Good nutrition alone won’t do it. We need fitness. The World Health organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
No doubt about it, 21st-century technology has made our lives more comfortable. Uber drivers spare us the agony of walking, and 24/7 food delivery apps keep our guts full of Chinese, Mexican, and Italian food. But all this comfort comes at a cost to our health. According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of the American College of Sports and Medicine, the average American walks about 5,100 steps per day. Two or three miles — great, right? In reality, no. Anything below 5,000 steps a day or other comparable exercise is considered sedentary, which means very little activity. The same study found participants in Switzerland averaging 9,600 steps. We’re losing to Switzerland in an athletic competition…not good!
A lifestyle of low activity damages our bodies, but it also takes a heavy toll on our minds. Millions of Americans are strapped to their screens day and night, their only exercise being the slow, short walk to the coffee machine or to the fridge for a soda. Many of these people end up anxious, depressed, even hopeless. Some might want a shot or two of whiskey. Others might want several glasses of wine. Perhaps more modern vices like an e-cigarette. Or too much sugar-laden soda. That’s a vice. Truthfully, a walk or a jog is what they really need. As well as good nutrition.
Exercise is generally agreed upon as an all-natural, low-cost way to reduce stress and anxiety. Embracing exercise in any form from walks in the park to yoga at the beach or meditation in a place of serenity is a step in a healthier direction.
Key Questions to Ask Knowledgeable Fitness Professionals
· How do you define fitness and what are its key components?
· Where do you fit yoga and meditation into the equation?
· How do you set up and monitor your program?
· What metrics and devices do you use?
· How do you know that the devices and apps are reliable?
· How do you balance your diet and your fitness?
· As climate changes are occurring, how has this affected your diet and fitness program?
· How do you involve your family into the agenda?
· If you injure yourself, what are the next steps in diagnosis and treatment?
· Do you integrate your care through different categories of health providers (health coaches, yoga and meditation instructors, physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, primary care physicians, acupuncturists, homeopathic practitioners, chiropractors)?
· Where do you go for trusted information?
Staying fit…makes us healthier and happier
Originally published at medium.com