Are We In a New Age of Fitness?

Last updated on August 26th, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Woman running as part of her health and fitness programHave you noticed that everywhere you look today people are conscious of getting and staying fit? We all know that fitness is not only about our physical health anymore, but our emotional and even spiritual health as well. Right?

There seems to be a shift in the broader cultural consciousness towards health and fitness too. Like so many other areas of life today, fitness, along with health, has become a highly individualized pursuit.

A New Age of Fitness

With the surge in the popularity of health and fitness, many entrepreneurs have found ways to capitalize on the growing trend, offering consumers new ways to enjoy getting fit. There are a plethora of new fitness classes designed to not only optimize someone’s fitness but also to provide the participant with social, mental and spiritual benefits. Have we arrived in a new age of fitness?

Maybe we’ve entered a new chapter, one that seeks to transcend previous fitness trends. If you remember the testosterone of the 80’s bodybuilders, it’s largely become nostalgic, as people are more interested in pursuing happiness as part of their fitness goals now.

The Popularity of Health and Fitness

As a population, we seem to have become more accepting of the idea that physical perfection is unattainable, yet the demand for a wide range of health and fitness options continues to expand. We’ve all somehow embraced and accepted a more holistic approach and see fitness as an integral part of becoming a more complete and healthy person.

Scientific research continues to deepen our understanding of the human body and the interrelatedness of mind, body and spirit. The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK states that “regular exercise can boost your mood if you have depression, and it’s especially useful for people with mild to moderate depression”.

Personally, I find that just getting out to walk in nature is a perfect way to shift my mood and makes me feel healthier and happier. We have an ever-increasing number of personal choices to improve our fitness while aligning ourselves with what’s current in contemporary social and spiritual movements.

Here are three examples…

Yoga, Yoga Everywhere!

Everywhere we look today we see how yoga has become popular in the cultural conversation. Yoga as a modern practice actually has a long history of Indian tradition and has been practiced for over 5,000 years! If you grew up in the 60’s, you might remember yoga’s introduction into the North American zeitgeist during the hippie generation.

Interestingly, a survey conducted by Yoga Alliance reports that the number of yoga practitioners has grown by 50% in the last four years in the U.S. to 36 million! Wow…so it seems if you aren’t practicing yoga, you’re probably participating by being a yoga teacher now! Which are you?

Leading health journal osteopathic.org sees how yoga mirrors the osteopathic approach to health and fitness. They both focus on the body’s natural tendency towards health and self-healing and believe that “yoga and osteopathic medicine are based on the idea that we are not just a physical body with a mind. Our human existence consists of mind, body and spirit, which interact with one another in very complex ways.”

Natalie Nevins balances her profession as an osteopathic family physician and yoga instructor. To her, “The purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body”. We see this ongoing acceptance that we are body, mind and spirit…everywhere!

The Health Benefits of Yoga

If you practice yoga you know about its physical benefits:

    • Increased Flexibility
    • Increased Muscle Strength
    • Improved Respiration
    • Increase in Energy
    • Improved vitality
    • Cardio and Circulatory Health
    • Improved Athletic Performance

Dr. Nevins sees how “Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness”. Why are people so comfortable with yoga, when they could get the same benefits from other workouts? Yoga has been practiced for centuries in some cultures and has become increasingly popular in Western culture for the last 50 years. It’s now receiving approval and recognition from the scientific community as well. Some believe that its mental benefits outperform any other source of fitness. A paradigm shift in this new age of fitness perhaps.

And remember, yoga isn’t only for adults. The proven benefits for children are well-known. A recent article on BestfortheKids.com points out ten of the benefits children receive from a yoga practice.

Diet and Nutrition in the New Age

What does ‘new age’ represent to you? The new age movement actually developed as a social movement drawing on ancient concepts while focusing on themes such as holism, naturalism, spirituality and metaphysics. This also sounds like it evolved out of the Hippie Movement of the 60’s to me. It makes sense then that a new age of fitness will also embody these ideologies.

Current dieting trends have evolved around the themes of holism and naturalism. Diets that are holistic are concerned about the impact our food choices have on the entire eco-system. From Paleo to Vegetarian to Vegan diets, there seems to be something for each of us. We even see athletes like the Diaz brothers, two professional martial artists, adopting vegan diets, even though the majority of their competitors still eat conventional diets. An example of personalized dieting in a world of ‘new age fitness’?

