Easy fitness doesn't mean following a regimented workout program or dedicating your entire life to exercise. Easy fitness means being active, creating and sticking to regular exercise times in your schedule, and eating well and sleeping enough so that your body is able to thrive, not just survive.
Exercise doesn't have to be difficult or complicated to be effective. While it's certainly true that athletes and people who love to work out often have complicated workout programs,
So, what is the difference between health and fitness? The following comparison will illustrate the distinction. In the first scenario it's 7:00 A.M. on Thanksgiving morning. A forty-two-year-old woman is putting a turkey in the oven. She is on her feet in the kitchen most of the morning, and then spends much of the afternoon going from the table to the kitchen, serving her family and friends. In the evening, she washes dishes, cleans the house, does a load of laundry, and finally gets a chance to eat some of her pumpkin pie while she watches TV. The day was tiring, but she had fun. She wasn't exhausted at the end, she ate well (maybe a little too much stuffing and spinach dip), and she slept well that night. She is exhausted the next day, and instead of going shopping as she had planned, she spends most of the day on her couch. She has to take a pain reliever to soothe the aches and pains she feels, and even though she was completely full after the meal the day before, she ends up eating two slices of pie and the rest of the sweet potatoes. By Saturday, though, she's fine and at the mall. She is healthy.
Now, picture another forty-two-year-old woman. She is also celebrating Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, she starts her day the same way she starts every other day, with a 10-minute yoga routine. She likes yoga because she doesn't even have to get out of her pajamas to do it. She cooks all morning, but takes a 20-minute break to play touch football with her fifteen-year-old just before she jumps in the shower. After all of the eating (she also enjoyed the stuffing but abstained from the spinach dip), she takes a walk around the block with her husband. The day went well. She sleeps great all night, and when she wakes up she heads straight to the gym for her three-times-a-week burn-and-sculpt exercise class. She hasn't gained any weight in the last eight years, and she can still do every move she learned when she was thirty-four. This woman is fit.
Being fit is more than being healthy. In the most obvious and simple definition, being fit means you have energy, are active (not sedentary), are strong, have a healthy heart, are flexible, and are the proper weight. For the purposes of this book, fitness is functional, not athletic.
An easy fitness week has a few elements. First, there have to be a few scheduled workout sessions that get your heart pumping, increase your muscular strength and endurance, and increase your flexibility and balance. These workouts will be focused and have a purpose so that you will see a difference in how you look and how you feel. Second, there have to be times when you choose to do fun things that are active rather than sedentary. So, for example, you'll go for a walk after dinner rather than watching TV. Or you'll choose to play a game of tetherball with your kids rather than sitting next to the pool while they play.
The third element of your easy fitness week will be creating a system that supports your fitness plans. This will include eating well, getting enough rest, having friends around who will help if you need it, and, most importantly, reading this book, which will give you all the information and support you need to create your new fit life.