Why Personal Fitness Is Not Just About Exercising
One thing the fitness industry is known for is its ability to inundate us with an overwhelming amount of information. There is not a weekend that goes by without some lengthy TV commercial telling us about a new exercise program that will dramatically change our lives for the better. Facebook and Instragram are filled with posts and pics from fitness gurus claiming they have the tried-and-true workout for the perfect bod. And magazines never lack articles on how to take charge of your personal fitness by doing a specific list of exercises. However in this article I want to make things a bit more simple by drawing the important distinction between personal fitness and exercise and why it is so vital for your long term health.
At LiveFitnessHub we have the opportunity to take time and break down the many confusing messages the fitness industry generates. And one way we do this is through graphics. Below is our 3 Pillars of Fitness we have used since our inception because it describes why personal fitness is more than just exercise.
On the far left we have the first pillar Mindset. Mindset involves no physical action at all. Instead it only relates to how we think. And how we think dramatically impacts what we do or in some cases what we don't do. "How long will it take for me to healthfully lose unwanted fat?" "What exercises are right for me at my age?" "What should I eat and how much?" "What is an appropriate weekly workout schedule given my busy work/home life?" "Why don't I see any results?"
These and many other questions like these are important however it's their answers are the cornerstone in developing a long-term fitness Mindset.
Unfortunately, Mindset is typically learned much later in the personal fitness journey and in many cases it is never learned.
Next, we have the center pillar Nutrition and it's this pillar that gets to take all the credit for those crazy diets and weight-loss tricks. But to make things simple we will only discuss 'intake' because at its core intake is really the only thing that matters concerning nutrition.
What we allow into our body dramatically affects what we get from our body much like the analogy of gasoline into a car. Put a tank of "bad" fuel with debris and water into your car and you are guaranteed poor performance regardless of the car's previous performance and capabilities. Put premium, high quality fuel into the vehicle and... well you get it.
All too often we get wrapped up with diets and calorie restrictions without considering if they are what we need and if they will deliver expected results. But if no Mindset has been established then the blind hope that something good will come from the diet is the only driving force that all too often results in disappointment.
And lastly we have the far right pillar Exercise - the granddaddy of the fitness pillars and not because we say so but because it's the one that get most attention. When someone asks, "what is your fitness routine?" it is often answered by listing a schedule of exercises. Fitness and exercise have become inseparably synonymous when in reality exercise is not fitness but instead a PART of fitness along with Nutrition and Mindset.
Just as Nutrition is the intake... Exercise is the output. It is the physical activity of stimulating muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones to develop durability, strength and flexibility. But that too requires a plan that differs from person to person. Some more than others.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
Referring back to the graphic Fitness is supported equally by all three pillars - Mindset, Nutrition and Exercise. However, take away one of the pillars and Fitness still remains supported by the other two pillars but in a much more weakened state. Remove a second pillar and Fitness crumbles altogether with no support structure.
This represents our personal fitness. With all three pillars in healthy alignment our personal fitness will be fully supported and effective as it should be but remove one of the pillars and our personal fitness is jeopardized with added pressure on the other two pillars. Remove a second pillar and.. well... this represents where many people are in their fitness journey - crumbled with no plan to rebuild and make positive progress.
Nutritional intake without a mental understanding and appropriate exercise is temporary and will eventually fall apart. Exercising without a plan and a healthy nutritional intake will render poor results at best and end in frustration.
Personal fitness is not just about exercising. It is about building a healthy long-term mental outlook of attainable and sustainable eating and exercising plan. So no matter where you are in your fitness journey take time to evaluate how the 3 pillars support your personal fitness.
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