Dezi Koster on fitness.
Is Fitness All It’s Cracked Up To Be?
Being physically fit and healthy is a good thing right? Well it certainly is according to the CDC, NIH, the World Health Organization, Harvard publications, medical reports and the media. But what is good health, what actually determines good health and fitness and why do we want that? What’s your body really telling you and why do you need to pay attention to it?
Being healthy is something that a lot of us take for granted at least for the period that we are in good health and it’s not until we get sick, have an accident, get an injury or have a friend or loved one that’s ill that we stop and review where we’re at.
Have you ever decided to go for a run, a walk or a swim only to discover that you are limited in some way? You get out of breath, you’re in pain, or you simply don’t have the stamina and strength to be able to do it.
Having limitations on how our body is functioning and having a poor level of fitness can be a big wake up call! The good news is we can change this situation. With time and good training, we can achieve an incredible level of fitness and become an athlete who’s in top physical condition. We can do this simply for the love of being fit, we can train for events, specific races, competitions or we can actually become a professional athlete and/or trainer.
Going for a 3 – 5 mile run three times per week has been second nature for me. I’d get up early in the morning, put on my running shoes and simply go. I didn’t have to think about it, I love the freedom of running, the feeling of being in my body and enjoying the experience of moving, flying above the ground, across the asphalt, the grass along a golf course, the sand on a beach or whatever surface I was running along. I’d run on flat terrain or challenged myself with running up difficult hills and relished what my body is capable of.
Was it always this easy for me to go for a run? The answer is “No.” When I did my very first assessment session with my trainer, he got me to do a series of different physical drills. This was to get a baseline of my fitness level. Part way through this session as I was doing a few jumping drills known as “burpees” followed by side to side jumping, I felt like I was going to throw up and my pulse rate was definitely elevated. From this assessment, while I had good range of motion and my weight, BMI and body fat composition were well within a normal healthy range, could I perform all of the physical drills I was given? Not without struggling. My body was certainly telling me something. It wasn’t performing at the level of fitness that I wanted and it clearly needed some work to get it back to its optimal level of functioning.
Some people are motivated to get into shape because they are unhealthy. They might have a weight issue, they’re overweight or obese and this is putting a huge strain on their vital organs, their joints and limits their physical functioning. They might have diabetes, a heart condition or high blood pressure and by improving their diet and getting into better physical shape it can improve these health issues and in some cases these issues simply cease to exist. It may be because they’ve had an accident or injury and need to rehabilitate a joint or a limb to get them back into shape, improve range of motion and get them back to being weight bearing. It might be because they’ve been ill with a disease and need to get their level of cardiovascular functioning back to a normal healthy range and improve their level of strength and fitness to help them function back at a level that they were at prior to getting sick.
Whatever the reasons are for you, it’s important to do the following when embarking upon...