Skiing, running, swimming, dancing, gym, again and again... Once you fall in love with it you cannot leave it, forget it, give up and quit. To me, „to be fit“ is much more than „to be“. I would refer to it as „TO LIVE AND LOVE“.
I have been engaged in fitness for ten years now, with several competitive seasons and then working with others. The results are visible and they are right here, but what is it that I want others to know and what I want to teach them? Does being FIT mean having a nice body with a six-pack on your stomach? Is being FIT the same as having a perfectly sculpted torso? No.
Our lives are as hectic as running on a fast moving treadmill, but all we do is literally SIT next to it and perform all our daily tasks. Bad habits are becoming a part of our everyday life. We start training in order to look good and not to feel good. Feeling good makes looking good much easier eventually.
Stability, strength, flexibility, agility, coordination are only some of the benefits of dealing with your body. Your body is now better prepared to perform various types of movement, the risk of injuries is reduced, heart and blood vessels are stronger, and you feel more relaxed and cheerful.
The thing that motivated me to start going to the gym was to stop the pain in my spine which I had suffered even as a child. The solution was to work on strengthening the back and abdomen muscles, the so-called CORA, in order to enhance and stabilize posture, work on greater flexibility of the spine i.e. vertebrae which suffer great pressure as a consequence of long sitting. The pain eventually disappeared and I fell in love with working with weights, working with yourself, when you are your own motivator, coach, support and leader. Although I formed my program based on knowledge and everything I had learned both from coaches and during training, I also listened to what my body has to say. Pain threshold was the limit of putting my muscles into work. You can count the number of sets, repetitions, pauses between each set, but YOU are the only person who knows your limits best. Such limits should always be pushed a bit further, but keep listening to your body and how you feel at any time. Today's achievements can surely be surpassed in a day or two after you get some rest. Such surpassing is delightful evidence that you are on the path to success.
I remember my first training. Mini choreography on stepper which was regularly lifted from the floor for warming up, training with weights with small breaks between exercises in the main part, interval running and stretching at the end. I would be done with everything within 1.5 h. There was a rule which I obeyed: always train a certain muscle group, always train until you reach pain threshold. If you do leg work, work on either the front part or hamstrings. The results came in very quickly. My body gained more flexibility, strength and stamina. Falling asleep and waking up became easier. I used to switch between various training in order to avoid the routine of typical training. I was very glad to “test” all new knowledge upon adoption, together with adequate diet (I’ll provide more details on this topic some other time :) ).
Things that have become a part of my everyday life, and which each of you can provide yourselves with are the following:
- using pilates balls instead of chairs (enables your spine to remain in a neutral position, strengthens torso stabilizers and vertebrae suffer much less pressure in this position)
- exercises for abdominal and back muscles at home (strengthening the CORA)
- walking at least half an hour per day (if you imagine you’re in a rush, you can walk even faster :) )
- any kind of sport or recreation
- regular sleep.
The feeling that you can do ANYTHING is priceless. A healthy body is able to perform everything, and just as the proverb says: healthy body means healthy mind. Being FIT is a lifestyle which we can afford now and always. The only question is – do we want to?