My 3 Top Reasons to Get Fit

Share this page with your friends

How I narrowed this down to just 3 I have no idea. I wrote this Health Tip on a sand run this morning and racked my brain that’s for sure. Man, I could write a book but it still wouldn’t cover all of the important reasons I find for keeping fit… always. Wait, that’s been done ump-teen million times already but maybe that could be in my future.

#1: Above is reason – Answers come

Always. And it can happen right in the middle of a workout, at the end, or just after you’re finished. Maybe it’s the oxygenation or the fresh air if you’re outside, or the music, or it could be the sound of the ocean, the wind, the birds, the people you keep running in to and say ‘Hello’ to, connect with, make friends with, or all three this morning. But if you have a problem to solve (it could be climate change, or how to combat the obesity epidemic, or how to save the cheetahs, or how to find an answer for the world’s poor eating habits that are causing so many deaths) or just something you need to think through whether it’s personal or work-related, and who doesn’t, exercise can be the healthiest go-to ever. And the answer can surprisingly be more creative than you ever expected. You then get to pat yourself on the back for that. What a nice bonus! Makes you feel proud of yourself. Then you can repeat it over and over, time and time again… those crazy, great answers to things that come with a great workout, that spring out of nowhere and create this amazing feeling and mood that lasts all day!


Looking for Flights, Hotels, Apartments, Airport Taxis, Car Rentals? Search, find and book the best deals around the world.

#2: Being fit just feels better than not being fit

It just does, hands down. If you’re fit (I’m not going to worry about what specifically constitutes ‘fit’ for now), jot down just how that feels for you. Take a minute here. Think about it. If you have ever been or are unfit (not doing any regular, daily exercise), jot that down, also. Take your time. No one has to see it but you. How does that feel? How is your energy? How do you look in a full-length mirror naked to you? (Back in the 80’s in fitness we used to always use this as a gauge. It’s not mentioned much anymore). This has nothing to do with anyone but you.

In order to have something to say about not being fit, and feeling heavy and sluggish, I have to be able to speak from that. So here’s my short, little story. I hope you find it interesting, somewhat entertaining and hopefully inspiring.

I have always been fit since I was an athlete and was coached from an early age. But at 21, I was unfit and hadn’t regularly worked out in 2 years. I sort of lost sight of my fitness and my health. I wasn’t paying attention to that anymore. I was in college, and I studied, and worked. That’s it. And no the occasional backpacking trip or paddle out surfing or bodysurfing or riding my bike up the hills home from the beach with a surfboard under my arm wasn’t doing it. I was kind of in denial to say the least. These little things were always tough, too. I was always totally out of breath. But I wanted to be able to do all of the activities I loved without struggling.

Then my brother, my high school boyfriend and his friends and I went on a six week ski trip. I was the only girl, and I ate like them, anything and nothing in particular. I thought all of that skiing would suddenly get me in shape. When I got home, I couldn’t fit into my jeans. I had gained around 12 pounds. (Your jeans are always the true test if you’ve lost or gained weight, not the stretchy kind either…haha!). I remember the mirror I stood in front of. The buttons had to have been at least 4 inches apart. I didn’t like how I looked in a bikini either. The fat sort of spilled out over the sides of my bikini bottoms. Yuk.

Kicking and screaming, my girlfriends convinced me to go to this ‘Dance-Exercise’ class. ‘In a building?’ I thought. For the purpose of ‘getting fit’? No way. That did NOT appeal to me. But I wanted to be fit, to feel light, and lean, and be able to ‘eat anything’ again, and have tons of energy. I wanted that bad enough to try this silly class.

There she was, Niecie, age 35, fitter than anyone I had ever seen. She was the BOMB and 14 years older than me. Wow. I was check-done. I was going to look like her. Nothing would stop me. Nothing did. But it was a bumpy road. I would drag myself up the stairs so sore, and I would sabotage myself by binging on chocolate chip cookie dough or peanut butter. I tried running occasionally, too, but I never stopped taking her class and I never missed one. Finally, I had started to see a little, tiny bit of muscularity in my legs! Hooray! What a feeling that was. I stopped the binging finally. By six months, through the ups and downs, I was her star pupil, totally fit, weight lost, and was teaching her class for her when she needed me. Of course, I fit back into those darn jeans of mine, practically wore them out, and then cut them into cute shorts.

I will always remember how it felt to be unfit. And I will never feel or look like that again. My high school girlfriend and I opened our own fitness studio soon after that. We were both 21.

#3. Fit and healthy usually go hand-in-hand

Generally speaking here, they usually do. And without your health, you have nothing. A gym I worked at a long time ago had this saying framed on the wall in big letters: “Sooner or later, your health will be all that matters”. I have never forgotten that. And this is true for all of my older clients. Many are just trying to get their health back. Oh what they could say to my younger clients or even clients that started a little later in life or those folks out there who have yet to start exercising and eating healthy.

Don’t roll the dice and take a chance. With that comes worry, and doctor’s appointments, and more worry. How will you take care of your kids? Will you be able to work? Make money? Pay bills? Then there are those you love. What if you get really ill? That may fall on them. They will be sad and worry, they may have to take care of you, etc. These just are the cold, hard facts. It can happen at any age, too.

Why not choose the potential alternative scenario.. at least the one combination that has so much scientific proof behind it? Exercise and eat healthier little by little, day by day, for yourself and for your family and the friends who love you. I don’t care if you don’t like to exercise either. I’ve never felt that choice. It has just become ingrained in me. ‘Just Do It!’until you do. Most fit people go through normal ups and downs as well..days they don’t feel like working out, but they have mastered their go-to ‘mind games’ to get going. (For more about my ‘mind games’, please see my article ‘Don’t Think, Just Go!’ for Online Harbour).

Write it down. Everyday. Keep a journal. Abbreviate. Make quick notes of your workouts. Keep it handy. Talk about your goals to your friends and family. Make it known! Surround yourself with supportive people. Reward yourself not with a burger but use your awesome willpower that you’re strengthening by choosing a colorful salad or veggies instead of a burger, or buy yourself a new pair of awesome jeans. This practiced repeatedly will get you into a healthy groove, say habit researchers. ‘When you learn to force yourself to go to the gym or start your homework or eat a salad instead of a hamburger, part of what’s happening is that you’re changing how you think.’, said Todd Heatherton, a researcher at Dartmouth who has worked on willpower studies.

Remember also, look closely and feel, like I was saying, for the changes that will totally hook you. Find 2 or 3 things that you like to do and do them (even though you won’t always want to do them) …on more days than not. Exercising 4 or more days/week, more often than not, will become a habit and will get into your lifestyle. Align with someone who inspires you. I always hope to do just that for as many people as possible.

Mary K. has over 30 years of experience as a Personal Trainer, has a BA in Athletic Training, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, a Certified Nutrition Coach and Golf Injury Specialist. She grew up a competitive swimmer, a beach lover and surfer, competed in track and cross country followed by triathlons and mountain bike racing. Mary K. has always lived a healthy, fit lifestyle and has turned her passion into a very successful career. Find out more about Mary K. on her website.

Mary K. Ludlow, BA, CSCS


Receive our latest articles and news directly in your inbox so you don’t miss anything from us.


    You might also like

    Go to Top