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Getting fit, staying fit pays dividends

As we all have been experiencing significant change and stress in our lives of late, it reinforces why I have a lifelong commitment and passion for fitness because getting fit and staying fit is critical for weathering the storms that life throws at us.

Not only do we manage the physical demands of tough times better when we are fit, we handle the psychological stress better as well. When our bodies are fit, we are strong, possessing solid endurance and consequently, the toll that these times in life take on us may be minimized.

While we cannot store fitness, the fitter we are the longer we are able to maintain our fitness levels during times when we cannot perform our regular fitness regimen. In other words, the fitter we are, the fitter we remain. Of course, we must return to our regimen within a reasonable period of time in order to maintain a good fitness level, but staying fit provides the body with a solid foundation from which to function.

Even 15 minutes of concentrated, well-designed fitness programs performed regularly during these times when we are out of our routine helps the body to hold on to a good fitness level. Once the crisis is over, we may return to our regimen without having lost significant strength and endurance. In fact, depending upon the type of stress, relocating, which involves a move from one residence to another, in and of itself can challenge the body physically while you move furniture, pack and unpack boxes, organize and haul debris. The key is to make certain you are fit prior to these situations so that when they occur, you are physically prepared to manage the stressors.

My clients often joke that when they are moving house, they remember to stabilize their core prior to lifting heavy objects (i.e. shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine and pelvic floor pulled up and inward). And, it is no coincidence that they have stayed strong during their squatting, lunging, lifting, rotating, pulling and pushing due to being fit and avoiding injury.

All of this is said with the thought in mind that now is the time to get fit if you are not, and if you are fit, to stay fit. Life will challenge you, physically and mentally, and the only element in life you control is your own behavior. Therefore, keeping your body, that wonderful machine that we have been given, in tip top shape is essential so that you cope with those stressful times in life and also enjoy the less stressful times to the fullest extent possible.

We need to grab those great, snapshot moments, and embrace them. The fitter we are, the more we will enjoy each and every one. Less time on the cell phone and computer, more time moving the body through space and time, every day, every chance we get, making fitness a top priority in life, right up there with nurturing relationships with our family and friends, encouraging others to jump on the fitness band wagon, will enhance all of our lives. Do not waste another moment. I am off to film another exercise video for you — join me!

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness in Granby. She may be reached at her email at jackie@mtnlifefitness.com and her website at http://www.mtnlifefitness.com


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