Diet’s Impact on Degenerative Diseases

A vegan, or purely plant-based diet, contains plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Often vegans are also animal activists who believe that an animal’s life should be free of human interference. A marriage of personal practice and personal morality, very prevalent in the world today.

We all know that high-quality (organic if possible) produce can increase our intake of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber. Another benefit is the impressive health benefits they offer in the fight against chronic degenerative disease. There’s little doubt anymore that a healthy body is necessary for a healthy mind. And vice versa.

An anti-inflammatory, vegetarian or vegan diet could lower the risk of:

        • Type 2 diabetes
        • Cardiovascular disease
        • Hypertension
        • Strokes
        • Obesity
        • Some cancers

A recent Live Science article found that more fruit and vegetables will even make a person happier! “Researchers found that people who switched from eating almost no fruit and vegetables in their daily diets to eating eight portions of fruit and vegetables a day experienced an increase in life satisfaction equivalent to what an unemployed person feels after finding a job”. Yay fruits and vegetables!

So maybe it was worth listening to your mother when she told you to make sure to eat your fruits and vegetables because they were good for you, right?Fruit and Vegetables are the key to health and fitness

Sweat It Out in the New Age of Fitness

Thanks to Chris Simon, a new online connection, of Origym, a forward -thinking company who helps train fitness professionals, for bringing to my attention a new and popular addition to the ‘new age’ fitness landscape. The somewhat unconventional ‘Sweat It Out Classes’, which benefit both the health and fitness of the participant. They also bring a group of fitness enthusiasts together in community, a clear example of holism. Maybe these ‘sweat’ classes show a connection to metaphysics by creating a collective identity that’s socially and mentally beneficial to all participants. What do you think?

We’ve all heard of Hot Yoga, right? How about Hot Pilates? Shannon Nadj, the founder of Hot Pilates, frequently runs sweat classes. “The heated room intensifies any practice, and I found it to be a perfect accelerator for Pilates. The heat speeds up your heart rate, intensifies your workout and makes it more challenging. It also ensures that you warm your body faster”.

Aside from the physical benefits, the mental connection you develop to your body during a heated class invites you to practice discipline and learn to adapt to uncomfortable situations. It’s not my thing, but I know a lot of people who love ‘sweat’ classes. Do you?

Maybe they signify a shift in understanding from how we typically viewed fitness. For me, this is certainly aligned with the ideals pursued in the new age.

Fitness Through the Generations

Research confirms that each generation is more health conscious than the last. Millennials are redefining what ‘healthy’ looks like today. Current and future generations have access to a wealth of information, new communities and new choices, making it a wonderful time to find our own perfect individualized way to get fit.

People continue exploring new ways to maintain their health and fitness, while others are making it a profession. As we saw with the rise in the number of new yoga instructors. Fitness professionals are pursuing opportunities that offer a better quality of life and more personal freedom. Companies like Chris’ Origym, are one of many offering alternative careers with a healthy lifestyle and the possibility of a lucrative income. As an independent USANA health and vitality consultant, I feel I have found a way to do the same. Sound like something for you? Let’s talk! 

We truly live in a time with unlimited options. We can choose to involve ourselves in practices that are ancient, or ones that are new and innovative. Or both. Perhaps a new age in fitness, one that will continue to evolve and gain momentum, is finally here. What things do you include in your practice in this new age of fitness?Fitness is a healthy body, mind and spirit

Beverley Golden

About Beverley Golden

Beverley Golden is a writer, storyteller, peacenik and health & vitality consultant, who loves testing unconventional ways to shift paradigms in the playing fields of health and wellness, storytelling and creativity as a path to world peace. Her passion is turning the “impossible” into the possible, using her own experiences with a lifetime of health issues, to inspire and support others to live their life to the fullest.

You're invited to a Complimentary Health Consultation, starting with the True Health Assessment that offers a customized personalized snapshot of how healthy you are in the areas of lifestyle, heredity and nutrition. Contact me to get started!

70 Comments

  • Sue Kearney says:

    Great observations, Beverley. One thing about living in our modern time that really suits me is all the attention and energy being given to health and healthy living. In fact, it’s probably saving my life.

    • Yes, yes, yes, Sue! That is such a big part of the new age and how there is a bright spotlight being shone on health and lifestyle. It is interesting how far it has come and evolved and like you, I believe it has helped to save my life too!

  • Moving our bodies is crucial, and it’s important to do it in the way that works best for us. I often cycle through different preferences in fitness, though yoga, running, and dancing always return to me. Thank you for sharing, Beverley.

