Another Rhode to Fitness poll has concluded, and with 13 people responding, here's the verdict: 9 of you, or 69 percent, said that overall, you are not satisfied with your current level of fitness. The rest of you said you are satisfied.
When I first posted this poll, I mentioned that self-assessment can be a tricky thing. People are notoriously hard on themselves. I said, too, that satisfaction with one's state of fitness is highly dependent upon one's physical needs and goals. The couch potato isn't going to care about boosting his or her maximal oxygen uptake, and the marathon runner will never be satisfied until he or she crosses the finish line first.
For the sake of keeping this discussion focused, let's just assume that those of you who responded to the poll are neither hopelessly sedentary nor driven to perfection. For those of you who said you are not satisfied, my question is: Are you currently working to become fitter?
If you are not, what is stopping you? Lack of time is the reason most people give for not sticking with exercise, but I don't really buy that one. A mere half-hour a day of exercise can improve the health of previously sedentary individuals. Who among us couldn't find a "wasted" half-hour in every day that could be put to better use?
For those of you who are exercising, but are finding satisfaction with the results elusive, can you identify a reason for your plateau? Have you been doing the same exercise routine over and over for months or even years on end? Variety is crucial to maintaining interest and making progress. Have you been doing too much exercise? Exercising too hard and too frequently denies our bodies the rest they need to heal and rebuild, and can lead to overuse injuries that prevent us from exercising.
For those of you who are satisfied with your fitness level, congratulations and keep up the good work.