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Fitness—A State of Mind, Body and Spirit

Remember cheeseburger, french fries and a coke? That used to be a perfectly acceptable balanced meal. Of course in those days, we walked everywhere, rode bicycles, roller-skated, went hiking and did a lot of swimming, canoeing, dancing and fooling around. We didn’t think much about what we had to do to balance our caloric input with physical output. Our lifestyles took care of that.

Granted, people died at earlier ages but few of my friends and colleagues seemed to think much about it. We took Phys Ed (or PE—depending on where you were raised) an hour a day in school and it was a natural part of the day. I honestly do not recall in my early years that we ever discussed “making time” for exercise.

Times have changed drastically. Most people drive to work, have a sedentary, high stress positions, drive home in traffic and wind up in front of the tube eating pre-prepared, reheated microwave meals.

We have all read or heard about the importance of developing an exercise regimen, to work out an hour a day, eat well and sleep for eight hours. For some the very thoughts of trying to live up to those expectations just piles on more stress. But is that what fitness really is? Forcing your tired self into yet another activity?

The word “fitness “makes many people groan. And what is fitness anyway? The word conjures up to me the immediate need to deprive myself of things I like to eat and moving way too much more than I want to.

On the other hand, it means good health, longer life, feeling well and vibrant all my days. It means preventing the health problems that are preventable and being happy.

Pat Baldwin, an over 65 year-old receptionist who works two days a week, broke her hip almost two years ago while in the mall shopping. In order to keep flexible and mobile she stays fit by walking thirty minutes almost everyday and doing the exercises she was taught in rehab. Pat watches her diet and drinks at least three quarts of water a day.

“ I was never an athletic person but I have always been active,” said Baldwin. “ I never ran a marathon but I walked and jogged 2-3 miles a day.”

Virginia Valenote, self-employed, and very active in community organizations, started to exercise when she began to feel stiff and experience difficulty moving around.

Valenote chose to join a gym that houses a “Silver Sneakers” program. She purchased a few sessions with a personal trainer to teach her stretches and mat exercises that she can do both at home and at the gym that will keep her flexible.

“I tell you the truth, the gym is not a social event for me,” confides Valenote. “I go, not because I enjoy it, but because I know it is good for me. Movement releases endorphins that help with depression. ”

Fitness is a combination of physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing. Probably one of the biggest enemies to fitness today is lack of rest and relaxation. Stop rushing, take time to breathe deeply and take in the beauty of the universe, look in someone else’s eyes, hold hands, listen to someone share an accomplishment, a happy event as well as a sorrow. Give your full attention. Turn off all electronic devices!

We allow time, the only irretrievable entity, to pile up on us and keep us captive. Slow down and take a break, is actually proven to help people be more productive, happier and more peaceful. Tired, irritated people do not stay fit.

The body craves what it does. So, if you begin to walk and lift weights, soon you will crave walking and weight lifting. Fitness begins in the mind, is fed by the spirit and carried out by the body.

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About the Author

Bonnie Quick, blqwriter
11530 Summit Rock Ct.
Parrish, FL 34219
941 479-4513

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