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What do you consider "in shape"?

posted over 7 years ago | Report

Everyone (including me) wants to be in shape, get in shape, stay in shape... but what does that mean? Is there a scientific definition or is it more of a general feeling of well being? Thoughts?

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  • I am 52. I try to keep my shape more like an apple than a pear. If I am doing that then my cardio is usually good as well.

    posted over 7 years ago

  • For me, being in shape would be measured in several areas
    1) cardio fitness - being able to climb 4-5 flights of stairs without any trouble
    2) strength and core stability - there's lots of tests, you don't need to be able to bench-press your own weight, but carrying shopping and being able to stand on one leg are a good start
    3) flexibility - touching your toes is a good benchmark
    4) weight - this is a greyer area, I don't like BMI as a measure, and I don't train people down to 3% body fat, but I think if your weight is affecting your daily life or endangering your heart then it should come down
    5) emotional wellness - you can take or leave this, but it's important to me and I keep an eye on it in my clients

    As you may guess, I'm pretty easy going. I think of exercise and strength training as a way to enjoy your life more. So to me, someone who is 'out of shape' is someone who's not able to do everything they want to do.

    posted over 7 years ago

  • The answer to this question is unique to each individaul. For me, in shape is being able to run 6 miles non-stop. That distance will keep me in good enough shape to be able to build additional miles to prepare for half or full marathons.

    posted over 7 years ago

  • It is all relative. Generally speaking, I thnk it's being active and fit enough where you feel good. Everyday life activities don't make your sore or tired:) At least, not very often.

    For me personally, my idea of keeping fit would be to continue to run on a regular basis and keep my mileage up around 3-6 per run. As long as I'm doing that I seem to eat healthier and the weight should stay down along with it.

    posted over 7 years ago

  • That's a really good question. I have no clue what being in shape might mean but I'm definitely trying for it. I guess I just want to get rid of some of the padding around my mid-section and be able to function without having to use my inhaler all the time. I've got a long way to go on the first but the second I'm already making some progress on.

    posted over 7 years ago

  • I used to totally ignore all the heart rate monitoring stuff. However there is a lot of legitimacy to it. It gives us an established baseline and a way to quantify results.

    I established my resting heart rate. I just did the average of all times I felt relaxed and at rest. Then I looked up one of those nifty heart rate charts where it establishes a rough idea what your maximum heart rates are for aerobic exercise, usually a graph for 60/80% max in relation to age.

    Using this chart, I got a feeling for what my comfort zones are, and when I push beyond those, 80% is way outside comfort :-)

    The key for beginning to understand how in shape you are, at least for me, is the amount of time it takes to go from max to complete recovery, i.e. a sustained effort back to a resting heart rate.

    The more "in shape" a person becomes, the less time it takes to recover. Over time, our bodies adapt and our hearts don't have to work as hard to maintain activity. Resting heart rates tend to fall as a result. Mine when from a consistent 72bpm, to well below 60.

    posted over 7 years ago | edited over 7 years ago

  • Generally speaking, my definition would be similiar to others already posted..Being in shape to me is being fit enough to live my active lifestyle and to feel good doing it. For me it can also be summed up with "fit is what you do, not what you look like."

    posted over 7 years ago

  • "fit is what you do, not what you look like."

    Love it!

    posted over 7 years ago

  • To be 'in shape' means to a) eat as well as you can b) exercise your body as well as you can c) look after yourself by sleeping properly and avoiding all of the bad stuff out there including over-eating and over-indulging. Over time, if you follow the combination of these three, you will be 'in shape' as best as YOU can possibly be.

    posted over 7 years ago

  • Very subjective. For me it is: no muffin top, no pooch, controlling my thighs and staying in my jeans. But most importantly it is the cardio that I can do and feel ok doing it: working out 5-6 day a week in some form (running, yoga and or spin). I prefer classes because I would never push myself as hard as a good instructor would...Also I eat normally. I do not diet but I choose wisely. No fast food and no soda.

    posted about 7 years ago | edited about 7 years ago

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