This week Marcia’s talking about fitness, something that I’m a bit familiar with, having a Masters Degree in teaching physical education as well as having had my own small personal training business for 16 years “back in the day.” For WQW (Writer’s Quotes Wednesday) the challenge is to marry quotes with the topic.

As much as I hate like fury to use this quote, because I have less than zero respect for the company and its production practices, the most cogent quote for fitness might be “Just do it.” But what is the “it” part of that? Hint: it’s not using slave labor to help you get into shape. In case you were were thinking of third-party fitness. It’s not like carbon credits. You have to actually do the work yourself. 🙂

Just lying around won’t get you in shape.

That being said, getting fit is a process, one that starts where you are now and doesn’t require working our for hours a day or buying special bars and powders from online stores. It really is simple to get start and see some success which then encourages you to keep going to the next level.

“When you get stronger everything in the world gets easier. Change yourself and you’ve changed everything.”
― Hunter Post

I’m not asking you to get this intense, but you do have to move!

My introductory post on fitness back in 2012 is “Move it to Lose It”. The “lose it” part doesn’t apply only to losing weight. Even if your weight is just fine, you might need to tighten up, change your shape, get stronger, etc. Here’s a quote from the post: “I want you to take away one simple idea from this post.  To paraphrase…just do something…anything more than what you’re already doing and if you want to gild the lily, eat less (if you’re overweight), and better (no matter what your shape.)” You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to start getting into better shape.

“Weight loss doesn’t begin in the gym with a dumb bell; it starts in your head with a decision.”
― Toni Sorenson,
The Great Brain Cleanse

Many people, women in particular, often lack upper body strength, which is essential for everyday living. Fitness Friday: weight-less fitness–the pushup walks you through the pushup as a way to help improve that. While it won’t improve every part of your upper body, it’s a good, all-round exercise. From the post, again quoting myself: “OK, I admit the “weight-less fitness” is a teaser.  You can’t improve your strength without using  weight/s.  But you can improve it without buying weights, at least to some extent.  Let me tell you how.”

As we all age, balance can become a critical issue. Although being mentally unbalanced is dangerous, this post shares easy ways to work on improving your physical balance: Fitness Friday–balancing act. Quote? You bet: “When you talk or hear about fitness, aerobic fitness or strength is usually the topic.  Flexibility is the poor relative nobody talks much about.  But balance is a part of fitness both very important and simple to improve.  As you age, balance becomes more and more important, as a fall can cause all sorts of long-lasting damage.  Good balance is also vital in sports or any physical fitness activity you engage in, whether it’s rollerblading, dancing, going up and down stairs, cleaning or just walking.”

Exercising with friends or family makes it all much better.

I’m pretty sure we all know that too much sitting is bad for you. But at the end of a long day, most of us feel like sitting down and watching something, whether rugby or cycling like my husband and I or something else. Friday Fitness-get in shape while watching TV will hopefully motivate you to redeem that time by getting in better shape. “I can see the skepticism on your face from here, so don’t think you’re getting away with it just because you’re hiding behind your computer, laptop, tablet or phone! Some of you are wondering if you’ll also get a set of Ginsu knives free when you send for my $19.95 program (free shipping and handling, today only). And some of you, who shall remain nameless, are simply scoffing. Get in shape while watching TV? If it were that easy, everyone would be fit. But Yes, there is a “but” (or maybe a “butt”). However, you’ll have to go there to find out what comes next. Since I wrote this post, I’ve gotten a mini-trampoline that will work well instead of the suggestion in the post. 🙂

Shape up identifies the three types of physical fitness in case you want to refresh your memory or find out what they are. It’s short, to-the-point and has a bit of humor as well. One thing I want to add for you women is something I shared with my personal training clients, about 3/4 of whom were women. Although women tend to say they want to lose weight, what they really want is to have a better shape and look better. When you start working out, especially if you use weights, your shape will change and maybe your weight as well, but even if your weight doesn’t change dramatically, you’ll look and feel much better and be healthier. What’s not to like?

