A Life Full of Fitness

A Life Full of Fitness

Honestly, I would describe myself as a “fit” person. I think where my definition differs is that I’m not looking at my own (or my clients’) outside appearance when making this determination. If a “fit” person were determined by daily gym attendances, lifting staggering weights, and living on endorphin highs, then my effectiveness as an exercise and lifestyle coach would be effectively diminishing.

In ancient Greece, Hippocrates separated the notion of disease as a divine punishment into factors more accurately reflecting nutrition, environmental factors and living habits. In those days, citizens were naturally very active as their daily roles required constant movement and physical work. For all intents and purposes, I would like to examine our own “fitness” under Hippocrates’ model. 

By studying nutrition, we should realize that food can greatly affect our energy levels and can even influence our emotions and mental state. I know foodies will despair, but food’s purpose is to nourish us and prevent illness. We should verify that the food choices we make reflect this purpose. My easiest suggestion is to go “PALEO!” Paleolithic foods are the whole foods that our ancestors ate and thrived on. This includes nuts, seeds, meats, vegetables, and some fruits. If you’re looking to lose some body fat and increase energy, look no further than a “paleo” diet.

Did you get 8 hours of sleep last night? Or, were you watching late night TV? My best suggestion is to set a bedtime and wake up time from 10:00pm-6:00am. Your anabolic and catabolic hormones are dependent on thorough, undisturbed rest. Try and drink your last caffeinated beverage no later than 3:00pm as caffeine’s half-life is 6 hours, possibly plaguing your ability to fall asleep. Minimizing the amount of light and electromagnetic frequency in your room is necessary. So, make sure to dim lights before bed, turn off your cell phone, and sleep in absolute darkness to maintain healthy hormone levels and increase the next day’s energy.

Are you happy? Or, do you often experience fatigue, depression, headaches, or poor concentration? Today, we often equate success with happiness. If you want to be fit, you must make sure that your values align with your life. I often see many “workaholics” or others suffering from addiction (drugs, alcohol, shopping, exercise, sex).  Ask yourself; What do I need in my life to be happy? What do I need in my life to be emotionally healthy? What do I need in my life to be spiritually happy? My easiest advice is to meditate and breathe deeply. Take a walk on the beach, try some yoga, drive your car without the radio, or go for a hike in nature. Your immediate calmness, reflection, and happiness may be found in simple stillness.

I believe fitness is the sum of not only movement, but nutrition, rest and recovery, and mental and emotional happiness. We must analyze all of these factors before enslaving our bodies in the gym. More often than not, hard workouts are the last thing your body needs. So eat up, rest up, and be happy.

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