration per day. By taking a step-by-step approach to increasing activity levels, the exercise task will seem less daunting.
It is inevitable that a situation will arise that challenges your ability to exercise on a given day. You need to recognize and acknowledge that setbacks can and will occur. With this understanding you can devise a plan to keep them at a minimum and minor in magnitude when they do arise. This, in turn, will allow you to successfully continue your pursuit of better health through participation in regular physical activity. For instance, Sonyia Pfeiffer of Warrren said that the cold weather and lack of indoor exercise equipment have kept her from exercise. To overcome these obstacles Pfeiffer states "I'm getting my dad's exercise bike to use".
Do not let setbacks keep you from achieving your goal of improved fitness. Remember, acquiring good physical fitness is a process - a journey that is lifelong. Each day that you incorporate physical activity into your life you will be a step closer to improved fitness and better over-all health.
Note: Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.
Labels: journey, physical fitness