Defining Fitness

What do you think of when you hear the word “fitness”?

What most people say:

-Having a perfect body


-Strong/being a bodybuilder


-Working out in a gym all the time

90% of the time, fitness plans fail.  Why?  Because they address only our bodies.  The textbook definition of fitness is this: the condition of being physically fit and healthy.  That’s it.  Moreover, by that definition, you could make the case that fitness and wellness are one and the same.

That said, fitness is unequivocally connected to the state of our bodies, but our bodies aren’t everything.  Fitness is our overall health and state of being.  Our bodies are the outward manifestation of what’s going on in our soul.  If our souls are overworked, our bodies will be too.  If our souls are spent of energy, our bodies will be too.  If we’re mentally fatigued, our bodies will be tired.  If we feel we have no willpower, our souls are listless.

Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions.  It’s the state of functioning of three things that work together to determine the literal shape of our bodies.  I’ve tried so many times in my life to make positive changes in my body just by making changes to my exercise and my eating.  Feeling strong and healthy has always been important to me.  But so many times, I’ve tried to work my way from outside to inside, sure that if I could just get my eating under control, or work out enough, that I would feel better and BE better.  But this approach was never meaningful for me long term.  As soon as I skipped a run or ate some sugar, I’d feel guilty that I didn’t make the “right” decision and stick with healthier habits.  I failed to connect the changes I wanted to make with WHY I wanted to make them, and so I wasn’t really working on my fitness.  I was only working on my body.  And physical training has some value, but it’s not that which holds eternal value.  Eternal value is realized when we figure out our own “why”.  Why do we want to be physically fit and healthy?

I manage a corporate fitness center.  And I know there’s just no need to spend your life in a gym to be fit.  A gym is just a tool.  What you need most is to think about why you – yes, YOU, personally – want to upgrade your health.  Like dedicating money to a long term sound investment, dedicating time to the pursuit of well-rounded fitness will benefit you many times over.

How will spending time nourishing your body replenish your soul?

Social support is vital to the process.  The hardest part is usually getting started.  Take the next small action that will get you closer to positive change.  I’m here to help!  Send questions and more to me at

[Photo: Overlook, Santa Cruz CA]