One of the most amazing things about the whole notion of fitness is it can look different from one person to another. In other words, there is no set or concrete definition of what fitness looks like or what a fitness routine entails. Rather, there are loose definitions and concepts, which people can work with to find the level and look of fitness that is right for them as individuals.
For example, a former college athlete may live a life that is heavily influenced by fitness, even after his university sports days are over. He may continue to exercise five or six days a week, lifting weights and engaging in cardio sessions. For this person, a definition of fitness may also include participating in community sports leagues as well.
As another example, consider a person who never really exercised a day in his life. Now approaching middle age, this man is confronted by his loved ones and doctor to weave better fitness into his life in order to decrease his risk for diabetes and heart disease. For this man, fitness may look something like taking walks for 20 minutes after dinner and engaging in other moderate exercise sessions for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
No one can argue that both the men in these examples are engaged in fitness regimens, as the basic definition of fitness seems to be along the lines of taking measures to improve one’s overall health. With this broad and roomy definition of fitness, we can also see how a wide array of other activities can be included under the heading of fitness as well.
For instance, you might not have considered the fact that your own weekly or monthly massage therapy session is a form of personal fitness. However, when we check back in with our basic definition above—taking measures to improve one’s health—massage therapy does fit the bill. Massage therapy is linked to a number of health benefits, from decreased tension and improved circulation to better range of motion and fewer aches and pains.
With this in mind, we can look at another example of fitness. Imagine a woman who attends yoga classes three days a week and loves to take long walks with her dog every evening. This woman also practices meditation on a regular basis and is passionate about eating a diet that consists of mostly organic foods. She also has a standing appointment with her massage therapist every Thursday evening.
During these massage therapy sessions, this woman has a chance to keep her mental anxiety in check and also ease any physical tension that may have built up in her body throughout the week. The massage therapy also helps to keep her muscles and joints functioning optimally and banishes any soreness she may be feeling from her yoga classes and daily walks.
With these examples, we can see how fitness truly is a large concept, with plenty of room for many different definitions of what it means to live a healthy life.