What is YOUR Definition of Fitness?

Picking Up a Child is one way to define Fitness with Dave Reddy

A “fit” mom may mean she has the ability to pick up her child easily. Focusing on this task may result in a tight core, strong back and proper squatting mechanics.

“Fitness is the ability to perform a task.”

Performing a given task may require specific skills or attributes including speed, endurance, flexibility, balance, accuracy, power and agility.

Who is more fit? The Olympic weight lifter, the professional basketball player or the marathon runner? Each “fit” athlete attempts to master a few different attributes specific to their task.

“I can’t tell you what fitness is until you tell me what you want.”

The point is that when you want to become fit, decide what fitness means for you … what task(s) do you want or need to perform during your work and play? (Check out the picture on the right.) Then figure out what attributes will help you do that task.

Train a few times per week at home or at the gym to improve those attributes while keeping these questions in mind:

  • what is the purpose of each exercise I am doing? (this is particularly important with the stretches we do, as the only reason we stretch is to improve the movements that lead to performing our desired task.)
  • which movement (task) or fitness attribute (endurance, balance, etc) are you specifically improving?
Kettlebell Goblet Squat with Fitness Teacher and Coach, Dave Reddy

A goblet squat builds total body, “every day” strength from head to toe while providing a sweet metabolic effect which in turn burns more calories.

Answer these two questions and then build motivation by doing these three things:

  1. set short-term goals (double your plank time, touch your toes, lose 2 lbs, increase your maximum number of push ups by one repetition),
  2. find cool people to join you in the effort (an exercise class, boot camp or online community),
  3. consider how much you need to enjoy the actual exercise versus enjoying just the results. Zumba may be fun and enjoyable today, but running sprints, jumping rope and doing kettlebell goblet squats  (pictured right) will deliver faster and longer lasting bang for your buck. One may not be better than the other, but you may stick to one exercise longer and that is most important (especially in the beginning.)

Finally, please remember, form follows function. Focusing on functional, purposeful exercise first will not only  improve your health, fitness and longevity potential, but will help you build towards all of the form/vanity/superficial/”holy cow it’s Memorial Day weekend and I have to wear a t-shirt” goals you may have.

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