You look for fitness inspiration by checking out Facebook and Instagram posts of your favourite fitness models and athletes; you hear about your friends running marathons; you see your gym packed with incredibly toned bodies; and somehow all of this does nothing but dampen your spirits because you believe you will never look and feel the same.
You get a decent amount of exercise, you can fit into an old dress that you found, and you have the self-control to ditch that box of chocolates for a bowl of leafy greens, but are you as physically fit as you think? Are strength training and intense cardio sessions the only indicators of physical fitness?
Well, we have good news for you! Many of the daily chores we perform can be subtle but accurate markers of how strong and fit we really are. Getting adequate exercise and staying in shape are important to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, but not everyone can lift heavy weights or run a marathon.
If your response to the following signs is a loud “yes”, then you might be physically healthier than you give yourself credit for.
Can you carry a full work bag or heavy grocery bags without discomfort?
You think that lifting weights in the gym is an impossible task for you, but if you weigh the bags you carry throughout the day, they might weigh about 7 to 10 kgs combined. If you carry these bags in a crowded bus or train, while walking up stairs, or in and out of your car then that’s performing concentrated strength work. Doing these simple chores without MUSCLE PAIN or hurting your back proves that you’re physically strong.
Can you stand in a bus or train without shifting your weight?
Functional flexibility is the ability to move entirely through the range of motion necessary for an activity. When we spend too much time sitting, we suffer from CHRONIC tight and stiff hips. This can cause pain when you stand after a while. If you can stand in a line or while travelling in public transport without lower back pain and without shifting your weight from side to side, you’re fitter than you think.
Can you get in and out of your car without and knee or back pain?
It takes a basic squat motion to climb in and out of your car. As you age, this simple motion becomes harder to perform without pain in the knees or lower back. If you can get in and out of your car a couple of times a day easily then you have decent lower body strength.
Can you shop without taking a break?
If you can walk around a mall or on a street to shop for a couple of hours without getting out of breath or resting, it’s a good indicator of stamina. Also, pushing a heavy shopping cart or lifting bags while walking is a sign of cardiovascular fitness.