Fitness – How to Develop the Attitude

During a catalogue search at my local library, I came

across this title: “Fitness without Exercise – The

Scientifically Proven Strategy for Achieving Maximum Health

with Minimum Effort.” This book by Bryant Stamford and

Porter Shimer really misses the point. After all, fitness

is more of an attitude than a destination.

I found another title for a book that is a better concept

and is one with which I completely agree. “Walking: the

Pleasure Exercise,” a book by Mort Malkin. Actually,

during my research at the library, more than 20 per cent of

the items had *walking* in their titles when I used

*fitness* as the search-word. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Walking is naturally one of the best places to start

creating a Fitness Attitude. For one thing, it gets you

outdoors, and that’s good for the fitness of your head! In

addition, it uses all the large muscles in your body, it’s

low-impact, and it doesn’t require any special equipment.

It is something you are already expert at doing, and your

body is perfectly designed for it. Hooray! You’ve got an

awesome place to begin on your way to having a Fitness

Attitude: Go for a walk every day.

Now, I’m going to make a confession. Even though I place a

high value on health and nutrition and fitness in general,

I sometimes have to really make an effort to get out the

door with my walking shoes on. Today, for example, it was

rainy and cold. I had a back-log of emails to answer, and

had eaten a heavy lunch. It would have been really easy to

make a very good case for staying indoors by the woodstove

with my computer screen glowing away.

At a time like this, momentum helps. I feel weird when I

have to miss my daily walk because over time it’s become a

part of my life. It easier to walk consistently when you

make it a routine, or you have a ritual to help you get out

the door. A routine will also to carry you along. Decide

on a length of time for your walk, rather than setting a

distance. Then, go! Some routes will become your

standards, and then you won’t have to plan – which is one

of the benefits of a routine. Used appropriately, routines

free your thoughts, so you can contemplate topics more

interesting than whether to make a right or left turn at

the corner.

Good for you, if you use a treadmill, gym, or other

walking strategy such as mall walks. Still, if you can

possibly make arrangements, spend at least some of your

walking time outside. Time in the open air is part of

fitness as an attitude.

Which brings up the question of food as it relates to the

attitude of fitness. Generally, when you are eating foods

that have a good natural basis, (like salads that aren’t

drowning in some oily vinegar dressing, or a vegetable stir-

fry that isn’t heavily glazed with high-sugar sauce), you

don’t crave garbage non-foods like my personal favorite:

red licorice. Still, the packaging of ‘snack foods’ and

the ease and portability they afford in our frenetically

paced culture means that sometimes, you’re going to eat

junk. Once you’ve established your Fitness Attitude,

though, processed ‘foods’ stop being a staple in your diet,

and that’s a better fit.

As you put attention on fitness, your life will soon

include the pleasure of walking daily and a natural hunger

for whole foods that are nourishing to you. A Fitness

Attitude isn’t complicated, and you’ll feel better. You

simply will.