The other day I asked someone why they didn’t work out and their response was “Because I have three kids.”
I found that response to be interesting…and sad
People often justify and explain away why they don’t exercise or eat right or any other number of activities that would at least maintain and ideally improve their health and fitness.
Why is that? We don’t do these things that we don’t find valuable as a society.
Clearly, there is some understood public value to being healthy and fit and we feel the need to save face when we’re confronted with the fact that we aren’t doing the things we know we should be doing.
Last year was chaotic and uncertain but it also provided many opportunities for clarity.
Our lack of health as a nation was on display as we faced a virus that was specifically dangerous to those whose health was already compromised.
Health is a spectrum from sickness to wellness to fitness. Sickness is the presence of disease and dysfunction. Wellness is the absence of disease and dysfunction. And fitness is the resistance to disease and dysfunction.
Understanding this, those who lack fitness are always at a higher risk of sickness and death, but even more so during a pandemic.
The spectrum of health doesn’t just apply to physical health. It applies to mental and social health as well, both of which we saw a decline in a large portion of the population this past year.
Yet, strategies to improve our health through fitness were never suggested by any government official or by any news agency.
Have we lost the sense of individual responsibility for our own health and fitness? I hope not.
I believe that our lack of action, our lack of acknowledgment, and our willingness to justify that lack is due in large part to having a weak foundation for why we should be actively improving our health and fitness.
Most Americans generally know they should, but their foundation for why they should isn’t strong, it’s built on sand
If you ask most people why they should exercise and eat right, they’ll give you superficial answers: to lose weight, to feel good, to be healthy.
These aren’t bad and they’re not wrong but they’re not rooted deep enough either.
So here is the truth:
Our physical state impacts our emotional, mental, spiritual, and social states. When our physical state suffers, so do the others. The best version of yourself is a healthy and fit one. And you deserve the best version of yourself. So do your friends and family members. So does society. Accepting anything less would be a terrible loss.
Improved performance and improved physique are all wonderful benefits of improved fitness but they’re not the cornerstone for its importance, 2020 showed us that.
You need a strong foundation, that has deep roots and sets the expectation for yourself and for others.
We need to flip the script and answer the question “Why do you work out?” with “Because I have three kids, and they deserve me at my best.”