It’s Time To Redefine Fitness
Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t want the burden of carrying around well-defined biceps, a trim waist, toned legs and a butt that defies gravity? Don’t we all want to look flawless, even during our workouts? For most of us, that’s why we routinely pound and twist our bodies to “get fit”. While getting fit and staying fit is definitely important, it’s time to ask ourselves, “Who defined fitness, and should we still accept that definition?”
Back in the day…
Historically, fitness was judged by our ability to survive the demands of our environment. Until recently, our lives were filled with movement. But not just random movement – it was purposeful movement! Imagine how Tarzan and Jane would have lived. Hunting, gathering, fleeing, and building were the foundation of fitness. (No treadmills needed!)
During this time, our biology was formed by our environment, which then triggered the evolution of our biology. The cycle constantly repeated itself in the instinctive goals of survival and health. This relationships between environment, biology and evolution is the essence of fitness. At Pendotion™, we call this “evolutionary fitness”.
Are you lookin’ at me?
Today we are spoiled with conveniences like grocery stores, fast cars and manufactured homes. However, as physical demands from our environment decreases, so does our connection to evolutionary fitness. Now cultural demands replace environmental demands when defining our fitness. Unfortunately, today’s culture often gives priority to how we look over how we move and feel. Not so sure that’s true? Then ask yourself how often you think about your size, muscle definition, and overall appearance. Now compare that to how often you think about your range of motion, stamina, and recovery rate.
Why ask why?
Today’s cultural fitness prescribes “exercises” without considering our biology. It treats our body as parts to isolate, strain and shape. For example, what if a person starts weight-lifting and develops massive biceps, chiseled quadriceps and six-pack abs? They’d definitely be considered more fit. But what if that person then found it harder to put on socks (reduced range of motion), or go jogging with their dog (decreased stamina), and felt stiff and sore most of the time (slower recovery rate)? Is that person actually more fit than before?
This doesn’t mean that we change our physical goals or stop doing modern exercises. We should always shake, rattle and roll however we want to! It’s just means that we should include some evolutionary fitness to maintain healthy movement and vitality.
Fitness activities should challenging your entire body, not just individual parts. At Pendotion we use healthy movements that integrate the whole body at the same time. We don’tt isolate muscles or separate strength, flexibility, and cardio.
Can you imagine Jane ordering Tarzan to hunt only using his upper body? “No, no Tarzan! Today is your upper body day. Keep those legs still!” Or what if Tarzan ordered Jane to suck in her gut while gathering supplies? I bet Jane would probably go to bed hungry, and Tarzan would definitely be sleeping on the outside of the tree house.