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The Deeper Meaning of Fitness

Physical activity is a big part of my life. As a kid, I wasn’t into any sports, per se, but I was always on the move, always on the go, and never still. For me, fitness is movement.

Our body is an instrument! If you ever played an instrument, you know that to keep it in pristine shape, you need to play it, use it, clean it, tune it up…

The same goes for your body – the most precious instrument you’ll ever own. You have to keep it moving! Have you ever seen a violin or a piano that was left in the corner, untouched for years? Exactly.

During the years, I have found spinning to be my favorite fitness activity. The older I get, movement and just being active are simply not enough to sustain my mental, emotional and physical needs. I need a much more intense outlet. Spinning helps me when I am sad or down, when I am angry or frustrated, and even when I am happy. It is not just about burning calories, it is about finding mental strengths, healthy ways of channeling unwanted energy, and an overall sensation of feel good and accomplishment.

If you are committed to working out, you know that some of your physical limitations are eliminated by your mental power; when you feel you are about to give up and when you think you can’t push anymore, all you need to do is to find your mental strength. A good friend who has hiked the Grand Canyon time after time with bad knees, was asked how he managed so well. His reply: “It’s all between your ears!” I can’t agree more.

Find your circadian cadence, find what movement brings you joy, and be consistent. Give your body half a chance, and please be a virtuoso on your instrument!

Since I am not a fitness expert, I asked Shelley Russell to share how she connects the dots between fitness and wellness.

Inhale love and exhale gratitude,

E.

The Importance of Fitness in Wellness by Shelley Russell:

If someone were to ask me, "What does fitness in overall wellness mean to you?", I would correlate it with hope. Hope that by trying to maintain the ability to keep actively moving forward through life will result in the feeling that life was not wasted.

When I was younger, fitness had a different meaning- being able to wear a cute bikini and being thin. Today, though I still like to maintain a certain weight range, fitness is not about the external self. It is about the internal self, feeling as if I have some small amount of control over my health. During this pandemic, even the smallest amount of hope helps me stay mentally strong.

I look forward every day to working my muscles, including my heart. It is exhilarating and refreshing, motivating and powerful. It gives me a sense that anything is possible when I feel the strength of my body moving, lifting, bending, and burning. Maintaining that strength becomes even more important the older we get, as the loss of muscle accelerates with every passing year. We need to work harder to maintain what was easily accomplished at a younger age.

I love working out and I love helping other people work out. It means the world to me when a client tells me she was able to hike 100 miles in the Rockies because I helped her with her knee pain in my Muscle Hustle Lower Body class. Or, when another client tells me her back pain was fixed in my Virtual Stretch and Pajama Stretch classes. I love the feeling when I am conducting a class that I worked hours on creating and know in my heart that I am giving my clients something worthwhile. It makes me feel purposeful.

Hopeful and purposeful. That is what fitness in overall wellness means to me. Without those two feelings, I think it would be difficult to live a full life. And, isn't that truly the whole point? To make the most of life to the best of our ability?

Shelley Russell Fitness expert

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