“I still can’t do any proper pushups, but I can walk miles on end without getting tired. I can also hike, run and swim for extended periods of time. Am I chiseled? No. But I feel fit. So my self perception is that I’m fit enough, healthy enough.” – Me
When people talk about fitness, or even imagine fitness, they invariably end up thinking about advertisements they see on TV, magazines and various other media channels. Particularly, guys with chiseled eight packs holding some miracle pill that guarantees to cut 30 pounds of fat in 30 days come to mind.
What people don’t realize is that, that guy with the chiseled eight packs – well, his body is the result of disciplined diet and exercise. No matter what Mr. Eight Packs is trying to sell you – know that he didn’t get where he is, just by taking the product.
But here’s also what I do not get. Why are people so, ‘image obsessed’ in a sense? Why do we value, ‘image’ over ‘functionality’? If I feel healthy, I can walk, run, jump, swim, carry heavy things and cross the monkey bars no problem. Why should I be overly concerned over the appearance of my physique, rather than what my body can do, and how I feel on the inside?
Although I have no way to prove this, I do think that this focus on ‘appearance’ rather than ‘functionality’ is reasons why fitness plans fall apart. People care too much about how much result they’re going to see on the scale, rather than, measuring process in doing one extra lap around the tracks or running five minutes more without going out of breathe and becoming ‘fitter’ in general.
Another point I noticed is that how modern society has become increasingly complex. We no longer incorporate ‘fitness’ into our work (since many do work in front of a computer, or from the desk) we have to really go out of our way to make sure we’re staying in shape. (i.e: hit the gym) Especially since, a lot of us don’t have the option of walking or biking to work. So unless we ‘make time’ we’ll never get fit. This is problematic, because we rarely see ‘exercise’ as important as any other responsibilities in our lives. We would skip the workout if we’re too busy with work, family and friends. Except, fitness is as important as every other aspect of your life (if not one of the most important, health and fitness go hand in hand together).
Hence, what I’m proposing is that, while it’s great to set fitness goals. It would be also great if those goals were mainly based on functionality rather than aesthetics itself. So, instead of deciding to not do anything at all because you couldn’t make it to the gym – go for a walk or a run outside. You might not notice any physical results, but over time, you’ll notice other changes such as improved sleep quality, alertness, clarity – a whole myriad of benefits that are often overlooked, when people think ‘fitness’.