Are You Active or Fit?

active and fit

Don't Confuse Being "Active" with Being "Fit"
by Harold Irby, Personal Trainer | Lifestyle and Health | Friday, March 21, 2014

When it comes to excuses for not exercising, I’ve heard it all...
Sometimes the excuse is self-inflicted:
I don’t have the time. 
Other times the excuse is just pure procrastination:
I’m going to start as soon as tax season ends. 
And then there are excuses that are downright funny:
I don’t like to sweat.

As delicately as possible, I point out to these well meaning excuse-makers that, even though they don’t want to do it, exercise is an important part of cultivating a strong, healthy and attractive body.

I tell them that if they would just exercise 2 to 4 times each week they would feel a dramatic improvement in their daily life, starting with renewed energy and strength. Then I bring up the health benefits and explain how many of their health problems would improve or even disappear. I talk about how great they will feel and look, dropping those extra pounds and rediscovering a slender figure. But despite all my experience in excuse squashing, there used to be one excuse that would leave me stumped. The sneaky excuse of ‘I’m active’: Oh, I don’t need to exercise with a personal trainer—I’m very active. I play golf and tennis and Wii.

Well, that is a good excuse, right? Golf, tennis and Wii are all active sports that burn calories. Maybe you can be fit without doing any other exercise. But then I started noticing a trend...

The ‘golf’ people couldn’t touch their toes in a simple flexibility test. The ‘tennis players’ couldn’t jump rope for 60 seconds. The ‘Wii players’ needed a week to recover from a one mile jog. The so-called ‘active’ people encountered injury after injury.

And then it hit me: You can’t become fit simply by being active. In fact, it is only by first being fit can you become more active. Therefore, in order to be lean and maintain a level of fitness there is no substitute for a consistent, challenging exercise program. It’s the only way, folks.

To truly be fit is when your body is able to do whatever you ask of it. This comes from a combination of flexibility, strength and endurance. So, do you exercise? Or are you fooling yourself with the idea of ‘being active’?

How do you feel about your current level of fitness? Are you able to do each and everything you want? Or do you end up opting out of activities that you know would be too challenging?

If you’ve used the excuse of ‘being active’ in the past, take a minute to reconsider your position. Don’t bank on your ‘active’ lifestyle to give you true results.

Another Reminder: Five Great Reasons to Exercise 
Here you go, five more motivating reasons to start a challenging exercise program today:

1. Exercise makes you feel better about yourself.

2. Exercise improves your mood.

3. Exercise reduces the risk of chronic disease.

4. Exercise eliminates unwanted pounds.

5. Exercise improves longevity.

Harold Irby is a certified personal fitness trainer and Mr. Michigan body building champion with over 20 years of experience in weight training, body building, sport specific training and strength conditioning. Harold has worked with many professional, college and high school athletes, as well as celebrities and business professionals seeking a healthy and fit lifestyle through his personal training and fitness center Xtreme Advantage

Photo credit: ©iStock/Alija 


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