Finally, Losing my balance talks about balance in life, not just physical balance. “

Balance in life is a very different matter. When I grew up, balance consisted of getting chores and homework done while leaving enough time to run around outside playing with friends until Mom called us home to eat. It seems to me that we spent most of the summer outdoors and when we were lucky, we visited my grandparents on the farm or went on our annual vacation to some part of the US. Since we didn’t get a television until I was away at high school, TV wasn’t a distraction for us, but a rare treat in the evenings at the farm or at a friend’s. Books were the main indoor contestant for my attention.

Now life is quite different. The tentacles of the online world stretch everywhere, invading every aspect of our lives.”

That’s it for today. I hope one or more of these posts helps motivate you to start getting fit or getting more fit. Questions? Feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer. The important things are that you 1) get started, 2) realize you don’t have to do or buy anything special or expensive to get into shape although perhaps later you’ll want to get some weights, a mini-trampoline, or whatever, and 3) getting fit will improve your quality of life immeasurably, even if all you do is amaze people with the ability to carry a heavy box or open one of those lids made to frustrate even the strongest adult. You can do this!

Comments
  1. billgncs says:

    the first picture is my workout plan 🙂

  2. Every reader is probably thinking like I am – if only she lived closer so I could talk fitness at my particular age with her. 🙂 Good post. Happy Friday.

  3. peggy says:

    Go outside and do yard work and you will get a work out. My motto has always been – keep moving.

    • Keep moving is an excellent motto, Peggy. Outside work is good but it’s always good to take short breaks to stretch and to stretch afterwards. I know from experience that you tend to do the same sort of motions and in the same sort of positions, which can make you sore and tight.

  4. The weeds are calling and so is Bess looking eagerly for a walk. Must do more. Good Post.

  5. Marsha says:

    Janet, this is an amazing article! I haven’t been reading your blog long enough to know that you were a physical fitness expert. I’m having a salt treatment for my lungs and a massage but when I get to a better place to read, I’m going to scour your blog for other ideas.I love the slave labor comment. For me it’s slave inspiration. I know the moves, it’s making them a regular part of my schedule. There is a fine line between rigid schedules and listening to our bodies.

    • I haven’t written about fitness for some years Marsha, so I figured it was time to reprise my posts about it. My objective with my clients was to teach them enough so that they could keep in shape without me coming to their homes regularly. Making fitness a regular part of your life is important and if you can get to the point where it is, you’ll want to continue because you’ll feel much better. 🙂

      • Marsha says:

        That’s a great philosophy. One of my favorite people at the vein doctors is the technician who operates the sonogram machine. He also is a certified trainer. He writes programs for people and trains through Zoom. It’s an entirely different way to train that it used to be.

  6. JT Twissel says:

    I can’t sit for more than fifteen minutes! I try to do my Pilates routine everyday but I still get stiff if I sit for too long. I do my own gardening which is another way to stay in shape. I’m definitely not a gym person.

    • A gym isn’t necessary but working with either body weight or some dumbbells at home is really a good idea for all-around strength. It doesn’t take long and doesn’t require an enormous expenditure. I haven’t done Pilates but my s-i-l raves about it.

  7. Tina Schell says:

    Excellent post Janet! All great advice. I have made it my lifestyle to stay fit. Until I was knocked out by covid in mid-February I ran, did weights, biked or golfed (walking and using a pushcart) every day except sometimes on Sunday. My covid was mild from an illness perspective but it totally wiped me out from an energy perspective. Also I was isolating so gym was out of the question. After 3 weeks I started to get back into it and I suppose I overdid it because I hurt my back. But I totally agree that staying fit is so great for your energy and attitude, and even better if shared with friends. I’ll be visiting your links the minute I finish this note!!

    • Sorry to read about your Covid experience, Tina. Overdoing it can easily hurt–literally. I’m sure you’ll be working your way back into shape. I’m happy to read that you walk and use a pushcart for golf. Using a golf cart doesn’t do anything for fitness. Glad you enjoyed the post and I fixed the link.

  8. Tina Schell says:

    PS. your balance link actually goes to your pushup post. I found the correct link on one of the other linked sites. All are terrific.

  9. Hi Amiga! So great to see you sharing your wisdom.
    Aging gracefully is strongly connected with being fit and active — active is so important.

