The Fitness Way of Life
Many of you have written to me regarding how to handle days when you are not working out, are not following a diet plan, or are not planning to participate in some physical fitness event. We call them “off days” or “relax days,” and some individuals even have an “off-season,” and I believe these terms are very fitting. I believe that the most important thought or concept that we who participate in and live the fitness lifestyle must have is that there is never a period when our body is doing nothing. The only time your body comes close to doing nothing is after you are dead, and even then, it is still doing something; this is known as rotting. But, on a more serious note, we must understand that being fit is more than a gym session or a sequence of well-planned meals; it is a way of life. Media and marketing are excellent at selling items, but they have also given many people erroneous expectations of what it means to be fit, what it looks like, and how to live.
Popular attitudes to avoid
I often speak with folks who compete in bodybuilding and physique contests. These are sports that I like and respect. These sports are distinguished by many outstanding athletes, who have always had a special place in my heart as some of my favorite characters and friends. However, most people (excluding athletes) tend to categorize these individuals erroneously and mistake them for the ultimate emblem of the fitness lifestyle. Nothing could be farther from the truth in most circumstances (exceptions). I lived that way for much of my life, so I know what I’m talking about.
In my experience, most of these folks only participate in fitness lifestyle pursuits around the clock while preparing for a competition. During the rest of the year, many of them will not work out for weeks at a time, they will eat whatever they want and binge, physically stuffing themselves with food, then turn around and undertake rigorous dieting practices to prepare for their show. Furthermore, most of the individuals I’ve met in these sports (including myself at one point) only workout and eat “clean” at specific periods during the year when participating.
The large changes in body weight, steroid misuse, and continuously shifting dietary choices all take their toll over time. Once their lives have progressed beyond the competitive period, most of them tend to become leisure exercisers, resulting in the same physical fitness deficiencies that most of the population faces. While sports are a fantastic way to keep in shape and enjoy our lives, we must ensure that we develop lifestyle qualities that will last long after our days of competition are over. I suffered with this for years and can attest that it is a huge difficulty for the former physique athlete.
Learn About Yourself It’s going to be a long journey.
Living fit (for life) entails becoming aware of your body’s fitness deficiencies and planning a lifestyle to improve and maintain them at a high level. It’s that easy. It’s not a “get shredded for summer, then gain all the weight back” kind of lifestyle. Sure, there are times when a fit person decides to significantly enhance some part of fitness to reap the advantages, but the important thing to remember is that there is no stopping point.
This crucial principle is so easy yet so lacking in most people’s lives. The fitness lifestyle is never ending. It does not end when you stop participating in sports, when you get married, or when you start your own company. Those who maintain a healthy lifestyle have no limits. We all have failures, problems, and obstacles to overcome, yet we do so. We are certain that these setbacks, problems, and obstacles will be overcome as we pursue the fitness lifestyle. In other words, we do not change our way of life to cope with problems; rather, we deal with problems while retaining our way of life. As simple as it seems, I’ve discovered that this is possibly the most difficult component of living fit that most people face.
Of course, there are meals, days, and times when we engage in activities that contradict our fitness ideas and lifestyles. They are, however, the exception rather than the norm. These things are permitted into our lives as a departure from the routine, as fleeting moments that give value to our lives in other ways.
Some instances include:
There are several advantages to eating cake with your kid on their birthday.
Drinking with an old buddy who wants to chat – friends are valuable, and this will not harm you.
Many things in life cannot be duplicated, including attending cultural events and participating in their cuisine and beverages.
So you get the idea. Living fit does not mean having six-pack abs all year (though this can be done) and then embracing the beer belly. Living fit is a lifetime of decisions and behaviors that contribute to physical improvement as your life progresses from phase to phase and relationship to relationship. The best part about the fitness lifestyle is that it is never too late to start. This is an incredible notion that has altered the lives of millions of people, including mine, and it can do the same for you if you let it.
I encourage you to investigate methods to integrate a healthy fitness attitude into many of your current lifestyle choices to construct and build a lifestyle that will give you a high fitness level from now on. You’ve got this! Living fit is a decision, and it is yours.