How to Develop the Attitude

During a catalogue search at my local library, I came
across this title: "Fitness without Exercise - The
Scientifically Proven Strategy for Achieving Maximum Health
with Minimum Effort." This book by Bryant Stamford and
Porter Shimer really misses the point. After all, fitness
is more of an attitude than a destination.
I found another title for a book that is a better concept
and is one with which I completely agree. "Walking: the
Pleasure Exercise," a book by Mort Malkin. Actually,
during my research at the library, more than 20 per cent of
the items had *walking* in their titles when I used
*fitness* as the search-word. Makes sense, doesn't it?
Walking is naturally one of the best places to start
creating a Fitness Attitude. For one thing, it gets you
outdoors, and that's good for the fitness of your head! In
addition, it uses all the large muscles in your body, it's
low-impact, and it doesn't require any special equipment.
It is something you are already expert at doing, and your
body is perfectly designed for it. Hooray! You've got an
awesome place to begin on your way to having a Fitness
Attitude: Go for a walk every day.
Now, I'm going to make a confession. Even though I place a
high value on health and nutrition and fitness in general,
I sometimes have to really make an effort to get out the
door with my walking shoes on. Today, for example, it was
rainy and cold. I had a back-log of emails to answer, and
had eaten a heavy lunch. It would have been really easy to
make a very good case for staying indoors by the woodstove
with my computer screen glowing away.
At a time like this, momentum helps. I feel weird when I
have to miss my daily walk because over time it's become a
part of my life. It easier to walk consistently when you
make it a routine, or you have a ritual to help you get out
the door. A routine will also to carry you along. Decide
on a length of time for your walk, rather than setting a
distance. Then, go! Some routes will become your
standards, and then you won't have to plan - which is one
of the benefits of a routine. Used appropriately, routines
free your thoughts, so you can contemplate topics more
interesting than whether to make a right or left turn at
the corner.
Good for you, if you use a treadmill, gym, or other
walking strategy such as mall walks. Still, if you can
possibly make arrangements, spend at least some of your
walking time outside. Time in the open air is part of
fitness as an attitude.
Which brings up the question of food as it relates to the
attitude of fitness. Generally, when you are eating foods
that have a good natural basis, (like salads that aren't
drowning in some oily vinegar dressing, or a vegetable stir-
fry that isn't heavily glazed with high-sugar sauce), you
don't crave garbage non-foods like my personal favorite:
red licorice. Still, the packaging of 'snack foods' and
the ease and portability they afford in our frenetically
paced culture means that sometimes, you're going to eat
junk. Once you've established your Fitness Attitude,
though, processed 'foods' stop being a staple in your diet,
and that's a better fit.
As you put attention on fitness, your life will soon
include the pleasure of walking daily and a natural hunger
for whole foods that are nourishing to you. A Fitness
Attitude isn't complicated, and you'll feel better. You
simply will.

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