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Fitness: What is Fitness?

By Oscar Saucedo

You can’t scroll through a social media feed without seeing someone posting about their workout, their diet, and/or their daily gym selfie.  While some of those posts are uplifting and inspiring, some can be pretty annoying (insert “eye roll” emoji).  That is especially true for those people on the outside of “fitness” looking in.  If people talking, bragging, or posting about fitness bothers you, then this article is for you.

Fitness is an overwhelmingly positive, enriching, and empowering state of mind.  That is correct; I said “mind”—not body.  To help me change your mind about what fitness IS, I’d like to tell you what fitness is NOT.

Fitness is NOT selfish. I know some from the fitness world seem egotistical, but you don’t need to worry about what drives them.  You have plenty of reasons to stay fit; and those reasons do not have to be all about yourself.  Be fit so that you can take your spouse on a hike after retirement.  Work now so that you can be agile enough to attend your granddaughter’s school play.  Stay mobile so that you can climb to the top of the bleachers at a high school playoff game. Those things aren’t really about you. That and similar things are about being there for the people you love.  

In my opinion, making the choice NOT to invest in your health is one of the most selfish things one can do. It is a lazy and short-sighted choice. With all of the unpreventable causes of sickness in the world, it’s especially sad to limit your quality of life because of a sickness that is completely preventable.

Fitness is NOT shallow. It is not all about looking good on the outside. There are plenty of physically attractive people with big muscles, low body fat, and/or visible abs that are very unhealthy.  Fitness is self-esteem, self-respect, and self-discipline. The true fitness lifestyle can enhance your moods, sharpen your mind, and strengthens your body. It can have a positive impact on your life, career, and relationships. 

Fitness is NOT necessarily spending two hours a day in the gym. Of course, you can if you have the time. But many of us do not. If one truly puts 100% effort into a workout, no one can go more than one hour. I’ll argue that fact all day every day. But my point here is not to argue. It’s to point out that you can get an effective, balanced, and thorough workout easily within one hour.    

Finally, fitness is NOT expensive.  I’ve helped a number of people make room in their budget for a gym membership simply by eliminating unhealthy habits.  I’ve watched people spend $13 on one horrible lunch while they complain that a $40 gym membership is too expensive.  Do you know what IS expensive? Heart disease, diabetes, and high-blood pressure are expensive.  People with a very high fat percentage can spend an average of $1,100 per month on medical bills.  Fitness is a way to save money.

The fitness community of Laredo has been growing.  When I first came to Laredo, I knew of only one fitness facility (American Fitness Center). Now there are numerous large and small facilities.  If this article accomplishes anything, it would be great if at least one of you joins this growing community.  And perhaps youwill be the one proudly talking, bragging, and posting about what fitness is to you.

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