PHYSICAL FITNESS DEFINED

 

I want you to think for a moment about what it means to be physically fit. 

Seriously – close your eyes and think about it. Which words or images come to mind?

If you live in the 2016 and have access to a television and most mainstream forms of social media, you might be picturing a slim yet muscular girl posing in her yoga pants at the gym. Or maybe you think of CrossFit guys picking up heavy things and putting them back down. Maybe you have a different image, or maybe you thought of words to describe physical fitness.

Regardless, I’m willing to bet that you probably pictured a relatively attractive human being doing something athletic-looking.

Let me take a moment to burst your perfectly-toned bubble on this one, folks.

The American College of Sports Medicine’s definition of physical fitness is as follows:

“The ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue and with ample energy to enjoy [leisure] pursuits and to meet unforeseen emergencies.”

Umm…but what about those 6-pack abs I’ve been dreaming of?

NOT AT ALL PART OF THE DEFINITION OF PHYSICAL FITNESS! Mic. Drop.

Nowhere in that definition is there any mention of body aesthetics. To be clear, being physically fit can yield some pretty awesome aesthetic results, but those are simply by-products of our commitment to physical training.

Here are a couple takeaways from this definition:

Not everyone who appears physically fit is physically fit. Plenty of the hard bodies we see in the media are overtrained or pumped up with steroids – literally destroying their bodies to achieve a certain look. Are those people energetic and alert? I think not. 

You don’t have to look like a fitness model to be physically fit. Are you exercising regularly and eating healthfully most of the time? Are you easily able to move about in your surroundings with little effort or fatigue? Are you able to participate in recreational activities that require you to be physically active? If so, you’re probably pretty close to the definition of physical fitness.

I share this with you because I want us to stop beating ourselves up over the media hype of having the “perfect body.” The experts and researchers who literally define the term physical fitness don’t think you need to have the bodies we see in magazines to be fit, and neither do I.

Heartmybody isn’t about exercising or eating vegetables so we can look a certain way. It’s about becoming physically and mentally strong, taking care of ourselves and loving our bodies – all so we can go out and achieve what we want in life.

You might not be there yet, but I hope your future is filled with exercise because you enjoy the way it makes you feel about yourself. And when you need encouragement, I'm here for you.

So...go get moving, beautiful!