    • I completely agree Vironika! There are so many new choices now that it has become so much easier to find the perfect exercise that works for us. You sound like you have a lot of choices you include in your own life…which is a great thing!

  • A timely post Beverley considering it was World Yoga Day yesterday. Now if we could only do a spot of yoga every day, imagine the benefits we would reap! I do my 10 minutes in the morning before the house wakes up and the benefits in terms of my mood and mindset are amazing. I hope lots of people read your post.

    • It is amazing to me how popular yoga has become too, Vatsala! I always think you have to do a full practice to get the benefits, so I appreciate hearing that your 10 minute morning practice offers you such wonderful mood and mindset benefits. Thanks, as I hope lots of people read the post and commit to themselves to get ‘fit’…body, mind and spirit.

  • Reba Linker says:

    Oh my goodness, this is such a challenge for me right now. It seems that some places and times are more conducive to exercising for me, and others not so much. I think I need to live closer to nature! Funny, because I used to dance all day long, and that is just not my lifestyle anymore.

    • It’s so interesting to hear that you were a committed dancer pre family, Reba! I imagine you get a lot of exercise with your kids. Hopefully you can find ways to get into nature more often, especially if you find it uplifts and fuels you.

      • Reba Linker says:

        Thanks – I love it when I’m in a situation where it’s easy to pop out the door and be on a beautiful bike path, or mountain trail. Nature. And about “Yoga, Yoga Everywhere!” it is so funny and wonderful how big yoga is. I remember taking yoga when it was considered very weird and out there. lol. Nice change!

        • Thanks so much Reba! I agree with you that being close enough to nature to get outside and just enjoy it as part of our fitness path, really does make a difference. Yoga has definitely has become huge in the new age landscape, and I know others like you who have been doing it for years and were considered weird or out there way back when! It is an excellent change indeed.

  • Mardene Carr says:

    I think we are in a new age of fitness on paper. Everyone is fascinated by fitness but people are more unhealthy these days

    • I agree that a lot of people talk about getting healthy and fit, but we still see a lot of unhealthy people indeed, Mardene.

  • Tami says:

    I have never tried yoga. I usually do cardio or strength training. I would like to experience the increased flexibilty and energy.

    • Yoga is really known for helping to increase flexibility and energy, Tami, so it might be a perfect thing for you to try! Enjoy it if you do.

  • exercising has so many great benefits but only if I could do it and stick to it as well!

    • I think you hit the nail on the head when it comes to exercise, Janella! We need to commit to it and stick to it!

  • Lorii Abela says:

    Indeed, there is a candy store out there of all of these health information. It can cause too much confusion though. What works for one person does not necessarily works for another. The trend of course is good as more and more are becoming aware of taking care of oneself. However, there are still a lot who has not jumped into the bandwagon. Nevertheless, we cannot control much on how our food are produced.

    • I agree with your perspective Lorii! There are unlimited choices now when it comes to health and wellbeing…something for everyone to choose from. I think with all the conversation now part of the cultural consciousness, hopefully more and more people will take a stand for their own health, especially how they eat and how they exercise.

  • Joyce Hansen says:

    Very interesting Beverley where you write about each generation becoming more health aware. I marvel at some older women in the gym who are in marvelous shape. It’s very encouraging to know that people can improve the quality of their health as they grow older.

    • Thanks Joyce! Yes, the younger generations see health as a proactive experience, whereas apparently older people still few it more along the lines of hoping not to get sick. I agree that more and more people from all generations have become conscious or their health and fitness. I great thing, as with so many choices for us all now, we truly can customize a plan that we love and that we want to stick with! I agree that it is encouraging to know that we always have new opportunities to improve our health and fitness!

  • Yes, fitness nowadays is an interesting concept. I believe that everyone should move or exercise in the way he or she feels comfortable doing. If you like playing a team game, such as soccer or basketball you can do that, if you like yoga then do that, if you like to only walk then do that. As well I believe in a healthy diet where you balance what you eat, think a bit about where the produce comes from,etc. If one wants to be a vegan then that is ok. What is a bit disturbing is the missionary attitude many yoga people, vegans and others have where they must try and convert you at every occasion they get. I believe in the free world.
    To sweat it out is nothing new, that is a trend that was very big during the new age era too. Then I know some movements who believed in dressing in plastic under the leggings thinking it would make you sweat out your toxins faster. Not very healthy and not very good for your body either. 😉

    • From everything you are sharing Katarina, it sounds like you are really aware and conscious of what a healthy and fit lifestyle looks like. I agree with you on all your points. As we are in highly individualized world now, with so many choices, we all are wise to choose the kind of exercise that resonates with us and that we will want to keep doing. Like you, food for me is all about fresh and clean. Local whenever possible and in season too. We have so much freedom of choice now, that it seems easier and easier to make wise choices for ourselves too.

