REAL FITNESS IS PHYSICAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, AND SPIRITUALMar 08, 2020
How many gimmicky fitness ads have come across your feed trying to convince you that fitness is about how you look?
Is it just clever marketing? Are the “6 pack abs, new machines, fat shredding pills, fad diets,” campaigns all created to give you false hope…
The only constant in this sea of ‘BS’… is YOU!
The keys to Real Fitness come from your consistent habits and practices. The quality of what you do, and how you feel about yourself is essential!
Are You Ready To Achieve Real Fitness?
First of all, it’s important to define what fitness means to YOU?
I’m asking you to define it for yourself, and not base it on some industry leader, magazine editor, or a glossy fitness models unrealistic ideal!
Will increasing your fitness help you to be your BEST self? Will being fit lead to more sustained high-quality energy? Will it enable you to feel happier and more positive? Will it increase your confidence and make you feel sexier?
What do you want from your life? And what will ‘being’ fit allow you to access or realize more of?
Answering these questions will fuel your ability to motivate yourself consistently. To show up, do the work, change the thought pattern, reinforce the good feelings about yourself or make the dietary choices that will lead you to real fitness. Without defining this, it’ll be difficult to maintain the self-discipline, motivation needed to transform and grow.
After years of pushing myself to ‘achieve’ fitness, I realized that many of my habits and practices were doing more harm than good. I was not getting the results I wanted because I wasn’t enjoying the process!
Success comes more from creating a fitness program that fuels a lifestyle you enjoy than it does from striving to have a ‘perfect’ body.
Fitness is about more than just muscular strength and endurance. It is the expression of our ability to balance our exercise, nutrition, thoughts and feelings, breathing, hydration, and sleep.
I know physically ‘fit’ people who are toxic, sick, stressed and out of balance, and conversely, I know ‘couch potatoes’ that have healthy tissues, are at ease, and in balance. I want to help you experience ‘Real Fitness’.
Real Fitness allows you to access maximal strength and deep relaxation – whenever you choose. Real Fitness is balance!
Is there anything more important than balance?
Balance enables you to experience freedom. If your body is too weak, you won’t be able to maintain or generate high levels of strength and energy.
If you have too much tension, eventually your strength will diminish producing fatigue, rigidity or failure. If you get overwhelmed or mentally stuck your body will suffer as well.
If you lose your ability to feel centered emotionally, you’ll suppress your feelings or avoid them. Both paths lead to disease and dysfunction!
Spiritual imbalance closes down your energetic circulation and often leads to disconnecting from your inner being.
Balancing Working Out With Working In:
Tuning into the signals of your body will help you determine whether ‘balance’ is best achieved through “working out”, or “working in”.
If you’re a more mentally relaxed person, you may gain more energy by ‘working out’. Physically demanding your body to grow its capacity to generate energy, strength, and vitality. If you’re a more rigid overachiever you’re likely to benefit from ‘working in’. Taking time to repair; to tune into what your body needs, and rebalance your energy.
‘Working out’ is centered in doing. For instance weight training, martial arts, swimming, cycling, running, power yoga, plyometrics, calisthenics, etc.
‘Working in‘ is centered in being and includes: meditation, rest, eating a balanced diet, walking, hydrating, sleeping, restorative yoga, Qigong, art, tantra, visualization, etc.
‘Working out’ engages the sympathetic nervous system. It elevates the heart rate and adds stress to the body, thereby stimulating the fight or flight response. Blood is drawn from your internal organs to the peripheral muscles to power your activity.
‘Working in’ engages the parasympathetic nervous system. This is where we get to repair, rest and digest. In this phase, we move out of fight or flight and the blood is allowed to flow from the muscles and periphery, back to the internal organs and glands and rejuvenate their functioning. NOT to elevating your heart rate allows you to stay in parasympathetic response.
Creating time to connect and work on your weak links will reveal whether you are best served by pushing yourself, or tuning in and resting more. This process will help you to discover your individual physiological ‘zone’ where you can learn to generate powerful levels of energy and maintain high states of well-being.
The Key To Maintaining Your New Fitness Program:
Get started today: Take small, simple steps in the right direction. Don’t let big goals overwhelm you! Make small choices that will lead you to greater fitness and well being!
Physically: If you’re currently sedentary, don’t go from working out zero days to killing yourself 5 days a week.
It’s so much better to do 10 minutes once a day and increase over time.
You’re less likely to quit after a week or two if you build slowly. Yeah, we’ve all been there!
Balance each activity to allow both strength and flexibility to be developed.
Mentally: Set yourself up for success by creating realistic expectations.
You will NOT look like Arnold or Gisele in the first few months of your weightlifting program
However, you can increase your endurance, muscle strength, and feel good about yourself during the process.
So much of your success will be based on how you think about yourself.
Mental fitness creates opportunities to increase your focus without falling into the traps of over thinking, fixating, worrying, or distracting yourself.
Emotionally : You need to approach fitness in the same way that you’d cut out sugary junk foods and low-quality fats if you want to lose weight!
Practicing thought awareness is essential if you want to feel good about yourself and your life.
Subconscious thoughts like “I’m not good enough”, “Yeah but, I couldn’t have that”, “I’m ugly”, “I’m fat”, “ I don’t deserve any better”, will erode the feeling of wholeness and integrity that’s essential to maintain if you want to become emotionally fit.
Emotional fitness allows you to recognize that although emotions move through you.
You are not those emotions.
Spiritually: Spiritual fitness is your capacity to be flexible, creative, and in alignment with forces larger than yourself that help support and guide you.
If you’re able to find a deep sense of being and trust through your practices, you’ll often find yourself in the flow of synchronicity where you start to experience life in the way you’ve always wanted to!
The 80/20 Diet Rule of Fitness Nutrition:
Real fitness is 80% diet and 20% exercise. It makes sense right?! You eat an average of 3 meals per day plus snacks, so we are eating 35-40 times per week, and we work out an average of 3-4 times per week.
Exercise can’t get rid of toxic pizza and ice cream residue! I’d say that diet is more important than how often you exercise, or what kind of exercise you do! The biggest weight loss stories are usually the result of significant dietary changes.
Your physical body needs to be both strong and flexibility. If you have one without the other, you’re not really fit!
One practice that blocks our ability to build healthy tension is passive stretching.
Passive stretching leads to unresponsive sleepy muscles, short muscle bellies, overstretched connective tissues (tendons and ligaments), dense, dry fascia (thin fibrous sheath surrounding all muscles) and lazy nerve connection.
The net result is a loss of strength, connection, energy and circulation. The protection of these tissues and the resulting gains in strength and circulation is the focus of any long-term successful fitness program.
As damaging as passive stretching can be, I am not advocating only building strength either.
If you focus strength alone, you’ll inevitably run into problems! For example, if you pack on 20 lbs. of muscle in the gym, have you solved anything? No! You’ve now reinforced your lack of balance with maximum force! Essentially you’ve buried your imbalance even deeper.
The result will be physical, emotional, mental and energetic distortions, increased inflammation, injury, and pain! Limited flexibility is likely to surface when tension accumulates in the tissues.
Learn to Love Fitness again!
So you see, your Real Level of Fitness, although reflected in the strength and vigor of your body, is much more than that!
Real fitness is best reflected by how balanced you are within the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of yourself.
Create the time to get clear on what fitness means to you! What it realistically looks like in a month, a year, or even in five years from now! Then move forward towards that vision – one step at a time.
Congratulating yourself for your willingness to grow through your discomfort and your dedication to transforming your perceived limitations!