We are going to recommend that you should be fit. We want to make sure you and we are on the same page so let’s start with a definition of fitness.
According to The Online Free Dictionary:
When it comes to your overall health, “fitness is the state or condition of being fit; Also, fitness is good health or good physical condition, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition.”
What’s the problem?
Well, the vast majority of us in the US today are not fit. If we look at Body Mass Index (the ratio between our height and weight) as a way to evaluate fitness more than half of us could be considered fat. Fat is not fit.
How about if we look at muscle mass? Even less than half of us do not have what could be called bulging muscles. Strong muscles are the result of regular stressful activity. Ongoing stressful activity leads to larger muscles, which we could call bulging.
The problem is that we don’t carry out regular physical activities today. For example:
* Cartoons of the past pictured “fat cats” (meaning wealthy men) as having big bellies, and men who did physical work as being lean. It was true. Today we complain about the 1% of us who are “fat cats” and the rest of us who aren’t. Unfortunately, jobs that require physical activity, such as manufacturing, are disappearing and being replaced with sit-down kinds of work like computer sciences, making i-pads and i-tablets.
* Remember the song about the boy being on one side of the mountain and the girl on the other? If he wanted to communicate with her he had to walk or ride his horse to get there. Now he reaches in his pocket, pulls out his phone, and presses some keys to text her.
* Computer war games are now big, real big. Many of us spend hours a day sitting down and only exercising our thumbs and fingers. Or how much time do we spend surfing the net,?
* Younger people typically no longer have land lines to phone people. We don’t even have to walk to a phone. We carry it with us.
* The modern lifestyle is inactive. Inactivity does not lead to fitness. It is just so easy to fall into a lethargic way of life. The description “couch potato” describes the typical activity (or should we say inactivity) for too many of us. For example, it’s now very easy to rent a movie and play it on your home TV. Of if you have cable, you actually go back in time to play a show that you missed in the last 24 hours. Entertainment is at your finger tips. Why make an effort to get it?
An active way of life is gone
The author’s grandfather was a blacksmith. Every business day he wielded a hammer to mold hot iron into the desired shape. Quite often the result was a horseshoe because people got around on horseback in those days. Every cool evening he would shovel coal into his coal fired furnace at home. An oil, gas or electric furnace wasn’t available then. My grandmother regularly fed wood into the wood stove she used for cooking. My grandfather would cut and stockpile wood pieces that fit in the stove. He would hunt deer so they had local meat on their table. He didn’t have to look for exercise. It was a requirement for daily living. Oh yes, how about my grandmother who didn’t have a washing machine and washed everything by hand, not to mention all the other chores she did by hand.
My grandfather lived to the age of 96 and the only reason he died is that he slipped and fell on the ice in the winter on his daily 2-mile walk. He broke a bone and had no way to ask for help, so he froze to death.
Will you live to the age of 96 and be healthy until your dying day? The odds are against it. Too many older people end up in a wheel chair in a nursing home. Were they fit when they got there? If they were fit they wouldn’t need a nursing home. They could have cared for themselves.
What’s in it for you to be fit?
If you don’t have a good reason you’re not going to do it. Today’s lifestyle is no help. So physical activity isn’t typically a part of your normal daily routine. You have to make it a special thing to do.
Imagine what your life will be like as you grow older. And growing older will happen. What is your life going to be like? How will you get around? Will you be able to climb stairs? Will you able to be social? Will you be able to go on a vacation? Will you be able to drive a car? If you lose your drivers license what will you do?
Now imagine your future life as a fit adult. How different is it to live being fit vs. unfit. I don’t know about you, but I like the fit picture.
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