For most of us, "physical fitness" is usually a phrase that evokes memories of being forced into completing a number of useless exercises that defined our athletic ability in elementary school.
Oddly enough, there was hardly any preparation for these scheduled "tests" of our physical fitness—so it usually meant hating gym class twice a year as we were forced deeper into the "V sit," and given a target completion time for the 16-lap 1-mile course located in the school gym.
So… is it any surprise that most people have a hard time enjoying the sport of fitness? I mean really… who wants to be forced into running laps or going to the gym to do pull-ups and push-ups and V-sits in their free time?
Good news my friends… You have options!
First off, let’s look at the true definition of fitness:
Fitness: n. “The state of being suitably adapted to an environment.”
Note the phrase “an environment.” That doesn’t mean one specific environment… it means any environment that YOU want to become adapted to! (SCORE for the “physical fitness” test misfits!) You get to choose your fitness environment — and the best part? You have hundreds of options! Below are a few recommendations of how to easily find your environment to facilitate your fitness:
- Walking. Now, yes, that may sound boring initially, but you can walk the dog, with your spouse, with your friend or with your favorite podcast. Also, change up your scenery and use it as a way to check out the city, visit a memorial, or see the waterside.
- Running. No — you don’t need to be a super duper fast “runner” to get into running. Anyone can complete a 5K— as long as they put their mind to it. If you have some experience, try jumping in with a local running group to get your motivation up. Never run before? Fleet Feet Sports Annapolis has a “No Boundaries” Training program that teaches people how to go from sitting on the couch to running a 5K. It’s a very encouraging environment and one that teaches you how to run, instead of throwing you out on the pavement and telling you to “go.” Check out more info here: http://www.fleetfeetannapolis.com/training-programs/no-boundaries-beginners-5k-program
- Hiking. Ok, does that sound a little bit like walking? Well, it’s not. Let me tell you, hiking is EXTREMELY tough and is a fierce way to strengthen your hips, gluts, quads, and calf muscles! Find some good trails with some good hills, and go to work!
- Dancing. My sister hates running, and hates working out. But you know what she loves? Hip Hop Dance! In other words, try Zumba or even a ballet class at your local gym! And no, that night out at the club doesn’t count. Check out Annapolis Athletic Club and 24 Hour Fitness classes in Annapolis.
- Lifting Heavy Things. And by heavy things, I don’t mean your children! Getting into a functional strength program could possibly be the BEST thing you do for yourself and your health. You should constantly be pushing yourself both in functional movements (push-ups, mountain climbers, rope climbing, etc.) and in lifting heavy things. Check out your local Crossfit, or special “boot camp” classes that offer quality strength training programs for beginners and more advanced individuals alike.
- Playing. Yes… playing! As kids, we ran around outside, played Hopscotch, Tag, and Hide-and-Go-Seek. That may seem a tad ridiculous now, but there are ways to “play” as an adult. There are plenty of adult leagues in the area that may be just the motivation you need to get going - Flag Football, Basketball, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, etc. Check out the teams looking for players here: http://baltimore.sportsvite.com/cities/annapolis-junction-md
- Doing what you love. Is decorating your thing? Then take a tour of some of the local neighborhoods or downtown areas by foot! Maybe you have an appreciation for pets? Volunteer to walk dogs at the local shelter! There are so many ways to turn what you love to do – into a FITNESS hobby. Just get creative!
Have any innovative ideas of your own? Post them in the comments below!