Active Healthy Aging: The Concept of Personal Fitness – Show Notes



Welcome to KCIW’s Active Healthy Aging program. I’m your host Coach Ken. Each week we will discuss practical health/fitness strategies and topics to help you regain, maintain, or improve your health and the movement practices that will support your activities of daily living.

Show Content: Episode #1

In this episode we will takes a look at how we might define the concept of personal fitness, our fundamental movement practice of the week is: walking, how do YOU define health, the what and why of regeneration strategies, and finally, our fitness fun fact of the week: how we got the term dumbbell.

Movement Practice Concept: How Do YOU Define Fitness?

Well, don’t be embarrassed if you aren’t sure, as fitness professional with numerous certifications, I can tell you that I have never been asked to define “fitness,” despite the fact that I’m considered a certified fitness professional. CURIOUS!

The majority of people tend to make assumptions about a person’s fitness based primarily upon aesthetics. For example: 6 pack abs, large defined arms/legs, lean physique, and/or some performance standard based upon strength, speed, or power, then we assume that they must be FIT. In truth, there are many potential elements of fitness to consider when designing your own movement practice. Ultimately, it boils down to what you personally need to be able to do to support YOUR activities of daily living.

Here’s a list of some elements of fitness that you may not have considered when creating or evaluating your own fitness regimen or movement practice:

Cardio-Respiratory Endurance Speed

Stamina Coordination

Strength Agility

Flexibility/Mobility Balance (static/dynamic)

Power Accuracy

Considering the above elements in our own movement practice, I offer you the following explanation for what it means to be “fit.”

The ability to perform your activities of daily living (sit to stand, dressing, picking things up, walking etc.), to include recreational and sports movements safely and efficiently.

Maybe it’s time to review your movement practice and determine if there are missing elements in your practice that could enhance your health, fitness, and daily activities.

Movement of the Week: Gait or Locomotion – First of the Four Pillars: Level Changes, Pushing/Pulling, Rotation

Walking is arguably our most functional movement pattern for getting from point A to point B. I think most folks can accept that our historical movement roots came as “hunter/gatherers.” As we age, walking is not just for transportation, it allows us to continue to live independently. Even if we ultimately require assistance in the form of a cane or walker, we can still get around.

The current general adult guidelines for moderate intensity exercise i.e. walking are: 150 minutes each week (30 minutes, 5 days a week, able to talk) OR 75 minutes of vigorous intensity (unable to carry on a conversation) per week. Another popular metric is working up to 10,000 steps each day walking. In any case, this is a critical component of your health and fitness.

If you are able to do this outdoors, even better, as you can gain additional benefits of breathing clean/fresh air, varying terrain options, connecting with nature, challenging your leg strength, and dynamic balance.

Wellness Concept of the Week: How Do YOU Define Health?

Most of us probably tend to think of our health in terms of the “absence of disease.” In short, if we aren’t sick we must be healthy.

Perhaps a more expanded definition of health might include the following from the WHO: “State of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

I think it’s important to take a very holistic perspective when considering what health means to each of us. Obviously, everything we DO or DON’T DO, can directly affect our health. What we eat, breathe in, and drink has an immediate impact on the internal systems that collectively determine our state of health. Even our thoughts, have an effect upon our overall health. It has been stated that, disease is a result of stinking thinking.” Finally, our physical and social environments can effect our internal health as well as our mental health, whether exposed to toxic chemicals or toxic people. It is well documented that “stress” (in all its forms) plays a major role in our overall health.

In general, I believe that optimal balance of our physical, mental, and social well-being is achieved first through awareness of where we can each improve. It’s not about perfection but frequently monitoring our overall sense of health and making adjustments accordingly. This requires some discipline and personal responsibility. We each have far more direct control over our personal health by our daily actions than we are often willing to admit. This segues into one of my favorite wellness quotes:

Wellness Quote of the Week:

Your body doesn’t know or care what you intend to do to it, it only knows what you actually do to it.” (TWICE)

Many of us have good intensions to move more, eat better, get more sleep etc. Ultimately our body’s will let us know how we are doing.

Regeneration Strategies: What It Is and What We Can Do To Optimize it.?

Regeneration is the act of restoring our various physical (physiological) and mental capabilities back to an optimal level. Most of this occurs while we are sleeping which underscores the importance of consistent supportive nutrition and adequate deep sleep.

It’s probably understood by most folks that our physical body’s regenerate constantly. Cells regularly die and are replaced throughout our bodies.

So what can we do to optimize the regeneration of our body’s, minds, and spirits?

Throughout this broadcast series we will look at specific regeneration strategies for optimizing our: soft tissues (muscles, tendons, fascia etc.), our gut health, cardiac and circulation issues, bone density, nervous system and brain function, postural integrity, respiration and breathing mechanics.

Some of us have become almost passive observers of own health destiny. I want to present you with the information, tools, and strategies for taking personal control over your body’s health, at any age.

Quality of life is the ultimate goal and there are many things each of us can do to improve our daily lives. I hope you will find the information practical and beneficial.

Fitness Truths, Half-Truths, and Lies:

Truth: Exercise is the LEAST EFFECTIVE way to lose weight

Half-Truth: Cardio machines are as effective as self-propelled body weight movements (walk, run) for overall fitness.

Lie: Long aerobic sessions are necessary to lose weight

Fitness Fun Fact: What is the origin of the term “dumbbell?”

There are a couple of possible explanations for the term “dumbbell.” Most fitness historians associate the term as it relates to being “dumb or silent.” Back in medieval times church bell ringers needed to practice ringing those heavy cast iron bells but couldn’t use bells with “clappers” because the constant clanging would have driven the residents crazy wondering what time it was. They instead practiced with a “dumb bell” (no clapper). They pulled on a rope attached to the “dumbbell” to swing it and gain the strength they needed to ring the bell eventually.

Another, reference to “dumbbell” recounts that early strongmen in the 1700’s used two “dumb” (bells without clappers) connected by a bar as weights for their feats of strength performances.


That wraps up this weeks episode of Active Healthy Aging where we discussed some of the elements of personal fitness, including our movement concept of the week: walking, we also discussed the question, “how do you define health?” and offered a possible working definition. Next we introduced you to the term “regeneration,” what it is and some practical strategies for applying it, and finally our fitness fun fact of the week: How we got the term dumbbells.


The information and opinions expressed on this show are for informational and entertainment purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and/or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or health care provider regarding any medical issue you may be experiencing.

Thanks for listening and as always,


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