    I credit my ability to amble through the wilderness – to the fact that it’s been a life-long habit. My younger friends marvel as I privately snicker – when we are roaming the forests, slip-sliding up and down areas that only the agile machete-wielding employees normally use.. and they later ask, ‘How do you do this? We’re exhausted.’ – and then I openly snicker and state, ‘You just do what you have to do. Period. and rest later.”

    It’s interesting that meandering hillsides while gaping skyward at birds, and downward to be sure there are no snakes, or chasms, or countless other obstacles, that it is what keeps one in synch. Hands, eyes, feet, balance – all important, and most likely a good workout for the brain and its background programs as well.

    It’s too bad that we don’t live closer – not too many women (or men for that matter!) thrive on outdoor challenges, so I usually go out alone – unless it’s a formal event. But – there are people who want to do more, and for that reason we try to provide the link – and wean them into options that will benefit not only their physical health, but also their emotional and spiritual health.

    Great post!

    • Lisa, this is so true: “Aging gracefully is strongly connected with being fit and active — active is so important.” It doesn’t mean you need to be gorgeous. You need to be able to do things!!

      I also like your comment about looking around, balance, etc. I read recently that you should look around when walking/running because that’s good for balance. One of my pet peeves, which has nothing to do with fitness itself, is a person who walks without even looking at anything around because she is looking at a phone! People! You’re outside. See what’s around you. There’s always something to see.

      I’d love to be close enough to see your part of the world or for you to see some of mine. I also want to have time to see more of my area and do more hiking. Right now taking care of my dad takes care of most of our time.

      Always good to hear from you, my friend. Stay well.

      • There is a part in Paolo Coelho’s ‘The Valkyries’ that I often consider. I am one who ‘looks at the horizon’ and the rooftops and the sidewalk and the trees and the flowers and the reflections in the windows and – and – and —-

        So you will also appreciate this part of the book if you’ve not read it. He is talking to his wife:

        ” Paulo said, “I want you to pay close attention to the people who pass by.”

        She did as Paulo had asked. In the next half hour, only five people passed by.

        “What did you see?”

        She described the people in detail—their clothing, approximate age, what they were carrying. But apparently that wasn’t what he wanted to hear. He insisted on more, trying to get a better answer, but couldn’t do so.

        “Okay,” he said. “I’m going to tell you what it was that I wanted you to notice: All the people who passed by in the street were looking down.”

        They waited for some time before another person walked by. Paulo was right.

        “Gene asked you to look to the horizon. Try that.” ”

        and a few paragraphs down: ” “When they left the coffee shop, she started to pay attention to things in the distance. She noticed the mountains, the occasional cloud that appeared as the sun began to set, and—in a strange way—she seemed to be seeing the air about her…”

      • I love this, Lisa, especially the last paragraph! Thanks for sharing it. I see so many people who either look down or don’t look around at all. I also don’t wear ear buds because I want to hear what’s around me. It’s safer too but here that’s not an issue, thankfully.

  10. Tom says:

    Thanks for this, Janet… I do need to get started doing something with myself. I’ve bookmarked this post to read the links later, but for now you’ve triggered my urge to make so.e changes.

    • I’m glad, Tom. Just going for a brisk walk regularly or starting with some sit-ups and pushups (or preferably both walking and those because they’re different types of fitness.) Just start moving and keep at it. Let me know how it goes.

  11. Amy says:

    Now, weather is warmer, love to go out and take a nice long walk. 🙂

    • Always a good choice, Amy. Just walk briskly although stopping for photos is always a hazard. 🙂 When I walked in Illinois, I used to walk very fast after I stopped to take a photo. Some days, though, I simply went on a photo walk and didn’t worry about speed at all.

  12. Emille says:

    Wow, this is timely! We just started walking around the neighborhood two weeks ago and is more fun than I remembered (something I did at least five times a week when I was in grad. school). not to lose it, but to keep limber enough to walk my stairs without huffing and puffing.

    • Whether you have to lose weight or not, getting fit and staying that way has nothing but health benefits. Glad you’re getting back into walking and it’s a great way to see the neighborhood. 🙂

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