(Photo courtesy of Sebastian Fritzon on Flickr)
(Photo courtesy of Sebastian Fritzon on Flickr)

BY GABRIELLE BOYER

Last week I was thumbing through the magazine, Muscles and Fitness, when I saw this article about a gym in New York. It compared itself to Globo Gym from the Dodgeball movie. While skimming the article, I read the owners profile, in which he explicitly stated, “Look, fitness isn’t for pussies. And the word Wellness makes me want to puke.”

Misogyny aside, I was wondering if all those steroids were shrinking his brain along with some other things. A lot of people have a limited scope of what they perceive as “fitness.” Usually that word brings up visions of big muscular guys or ladies lifting three times their body weight. I can happily say that fitness in that sense is mostly a stereotype.

First off, the word “fitness” actually means “physically healthy,” which is not necessarily related to how big your muscles are. Secondly, you can be fit in the sense of being physically attractive, but it does not make you well. Wellness is more encompassing because you have to be healthy in mind, body and spirit. It is just as important, if not more important, to include your mind and spirit into your workout.

Let me be explicitly clear if I wasn’t before; THIS IS A WELLNESS COLUMN. Although, I will cover the physiology of working out, a large part of this column will cover the mentality and spirituality of being healthy.

In the following weeks, I want to take UM-D students on a journey to complete health, which again, does not necessarily equate with the physique of Colossus or Rogue from the X-Men. Having a healthy lifestyle is more than just working out; it’s a commitment to healthy eating, better sleeping habits, and decreasing stress.

By just tweaking a few habits, a person can physically feel better than before. Not because they look better (although that is a benefit to a healthy lifestyle), but because their body will function better. Now, obviously, I am not a doctor, and I cannot possibly know every case of every person who reads this, but I can explain what has worked for me. For example, I am a runner. I try to run every day. Do I expect everyone to run four miles every day? Hell no! I said I try to run every day, so it would be extremely hypocritical and unrealistic to expect that everyone else does it.

So what do I mean beyond all this rambling? Everyone, whether skinny, curvy, or muscular could stand some improvement, and everyone deserves to be in the best shape that they deem as acceptable. So look forward to upcoming articles on how to become (or stay) well.

  • rungambit

    I joined a local gym called Art of Strength recently, the Wings and Lions work out there, and I was super nervous at first. It was nothing like the gym in dodgeball. Just hard work and lots of love. It’s by far the best gym in michigan http://www.aoskettlebells.com/