Why Fitness Has Nothing to do with Exercise!

by Suzanne Andrews


Most people think you have to exercise a lot to stay in shape, but the real truth is fitness has very little to do with exercise. Motivation has everything to do with exercise yet we often lose our motivation right when we need it the most. Here's what you can do to stay motivated to lose weight.

Set goals and be realistic. You didn't get out of shape and heavy overnight so don't expect to look like an athlete overnight either. Take your time and set short term goals first. Set up a strategy for what you are going to eat from now on. Notice I didn't say "diet." Diets are for losing weight right before the high school reunion. You need to change your life style to become fit and healthy, so figure out all the healthy foods you like, the serving size you are going to stick yourself to and maintain it from now on. Well, okay, forever does sound final. I mean who can go without chocolate or birthday cake forever? It's okay to give in to little indulgences once in a while. Notice the key word is 'little' and 'once in a while.' One thing you don't want to do just once in a while is keep track of your progress. You need to be vigilant and this means more than just weighing yourself once a week. Journal how much further you were able to walk, run or bike today compared to last month. How much has your blood pressure been reduced? Getting functionally fit is just like a road map, you need to stop and get your bearings to make sure you're still heading in the right direction.

Don't expect perfection out of yourself. If you compare yourself to celebrities or people who have exercised for years, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Don't do it. Celebrities have the luxury of a schedule that allows them to exercise for months before a movie is made. Not to mention that they have maids, personal assistants, hair stylists, cooks, and personal trainers. That's why they look like they do on film. Their motivation for staying beautiful and in great shape is that they have to bring home a paycheck.

Speaking about a paycheck, being functionally fit is like putting money in the bank because you have less medical bills when you invest in your health.  Need more motivation? Compare yourself to you, or the way you used to be. As long as you keep at it, one day at a time, you will get results. The human body responds to whatever you throw at it. If you ingest donuts and ice cream regularly, your body reflects it. If you throw healthy foods and regular exercise at it, it will look like it. Period.

Motivation can come from inside or outside. Get support from family and friends. Join a team sport organization or email me (suzanne@healthwiseexercise.com) and I'll help motivate you! You can find my email at the end of this. 

Speaking of time, we are so busy it's tough to find the time to exercise. Stop and think about how much you watch TV. Think about the shows you watch and whether or not they are getting you towards your goal in life.  If you watch only 2 hours of TV every day that's 14 hours a week or 56 hours a month. The average American watches 151 hours a month. That's insane. Multiplied by 12 months equals 75.5 days of sitting, doing nothing, learning nothing, goals and dreams being ignored. Talk about lost productivity. Don't ever tell me you don't have time.  We all make time for what's important and I can't think of anything more important than your health.  

Vary your workouts so that they don't become monotonous. What kind of workout? Think about what do you like to do that takes physical activity and do it often? Do you prefer working out in the privacy of your own home? Try fitness DVDs. How about the great outdoors? Join a walking group. Do what exercises you enjoy the most and mix in other activities often enough so that it stays interesting yet still achieves your goals.

If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, then staying motivated won't be such a chore. But if you are starting to work out for the first time in your life all I can say is, please, don't ever give up. You are headed for a happier place in body, mind and spirit that once you achieve it, you'll probably wind up writing articles just like this one to your friends, family or co-workers telling them how you took the difficult road and worked your way past the worn out shoes and perspiration to get to where you are now, feeling alive, strong, durable and invincible. I know because I lost over 60 pounds and am never going back to the plus size rack with plus size health problems.

So what are you waiting for? Get a move on.  Thanks for taking the time to be with a very important person - YOU!

Healthiest blessings,
Suzanne Andrews

Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

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