      I have heard of the wrapping in plastic trend as well, and also find it very odd and not very healthy. I am much more of a purist it seems, than others who often look for a quick fix. Sounds like you are too! 🙂

  • Alicia says:

    Sounds interesting for sure. I have not excersised in a good while. I do take kids to park twice a day and we walk there – 3 minute walk.

    • At least you are getting a 3-minute walk in each day, Alicia! Maybe you could keep increasing the walk time, so you are getting more and more exercise in for you and your kids!

  • I need to do better. That “be healthier” just keeps getting pushed aside. I’m not sure how to actually make room for it/me.

    • My wish for you, Tonya, is that you make a commitment to yourself and say ‘yes’ to ‘being healthier! I am also happy to have a conversation to see if there are some simple things to do to move in that healthy direction. 🙂

  • Emily S. says:

    As a family, we make healthy eating and fitness a priority – even if it’s just an hour a day! We get the kids in the kitchen with us to wash and cut vegetables and our exercise of choice right now is swimming!

    • Love all the things you are doing to encourage a healthy lifestyle with your family, Emily! I believe when kids learn things at a young age, they become healthy habits for life. Kudos to you for knowing what the right exercise is at the right time too. Swimming is a big favourite of mine in the summer too!

  • Nellwyn says:

    I think it’s great that people are becoming more interested in health and fitness. I myself am trying to get back into exercising regularly and eating better.

    • IT’s always wonderful when we become more aware of our own health and wellness and then make a commitment to make sure to exercise and to eat healthy too, Nellwyn!

  • Jaime says:

    I definitely think exercise is beneficial for my mental state, as much as it benefits my physical state. I’m a big fan of running and I mix in yoga on occasion. And thank goodness for summer and my garden! I’m beginning to get vegetables from my own back yard and I love it!

    • Yes, to gardening for me too, Jaime! That really gives my upper body some new muscle workout. I admire people who run, so it sounds like with all the things you are doing, you are getting a body and mind workout!

  • Heather says:

    I think we definitely have more options to work smarter and not harder. Though I just started kickboxing and that is hard! LOL

    • Congrats for starting kickboxing, Heather! Wow, that sounds incredibly high energy and definitely ‘hard’. Have fun with it and enjoy it!

    • Sue says:

      This was a good reminder for me, thank you. Good advise too.

  • robin rue says:

    I have been thinking about starting yoga lately. I really was hoping to tag along with a friend so I didn’t have to go alone, but that’s not working out. I need to just go!

    • I think you should just go by yourself, and see if you like yoga, Robin! Chances are you’ll meet some new friends who love yoga too.

  • Rosey says:

    My DILs mom is a yoga instructor. It’s something they firmly believe in for sanity! 🙂

    • It’s so great to hear how yoga has become such a key part of so many people’s lives, and how much it helps them too, Rosey!

  • You are right fitness has become the topic of conversation of late. However to some I feel like its just a fad that will eventually pass. Although hopefully the peer pressure will help others get in on the action and it will truly change their lives. The benefits of fitness and especially yoga are so important. Since we have moved to Norway our lives have been healthier and its because we spend more time outdoors. It makes a huge difference.

    • You seem to have a very good understanding of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, Carrie! Norway sounds like a wonderful place to live a healthier lifestyle, especially being outdoors so much. I agree that it makes a huge difference. I do think more people are conscious of how their lifestyle choices make a big difference in their short and long term health! Enjoy your time in Norway, as it is a place I would love to visit.

  • Living a balanced life with the right workout and meals is the key to a better lifestyle, however the kind of life we live is not conducive to that discipline. It is difficult to convince myself to go to the gym everyday and juggle all the roles I have in one day too much to do and to little time. I guess I need some motivation. But you are right it is worth it =)

    • I hear you Adriana! Although I think even walking every day is good way to stay active and get in your exercise! You are such a wonderful recipe creator that I know you can eat healthy and make sure to exercise too. It really is worth making the effort to create a holistic health and wellness program!

