When Fitness Becomes a Lifestyle

It got brutally cold here last week. When this happens I start daydreaming about our summer vacation. In early June we are spending a couple weeks at the beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

I thought about it every day last week.

We’ve been going to the Outer Banks for a long time and haven’t missed a summer since 2001. We’ve experienced it all. We’ve had to evacuate for a hurricane. We’ve had several vacations with nothing, but blue sky. And, we had one vacation with two weeks of non-stop rain. That was not the best ever, but it did give us one of our most enduring vacation memories. On the last day, the sun came out and it was glorious. We still talk about how much fun we had soaking up every minute from sunrise to well beyond sunset.

We’ve gotten good at handling the weather and I always come home proclaiming it was “the best vacation ever.” In fact, leaving the Outer Banks is actually the saddest day of the year for me. I wrote about that a couple months ago and you can read it HERE.

So, last week I spent a lot of time thinking about our upcoming vacation. It’s still a long way off, but it was a nice cold weather diversion to go there in my imagination.

I also spent some time last week looking for new podcasts which I love listening to while getting my 20,000 steps every day. But, finding new podcasts is not an easy discovery process. I usually start with one I know and then see what they have listed in the “You Might Also Like” section. I’ll follow that trail until I see something new and interesting.

Anyhow, I found a podcast with a title that intrigued me. It included a word that I haven’t used in years even though you could make the argument this blog is about that. The more I thought about it the more I realized I really don’t like this word. At all.

My vacation daydreams almost always involve me walking along the beach. I love feeling the sun on my skin, hearing the sound of waves, and seeing pelicans fly in formation.

If I have a happy place this is it. Same for Ava. She loves running and even more so at the beach. I suspect she’s also enjoying her own day dreams during these cold winter days.

And, that brings me back to the podcast title and the word I really don’t like.


It’s defined as an activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness. What’s not to like about that? The podcast I found is titled is How to Make Exercise a Habit. Again…what’s wrong with that? Isn’t that the very thing I’ve been writing about since I began this 20k One Year Step Challenge?

Here’s the thing. Exercise feels like this separate thing we do to bring about a benefit we really desire. How many times have you forced exercise into your schedule. It’s a “have to”. And, there in lies the difference.

The things Ava and I love doing on vacation are the same things we love doing now…even when it’s cold and miserable. It’s not a “have to”…it’s a “get to”. By the time we hit the Outer Banks I will be on Week 37 of this 20k One Year Step Challenge. Last week wrapped up Week 22. Ava will have just finished a 50 mile run a couple weeks before vacation. She’s training for that now.

Ava and I don’t do exercise. We do life which includes fitness activities we love.

How about you?

I’m convinced we can all get to that place. It simply requires finding an activity you enjoy and gradually and consistently building it into the fabric of your life. For me that’s intentional walking with daily targets. Right now it’s 20,000 steps every day for a year. I post a daily update HERE.

I’ve also put together a plan to help you Win at Fitness…even if you have a lifetime of fitness fails and exercise feels like a battle you can’t conquer. It’s a 5 part plan and you can read more about that HERE.

You can also subscribe to this blog for weekly motivation and help. Click the FOLLOW button (below if you’re reading on your phone or to the right and above if you’re on a computer) and I’ll send you each article the moment it’s published.

Looking forward to fitness on vacation is what happens when fitness is a lifestyle.

One comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.