Sat with Nat

When am I fit enough?

I’ve asked this question of myself, my doctor and my health coach, when will I know when I’m fit enough to sustain my health and well-being?

I’ve been thinking about that a lot as I’m looking at my health. My eating habits are at a stable place where I hit the vegetables I need and enjoy food without binging. 

My cardio is 2-4 times a week and I walk about 10,000 steps a day. 

I’m feeling good, is this my sustainable fitness level? Is it enough?

There has to be a point I get to where I’m no longer aiming for more or better or faster but I don’t know yet what that looks like.  

Have you picked a benchmark or defined “fit enough” for you?

8 thoughts on “When am I fit enough?

  1. For me it matters whether you’re talking about enough fitness for health reasons or if you’ve got something more in mind. I’m there on the health benefits of exercise. Those goals are easily met,done and exceeded by what I do and the way I live. But fun? Fun is more. More movement, more sports, more activity. And for me, fun is also pushing myself, trying new things, getting faster, getting stronger. But that’s not about health. That’s about the joy of physical activity and the rush of competition.So I think the health bar is pretty low. You’ve likely met it. But fun? Sky’s the limit! We’re riding out bikes to Montreal this summer. Our goddamn bikes. That’s going to be a blast. Looking forward to more rides, to longer rides, to faster rides. Not for health, but for fun.

  2. Interesting question! Like your other commenters, I know I’m hitting (or exceeding) the North American requirements for activity and healthy eating. I walk or bike 3km each way to work each day, and dance, swim and ride my horse at least once a week each. I cook almost everything from scratch and even grow some of my own food, so I’m controlling the additives too. But I’m still fat. I travel to developing countries for work, where I see people putting in many more hours of hard physical labour than I do. They look fit (not skinny or malnourished – hard, muscular, fit). It always makes me wonder whether we have the right definition for fit enough, or whether we have made up a definition to fit our largely sedentary lifestyle.

  3. Why does there ‘have to’ be a point at which you stop aiming for more? What’s the argument for that?

    I’m oldish, so for me the plan is to keep getting better/faster/etc until the ravages of time start pulling me down the other side of the achievement hill. I guess that’s sort of a benchmark of your sort?

    1. Yes there is. The folk who never think they’re doing enough wind up with disordered thinking paterns. The choice to maintain current levels of fitness is a valid choice.

      1. Of course it is a ‘valid choice’. I asked why it was a NECESSARY choice. And I didn’t say anything about needing to DO more and neither did Natalieh – she was talking about trying to meet new fitness and achievement benchmarks, which one can strive for while doing the same amount of training.

  4. Useful to consider this sometimes. Especially when also a person pursues other non-cycling personal interests…in addition to cycling/exercise.

    I haven’t really thought about this. In terms of sustainable exercise that meets my needs –desirably cycling 10-30 km. per day or if not that, walking 2-3 km. per day and some stretching/pilates exercises. In summer I cycle more. I’m probably not pushing in certain areas –weight bearing exercises.

    I measure my mimimum exercise sustainabitiy by prioritizing the importance of healthy, fit mobility since I don’t have car nor drive.

    For certain, I realized the importance of my own good health when I was recovering from a concussion last year: I believe my good health helped me recover faster/more easily. My injury was at a seriousness that I was dizzy for first few months and unable to work. At 56 yrs., a person NEEDS to become healthy so that later uncontrollable illnesses, etc. can be treated more easily without complication of other multiple pre-existing health problems.

  5. This may seem random but your post kind of makes me think of how in the Spanish language, there are two words for “to be.” There’s “ser” which identifies lasting attributes and “estar” which indicates temporary states. Your post grapples with identity (Am I enough? Am I fit now?) and circumstance (Am I doing enough or is there more to be done?) I think the answers to these questions probably lie in your values.
    I’m a very practical person one of my benchmarks is whether I can climb flights of stairs without being out of breath. I also love being outdoors so I will never stop trying to be a better surfer or hike higher mountains.

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