What is Fitness? Part I

What is Fitness? Part I

If you were born between the years of 1964 and 1980 then you’re a member of Generation X probably the last generation to know what it’s like to grow up playing outside. When we were young, exercise came naturally; we simply went out and played. For many of us our parents simply said: “be back by supper-time,” or “be back before dark,” and off we went.  It didn’t matter whether it was structured sports, pick-up games in the local park, or building forts in the woods we were always moving.  If we played sports, we probably did so through the high school or collegiate level, and it seemed like there were always opportunities to be actively engaged in some sort of activity.


For many of us in our generation we didn’t want to be defined by the traditional team sports so we sought out new, unique ways to express ourselves athletically. The so-called “extreme sports” such as snowboarding, skateboarding, BMXing – both dirt racing and ramp jumping, and mountain biking all became popular as the result of Generation Xers creating their own path of playing and competing.


As Gen Xers have progressed well in to adulthood, the youngest are in their thirties and the oldest are almost fifty, we know that we need to exercise to stay healthy and many of us continue to enjoy our favorite extreme pastimes. The hard thing is that at some point the aging process catches up with the best of us and now instead of enjoying our favorite activities to stay in shape we need to stay in shape to be able to enjoy our favorite activities. It’s not good enough to simply go out and play, we need to take it a step further and train (exercise) to be able to play the way we want to; so the question then becomes what type of exercises, how to do them safely, and how often to do them in order to maintain our active lifestyles.


As someone who has spent my professional career in the fitness industry including more than a decade educating personal trainers my own definition of fitness is: “Having the ability to do what you want to do when you want to do it.”  Thousands of TV informercials and magazine articles define being fit as being all about appearance but that is marketing hype designed to promote or sell specific products.  While most fit people do have lean bodies with low levels of bodyfat the simple fact is that being fit isn’t how you look, it’s having the energy, strength, and ability to go out and participate in your favorite activity whenever you want to do it.


The purpose of this blog is to be the go-to resource for folks in their thirties and beyond who love being physically active or want to start engaging in physical activity.  Please check back regularly for the most effective ways to use exercise to enjoy the active lifestyle that you want, and deserve, to live.