  • Liz Mays says:

    It’s really nice that we’re learning more and more about exercise and healthy diets. It’s much easier to put together a good exercise and meal plan than it used to be! Trying out new exercise classes can be fun too.

    • I agree with you about it being much easier now to put together a complimentary exercise and eating plan, Liz. Especially with all the apps there are now that are dedicated to just that! I’m not a big exercise person, although I have tried my share of them in my life. Now for me, healthy eating and walking or hiking work well.

  • I’ve exercised off and on all of my adult life. I love the way it makes me look and feel. Mentally I feel alert, calm and invigorated.

    • You’re a great testimonial to the benefits of exercise, Saidah! It’s nice to hear you love how it makes you look and feel and that it makes you mentally alert, calm and invigorated!

  • Cathy Sykora says:

    That would be nice. I see it happening in some spots and not others. Where I live, it’s a struggle, they’re still making oreo balls and I’m still afraid to ask what’s in them, much less eat them. I’m in Denver this week on a mini vacation and I can see a difference in the fitness level, the availability of easy healthy food, and activity. It’s a culture. Some businesses promote a healthy culture and others don’t. I grew up in a time where the CEO’s had dry bars in their offices and weekends and holidays were prefaced with heavy drinking. There are businesses now that have green juice bars, walking lakes, yoga and gyms and really promote health and wellness. Hopefully it will spread.

    • You really give an accurate account of how far we have come when it comes to mindset regarding health, Cathy. You also highlight how in many areas, there is still a long way to go. I agree about the different cultural mindset and I guess I find myself mostly in the more health-oriented places vs.ones who still seem to be living in the past when it comes to what they eat. I also see many businesses who promote healthy living, offering healthy lifestyle. In my mind, they are the leaders who hopefully are influence other businesses for the future!

  • Getting enough exercise each day is so important. I know that I feel terrible if I do not move enough. Sitting on the couch all day literally gives me a headache and makes me feel awful. Luckily I have two young children who keep me on my toes.

    • It’s always great when you are aware enough that your body lets you know when you have to move more, Heather. Sounds like having two young children is a wonderful way for you to keep moving and active!

  • Hi, Beverley, fantastic article. I have to say that for me dieting has never been something that I’ve been able to commit to long term. Same goes for having a fitness goal. However, yoga has always brought me joy and inner peace. That is something that I would very much like to get back to doing.

    • It sounds like you really love yoga and how it brings you peace and calm, Marielle. I hope you get to resume it again soon. Maybe you aren’t someone who needs dieting for your overall fitness. Glad you enjoyed this article and I appreciate you sharing your personal experience.

  • Gilly says:

    What a great article! So many great points about how we are changing in the light of health and fitness. It’s funny, I used to think watching my mom do yoga when I was younger a goofy hippie kind of thing… I know now it definitely was and is a holistic way of keeping her body in tune, not just toned. It’s nice to know that each decade gets better than the last for mental, physical, nutritional and spiritual awareness.

    • Thanks so much Gilly! I love hearing that your mother did yoga and you thought she was goofy back then! Times have certainly changed, indeed. You are an example of someone who is living a more holistic life and who is highly aware of the importance of how mind, body and spirit all work together. In today’s world, fitness truly is a physical, emotional and spiritual pursuit.

  • Truth.. it is totally all encompassing… fitness is the whole health… exercise isn’t intended to make you lose weight but to aid in the journey and for heart health among other things… then everything has it’s place… but not meant to do only one.

    • Completely agree with you Kristen! Fitness is no longer just about exercising and a healthy body. It truly is an all encompassing pursuit…all of the lifestyle choices contribute to the bigger healthy picture.

  • Lori English says:

    Beverley,

    Great article! It is so important to take care of our body and mind and this truly explains the benefits of exercise such as Yoga, cardio, and just moving around is better than staying still. Making the time for exercise is important because you have one body and taking care of it is vital for the rest of your life.

    Lori English

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Lori! I do agree with everything you said and appreciate that you see the interconnectedness of body, mind and spirit. It seems that looking after one without the others now, isn’t the optimal way to stay healthy and fit!

  • In my private practice I work with clients who suffer from depression. Food choices and movement make such a difference. It just occurred to me that offering coaching services for diet and movement with my clients may be helpful. So often we need to be motivated by something or someone. Three weeks ago I was adopted by a shelter dog and he walks me often and I am happier since then!

