Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Have you stopped and asked yourself this question?

One idea clarified in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is that you should begin with the end in mind. Clarify your end goal and then plot the course to get there.

An interesting extension of this is to consider what you want to leave behind when your time on this planet is up. What comes to your mind? Leaving your family better off? Making a positive imprint on your community through your job or through other efforts?

Somewhere in the busyness of life, I think a lot of folks forget about their health, at least until a problem arises. The question this brings forth is, what is your health legacy?

Did you make the most of that astounding human body? That complex organism that defies and eludes the greatest minds of science? Were you able to teach your kids/friends/family/colleagues/acquaintances how to eat well, how to strengthen the body and how valuable that knowledge can be?

I hope I do this myself. I think I owe it to my fellow humans. I think I’m obligated to help the next generations achieve new levels of success, and to do that, they must be healthy.

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I ran into a great post today: 10 Big Lessons from Little Kids. I’d have to agree with Henrik of the Positivity Blog that #7 really jumps out of this list:

Your body was designed for throwing baseballs, shooting hoops, and jumping off diving boards and stuff. In the secret language of children, the word “fitness” doesn’t exist. It’s called “having fun.”

As I said before, “fitness” in some form or another has always been part of my life. I think it’s an important part of being a human being to make the most of this body. I’ve gotten flattering feedback from friends and colleagues that I influenced them to live healthier, more active lives. For me, the key keeping active, and heck, being happy in general, is to have fun doing it.

My favorite exercise is without question riding my bike, where I get out in the fresh air, see a variety of landscape and scenery, and have the opportunity to ride as easy or hard as I want. Sometimes I do go to the gym, but even there, I still enjoy it! That’s probably not a very popular idea. It seems most people who have a gym membership sign up with the hope that that will be motivation enough, but the fact that they don’t really enjoy that atmosphere overrides it and stops them from going. Gyms count on this behavior.

So why do big companies have gyms? My guess is that it’s the easiest type of facility to implement, and they likely get insurance rate discounts by having it. But maybe a gym is too elaborate. How about some frisbees? Or walking trails? Let people get creative. Again from the article:

Everything can be a game. Why slog through the same workout routines in boredom, when you can add a little fun?

Great point. What good is any routine if you’re not enjoying it? It won’t be much a routine for long if you stop doing it. Whatever exercise you do, keep the mission clear: have fun!

I love that statement. I ran across it when reading about Nike’s recent shoe designed specifically for Native Americans. The most surprising fact:

It will be distributed solely to American Indians; tribal wellness programs and tribal schools nationwide will be able to purchase the shoe at wholesale price and then pass it along to individuals, often at no cost.

The company anticipates selling at least 10,000 pairs and raising $200,000 for tribal programs.

Talk about a commitment to creating more athletes!

You might argue that Nike doesn’t have a peerless history, but I think the overall impact of the company is positive. How many people have been inspired to get out there and “just do it,” to get outside and get active? Coupled with good nutrition, consistent physical activity is the best way to shape, strengthen, and vitalize your body. There’s simply no better way to prevent illness than to enliven the athlete in your body.

Apple Green

I love to see efforts like this that target neglected niches in the world of health and fitness. I’ve seen a similar trend happening in the world of cycling over the last few years. I’ve been an avid cyclist for years now, and I make it my preferred transportation option as often as I can. When folks ask me about what bike they should choose for their style of riding, I always make the same point: make sure the bike fits. No matter how nice the bike, you won’t ride it if it’s not comfortable. Once upon a time, you could either get a beach cruiser or road racing bike. Nowadays, there are a dizzying array of bicycle designs, and more importantly, there are bikes made specifically for women or folks who are BIG and tall. Better yet, the number of custom bike builders only increases over time, giving the customer complete control over the fit, handling and utility of their bike (check out Sweetpea Bicycles for instance, which makes bikes specifically for women here in Portland).

Wait, what about that title? If you have a body, you are an athlete. At some point in high school, I realized that I wanted to always be an athlete in body and mind. In other words, I wanted to get the absolute best about both aspects of my development. I hope that others see this in themselves, too. I think that each person has the ability to define what “athlete” means in their own life, and to take the steps required to become that athlete. Until someone develops a pill to mimic exercise, being comfortable in your shoes or on your bike is requisite for you to develop an activity routine.

So cheers to you Nike, for helping another neglected population get out there and just do it. I hope it is a rousing success and influences other companies to follow your lead.

Discovered via BHIC blog