The Seasons of Fitness
by Zac Palmer
For those of you who have known me for any period of time you are likely aware that I was born and raised here in Bellingham, WA. I’m a true Northwestern’r, one of the few and the proud (and the blessed) that have been so lucky to call this beautiful little corner of the world home.
I’m sure you’re probably starting to ask yourselves why I bring this to your attention? As we begin the transition into the summer months I’ve recognized a seasonal trend, for most Bellinghamsters, as it relates to our Wellness habits. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, blue skys, mountain trails, lakes and evenings by the water and the joyful company of friends collectively draw our attention back outdoors. Afterall, we hazily stumble through 6-9 months of rain, wind and darkness for the much anticipated summer months.
But, statistics show that the long days of summer inspire a trend in the NorthWest that the rest of the nation does not fall victim too… I call it “the seasons of fitness.” While the rest of nation continues to exercise consistently year-round (yes, I am referring to the small, but growing, percentage of the population that address their wellness with regularity), people of the NorthWest tend falter in their exercise patterns over the summer months.
On more occassions than I count I’ve heard the statement, “I don’t need to exercise as much, I’ll be outside hiking, biking, swimming or working in the yard. It’s ok, I’m staying active!” Personally, I love to hike, bike, swim and play. I love the outdoors and what better place than Washington to enjoy these recreational pastimes when the sun is out? But, what category of exercise are these all examples of? Cardiovascular exercise. This mindset leads to what I refer to as “conscious neglect.” People assume that because they are “active” that they are still accomplishing all of the physiological benefits that their bodies require (and no, 12oz curls on the boat don’t count). However, this negligence dissipates or eliminates the necessary balance of a complete Wellness Program. Not to mention the intensity of the exercise that is necessary to accomplish any real benefits within many of these outdoor activities, that will have to wait for another post.
So, what are the components of a balanced Wellness Program?
- Resistance Training
- Cardiovascular Exercise
- Nutrition (Health Eating, NOT dieting)
- The Psychology of Wellness
Take a moment to consider the 7 aforementioned categories of a complete Wellness Program. Now ask yourself (and be honest), how many of these categories are you regularly, consistently, and thoughtfully integrating into your lifestyle? For most of you, statistically speaking, the answer is around 2-3. Unfortunately 2-3 is not enough. It’s not enough for you, your family, your friends, your co-workers. It’s not enough for your health, longevity, quality of living or your happiness.
Now, let me be clear, I’m not saying that your life should revolve around the 7 categories of Wellness. But it should play a role in your daily decision making. I’m a proponent of moderation. I periodically enjoy a glass of wine, a couple beers down by the water or a nice juicy burger just like the next guy. The key is moderation combined with a necessary shift in your present paradigm. Healthy living and all of the components of Wellness are a lifestyle. Each requiring vigilance, awareness, and resolute desire to change your life for the better.
So what do you do to beat “the seasons of fitness?” Simple, the same thing you are (hopefully) doing the other 8-9 months of the year.
- Find your sustainable motivators – Kids, family, energy, a pain free and active life full of happines and enjoyment
- Exercise regularly (Resistance Training AND Cardiovascular Activities)
- Focus on your Nutrition (And listen to your body)
- Accumulate 7-8 hours of sleep every day
- Stretch Regularly
- Hydrate (A minimum of 1/2 your body weight in ounces is recommeded to maintain proper hydration – and all water is NOT created equal)
- Be mindful of your thoughts – Keep your internal dialogue positive, supportive and constructive.
Lastly, if you are like many other American’s, by now you realize that exercise is a science. But, it is not an exact science as it must be adapted to the unique, innate abilities and goals of the individual. So what is your single best course of action?
Enlist an accountability partner. Better yet, enlist a qualified team of Wellness Experts to help you accomplish and maintain your Wellness Goals. Contact your local Wellness Experts at Fitness Gear & Training today to get started. Whether you are looking to build a gym at your home or office, or get started in a private or group personal training program, we are here to help. And all of our programs are backed by a 30-Day Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee.
Here’s to YOUR success and to another beautiful NorthWest summer!
Health & Happiness,
Director of Business Operations
Fitness Gear & Training
1605 N State St
Bellingham, WA 98225