Living a Fit Life
Being fit and healthy doesn’t necessarily refer to your physical strength. It is a mindset to be a better you.
Living a fit life means so much more than heading to the gym once in a while. It is an all-embracing lifestyle choice that encompasses both mind and body. Whether you make this choice to live longer, feel better or look your best, it is a conscious choice to make healthy habits a priority. It’s easy for life to get in the way of these noble ambitions.
The key is in changing your outlook towards living holistic fitness. It’s all about never giving up. Results won’t be instant. You can expect to fail at first and become demotivated at times. The trick is to accept these shortcomings as part of the process, pick yourself up and try again. There are a few ways to keep yourself motivated and inspired:
- Do it for yourself
- Choose something you enjoy
- Keep the benefits in mind
- Arm yourself with the right tools
- Get help when needed
- Focus on your goals
- Form healthy habits
Keep reading and before too long, a fit life will become your way of life.
The Benefits of a Fit Life
Everyone benefits from fitness in their own way, but these are the most universal benefits of regular physical exercise and healthy living.
You’ll Live Longer if you live Fit
While nobody can predict when their time is going to be up, people who exercise for just 7 hours a week reduce their risk of dying prematurely by 30%. That breaks down to just 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. A little time every day can add up to big rewards.
Health Benefits of a Fit Life
Physical exercise has several well-known health benefits and many others that you may not be aware of.
Living a Fit Life strengthens your cardiovascular system
Just like the rest of your body, regular exercise helps your heart muscles to get stronger.
During exercise, your muscles and tissues need more oxygen and nutrients, which in turn means that your heart needs to work harder. Over time your heart gets stronger and works more efficiently which improves the blood flow to your lungs and the rest of your body!
Increased blood flow means more oxygen and causes your capillaries to widen, helping them to remove impurities from your bloodstream. This means less chance of infection, heart disease and stroke.
A Fit Life reduces the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes
When coupled with a low-fat diet, exercise can help those most at risk of contracting type 2 diabetes to more than halve their chances of developing this condition. The main reason for this is that exercise helps you to trim down excess fat and increase your body’s response to insulin.
Living Fit can help to combat Cancer
Preliminary studies suggest that exercise can help prevent both colon cancer, breast cancer, endometrial and lung cancer. For those waging the war against cancer and other terminal illnesses, exercise goals can be what keeps them motivated, and improves their quality of life.
Exercise protects bone density
Stronger muscles mean better support for your bones. Protecting your skeleton in this way means there is less danger of breaking anything in a fall. This protects you from life-threatening surgeries in later life.
Mental Benefits of a Fit Life
If you suffer from depression, a good workout will deliver a powerful punch of endorphins to your brain and can help you to feel better. Endorphins are the enzymes that make us feel elated and exhilarated. When you exercise regularly, these feelings of goodwill hang around for longer, improving your mood in general. All the extra oxygen pulsing through your arteries helps your brain to function at its best, increasing mental alertness and acuity. Exercise goals give you extra purpose in life and reaching those goals brings a great sense of satisfaction which helps your self-confidence.
Improved Sleep comes with a Fit Life
There’s nothing like a good workout to ensure a restful night’s sleep. Not only will physical exertion help you to feel tired earlier in the night, but it increases the amount of time you spend in deep sleep. Stress is a silent killer. More endorphins mean you’ll be able to cope with stress and put your problems to bed when you tuck in for the night. Besides, focusing on your health first helps you to realize what’s really important in life instead of tossing and turning over trivialities for hours.
The weight loss benefits of living a Fit Life
Much like stress, obesity is a killer, it clogs your arteries and makes you prone to illness and unhappiness. Exercise burns calories and helps you to lose weight, but your exertions are wasted if you don’t adopt an eating plan to match your goals.