    A few years ago I went to the Yashodhara Yoga Center in BC for a 10 Day Yoga Retreat. It was great. My favorite yoga book is Hatha Yoga: the Hidden Language by Swami Radha. With this book you can practice a pose and then journal about it and then go back into the pose. It helps connect the body, mind and spirit.

    Thanks for this blog today Beverley. It was exactly what I needed to sign up for a yoga class!

    • Love all the experiences you share in your comment, Candess! Yes, one of the places to begin with I believe all health issues, is what people are putting in their body. More and more I see research showing how the ‘gut’ is related to almost all health issues, including mood. So it makes sense to start with diet and exercise as a way to improve emotional and mental health. Your new shelter dog sounds perfect for you! Congrats to you both!

      I personally haven’t been someone who took well to yoga, but I do know that those who do, find great results…a true way to integrate body, mind and spirit. Enjoy your classes again!

  • Meghan says:

    Diet is where it’s at! Staying physically fit and moving often throughout the day are second in line after diet. Again you’ve proven the fact-based reasons why people should adopt these changes into their lifestyle. Personally, diet changes have reversed my osteoporosis (woo hoo!) and a vegetarian diet keeps me feeling healthy and aligned with my love of animals and the environment. The internet has made so much information available to us that there is no excuse for not improving our lifestyle. It’s no surprise to me that yoga is popular, although those stats are much higher than I’d expect–wow!

    • What a great testimonial you are to how diet can change physical symptoms, Meghan! Wow…it is amazing to hear that you have reversed your osteoporosis with diet and exercise! I agree that the internet has made an incredible amount of information available, maybe too much, but for each of us, it is important to find the things that resonate and work for us. We are in a new era where we can individualize our nutrition and fitness. The yoga stats shocked me too! That is a huge number of people who are teaching yoga…which hopefully means lots of people are also benefitting from taking classes.

  • Tamuria says:

    I was just thinking about this the other day, Beverley. Watching my sons make time for their fitness goals despite ridiculously busy lives made me aware of how much our thinking has changed from when I was their age. It’s wonderful to see them taking care of themselves in this way and setting such a good example for their kids. I did yoga classes for years and enjoyed them but for me these days, nothing beats a walk outdoors. We do live in a time of unlimited options and that’s great because what works for one, may not be best for another.

    • It is amazing to see our children and compare how the world of health and fitness have evolved since we were growing up, Tami! It is great to witness how much the awareness is raised and how younger generations view health as a must for a vibrant lifestyle, while many boomers, apparently, see health as an absence of sickness. Quite a different mindset indeed. Like you, I have tried a few different exercise modalities and find that a walk, especially in nature, is my favourite. There are so many options now and people reminded me that technology has made individual choices a lot easier too…so many options and easy to find choices.

  • Teresa Salhi says:

    I have been into physical fitness for a long as I remember. From aerobic classes way back when – marathon running, weight training, spin classes, hiking and definitely yoga – which helps with all the others. These days hot yoga is my go to. I love taking care of the body for all the reasons you say and my body loves me for it too. 🙂

    • It’s great that you have been so aware of physical, and other kinds of fitness, for a long time, Teresa! It sounds like you’ve tried them all too. I haven’t been as adventurous, however, I do find walking and hiking are perfect for me. I love that you’ve taken to hot yoga and find that your body loves you for it! 🙂 Enjoy!

  • As you know, Beverley, this is a big topic with me! I used to be a fitness instructor, have co-authored a book on it with a famous fitness guru, and continue to stay up on what’s happening. I do love yoga, but have recently found the most amazing stretching/strengthening program I have ever, ever seen. It’s take away my arthritic pain, which I still can’t believe! Like you, my fav exercise is taking a walk with the dogs, in glorious nature. Now I can do it without hurting!
    The fitness industry is still in its infancy, but I do believe we’re moving in the right direction now too.

    • Thanks for your comment, Susan, as yes, I do know you used to be a fitness instructor. I did not know you had co-authored a book on it though. Although I have personally not taken to yoga, I love the idea of a stretch/strengthening class, as I was doing a Zen Stretch class that I found had the same results as you report. It is wonderful when we find something that truly works for us. Hence the ‘individualized’ era we are living in now. Nothing beats walking for me either and you have the benefit of being out in nature and having your beautiful dogs with you! It’s great that you are pain free now thanks to all your choices for yourself. The fitness industry does continue to evolve and I see that we’ve come a long way from earlier understanding of only seeing fitness as benefitting the ‘body’.

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