Are you someone who puts a lot of pressure on yourself to exercise and eat right? If so, you need to stop right now. Before reading any further, tell yourself “That’s enough!” Loading yourself down with guilt and shame over what you should have done or what you should be doing is unproductive and has no benefit. In fact, it can actually be doing damaging. There is a much better and simpler way to do something different.
We’ve all heard that we should eat right and exercise. We’ve also see that we as a nation fall short of many of the standards we’ve set for ourselves even though those standards are based on qualified scientific studies. For example, here are just a few statistics from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition…
- Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day; only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
- More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, and more than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.
- Only one in three children is physically active every day.
- Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, videogames, computer).
- Recent reports project that by 2030, half of all adults (115 million adults) in the United States will be obese.
- Typical American diets exceed the recommended intake levels or limits in four categories: calories from solid fats and added sugars; refined grains; sodium; and saturated fat.
- Americans eat less than the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, dairy products, and oils.
- Since the 1970s, the number of fast food restaurants has more than doubled.
- Reducing the sodium Americans eat by 1,200mg per day on could save up to $20 billion a year in medical costs.
This is the same kind of information we’ve heard all our lives. We know what to do. We’ve heard many, many ways how to do what we need to do, but we don’t do it. Why? Why aren’t we doing more of what we already know how to do?
Personal Fitness is called “personal” because you are the only one who can get yourself physically fit. Only you. You know what to do. You probably know exactly how, too.
Instead of heaping guilt on yourself, here is the simple solution to do something different. Make the deliberate decision right now to either get fit or not. Either do it or don’t. Don’t agonize over it. Don’t worry about it. Don’t let it overwhelm you. It is a simple decision. “Am I going to get fit (or stay fit) or not?”
Everyone has their own definition of fitness. Yours is unique to you and that’s the way it should be. Don’t let anyone dictate what it should mean to you. If you make the one simple decision to pursue fitness, then do it. You may ask people to be in your corner while you take this on. You may prefer to do it on your own.
I’ve heard of two main reasons why people chose to pursue fitness. One is they do it for themselves. It is important to them. They have goals and dreams that they want to pursue and they believe that being fit will give them the best chance to achieve what they want to achieve.
The second reason is they do it for the people they love. They want to set a good example for the little ones who look up to them. They want to able to go and do and enjoy as much as possible. They want to be around for a long time to enjoy their relationships completely without compromise. Of course, there is no guarantee that being fit will give them a long life, but they want to do what they can.
This one simple decision can free you from the “shouldas” you may be saying to yourself. Take charge and make the decision. That’s being deliberate.