Beyond Exercise – Other Aspects of a Fit Life
There are other aspects beyond exercise that go into living a truly fit life. Diet and mental attitude are key role players on your journey. Ditch the fast food and up your vegetable and fruit intake. You don’t need to start eating like a rabbit, or count every calorie, but remember you get out what you put in when it comes to your body. Consulting a dietician or reading up on the subject will help you to understand how food works to power your body and make the transition easier. Preparing your own meals can be therapeutic in its own right, and learning new skills is good for your psyche.
Depending on what stage of fitness you are on, supplements can play an important role in optimizing your workouts and mental focus. Supplementing your diet can help you to take each new challenge in your stride. Protein, amino acids, glutamine, creatine and fish oil all have their place in your new diet.
Get your family and friends involved in a fit life too. You’ll all benefit from the time together, and being a part of a fitness team is a great way to keep you motivated on those days when you lack personal motivation. Treat your body like the well-oiled machine it’s destined to be. Do your best to get enough sleep, take time to meditate, read and do things that you enjoy. The extra planning is all worthwhile in the long run.
Kit Yourself Out
When you embark on your journey towards a fit life, take time to choose high-quality clothing and shoes for your workouts. Uncomfortable, ill-fitting gear will soon cause you to lose momentum and looking good is a good motivator.
Using sub-standard equipment will delay your progress and can cause injury, while choosing the wrong equipment at the wrong stage of your development means it will take longer to see results. It’s important to consult a professional when it comes to choosing fitness gear. In this regard, a physical trainer, or medical professional that specializes in fitness will be your biggest ally in achieving a fit life.
Get Professional Help
Whether you’re taking advice from a doctor or nutritionist regarding an eating plan or figuring out how to sweat it out alongside a physical trainer, it pays to get an expert on your side. A personal trainer will push you towards your goals faster and help you to stay focused. A biokineticist can analyze your posture and movement to help you get the most out of your workouts or heal any nagging pains. A dietician will give you invaluable advice on how to match your calorie intake to your workout and fitness levels. Regular check-ups from your GP are essential to ensure that you’re operating within your physical limits and monitor your progress health-wise. Other professionals that can guide you along your route to a fit life include massage therapists, physiotherapists and a life coach.
These experts will help you choose exercises and activities that suit your lifestyle, time available and resources. There are 5 aspects that a comprehensive fitness regime should include. These are exercise, flexibility exercise, static strength training, dynamic strength-training, circuit training and aerobic exercise. You don’t need to tackle all of these at once though. You’ll get there. There are so many ways to live your best life, so there’s no reason to choose an activity that you dislike. Some of your options include:
- Running and walking
- Cycling and mountain biking
- Yoga and Pilates
- Strength and circuit training
- Team sports like soccer, hockey, rugby etc – there are many social clubs for these
- Aerobics, Zumba and other group classes
- Mixed martial arts
- Body Building
- EMS – electrical muscle stimulation
Anything that gets your muscles working will do. As your fitness levels increase you’ll find that you’re ready and able to take on more challenges and try things you never thought of before.
It’s All About Goals
Goals are wonderful things when you set them up right. It’s important to have an end-goal in sight, but it’s more important to break this ultimate aim down into small measurable steps. These should be SMART which is an acronym for:
- Time Based
An example of a SMART goal is aiming to lose ½ a kilogram by next week or increasing the amount of exercise you do by 5 minutes a day. The key is to advance slowly in manageable bites. Promising yourself that you’ll lose 50kg this year meets none of the above criteria for SMART planning. Having someone on your side to hold you accountable is a big bonus when it comes to achieving your goals.
It’s all About People
Support from your family, friends, and professionals to guide you along the way will make achieving a fit life so much easier. It’s all about people who are passionate about living the best life they can and helping others to achieve the same.
Stephan Ackermann and Philip Kuhn are two such individuals. Read more about how Robert Nienaber is helping these people to reach their goals, which are all about helping others to achieve theirs.
Ultimately, living a fit life starts with you. Nobody can do it for you.
Do you want to make the most of your life, enjoy amazing health benefits and meet new friends? Take your first steps towards a fit life today.