Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fitness as: “the quality or state of being fit.”
Wow, that seems broad.
When I ask someone what “being fit” or what fitness means to them, most people will talk about only physical health. A lot of times we use it as an adjective for people who look a certain way. Maybe they are lean or have big muscles. The younger me would have agreed with this definition. The younger me would have also spent 2 hours in the gym only to go to a nearby restaurant and eat an entire meat lover’s pizza by myself. The younger me couldn’t touch her toes, didn’t care about her emotional or mental wellbeing, and barely slept. But I looked “fit!” In this case, my physical appearance was not an accurate reflection of my overall health.
Fitness is more than just physical. To be physically fit we must feel our best in other ways. We must feel good because we are sleeping adequately, eating well, and supporting our mental, spiritual, and emotional health. Fitness is a fluid concept and can change depending on the phase of life that we are in.
So, what does fitness mean to you? Maybe that’s meeting a daily step count goal, or that you can play a recreational sport. For some people, attending a yoga class can be great for their physical and mental health. Sometimes we are in a phase of our life where being fit means you’re able to run or bike in a race or achieve ambitious strength and power goals. Other times goals may be more functional such as climbing stairs without being winded or comfortably completing household chores. We all go through phases where our physical goals are more ambitious while in other phases we seek to maintain our physical fitness. Sometimes we need to focus on our mental health or reset to focus on nutrition goals.
Maybe, fitness is as broad as Merriam-Webster says. To me, being fit means feeling confident in my whole body (physical and mental) strength and being physically able to do whatever I want to do. Whether we are in an ambitious phase or more of a maintenance phase with our physical health, it is important that we keep eating well and keep moving to support our overall fitness.
So, in your current season of life, what does fitness mean to you? Share in the comments.
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