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WQW#14: Four Steps to Achieve Total Fitness – Body, Mind, Soul, and Social

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This weekly writing challenge runs from Wednesday through Tuesday. The only rule is to use a quote. If you want to participate, create a pingback to link your post. Not sure how to do that? See how to create pingbacks here. Be sure to link to the most recent post, not my page. I don’t see links to my page. 

For More Ideas about Fitness…

Check out these early-bird participants. This challenge runs until next Tuesday, and these bloggers have some awesome quotes, stories, and pictures.

Definition of Fitness – noun

  • “Good health, (and) especially good physical condition resulting from exercise and proper nutrition.”
  • “The state or condition of being fit; suitability or appropriateness.”
  • “(biology) The extent to which an organism is able to produce offspring in a particular environment.” American Heritage and Webster’s Dictionaries

My Choice Quotes for Achieving Total Fitness

3 bikers in bright helmets
3 bikers in bright helmets and/or pants on the Willow Lake Trail

I got carried away with this post inspired by Terri’s Fitness Friday posts. Feel free to skim or spend some time, listen to some music and enjoy the ambiance of fitness.

‘The clock is ticking. Are you becoming the person you want to be?’

— Greg Plitt, fitness model

More than half of us immediately think of physical fitness when we hear the word fitness, but isn’t there more to life than having a fit body? Click on Greg Plitt’s link and you get a picture of the current model of physical fitness.

Trust me, I have nothing against physical fitness and at times have worked hard to achieve it. Just like being a professional pianist, writer, doctor, or any other highly-skilled individual, the price of achieving extreme fitness will be high. If you want to look like a model on the cover of a fitness magazine today, you will spend 8-10 hours a day or more exercising and eating a strict diet of mostly protein to the exclusion of other enjoyable things in life.

‘If you think lifting is dangerous, try being weak. Being weak is dangerous.’

— Bret Contreras, sports scientist

Is that what extreme physical fitness you want? If so, get a trainer and read on. If not, read on.

 ‘If something stands between you and your success, move it. Never be denied.’

— Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, actor and pro wrestler

Marsha’s Four-Step Plan for Total Fitness

‘Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.’

— Henry David Thoreau, poet and philosopher

My assumption and philosophy of life are that most of us want a well-rounded life that includes physical fitness but doesn’t exclude everything else. If that were not the case, it would be much easier to stay on a diet and exercise every day. The truth is that most of us falter on our resolutions to do so by mid-January or early February. While many don’t make resolutions like that in the first place.

Curating, my Word of the Year, suggests that we take in the entire picture of who we are and what we want in life before we set goals. Today I will discuss Step One in some detail.

Four Steps to Fitness in All Areas of Your Life

  1. Take stock of what we enjoy in all areas of our life.
  2. List physical, mental, and spiritual obstacles that hinder you from doing what you enjoy.
  3. Figure out how to kill two or more birds with one stone or meet several goals through one activity.
  4. Substitute healthy habits you enjoy for unhealthy ones.

Life Area #1 Physical Fitness

‘Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.’

— Winston Churchill, British statesman and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

We all fail. Here are some ideas to keep up your spirits and enthusiasm. Terri Webster Schrandt in her February post of Fitness Friday suggests that we:

  1. Do more of what we love. Walk more, bike more, and play more.
  2. Eat less of what we enjoy that isn’t good for us and more of what we enjoy that is healthy.
  3. Get help to stop hurting yourself.

My Two Cents Worth

  1. Drink plenty of water (64 oz daily is not too much!)
  2. Maintain your weight under “obese” for your height, bone structure, and age (not morbidly obese). For me, at 5’4″ that ledge is 150 pounds.
  3. Get enough rest. This is where I really fall down. The only thing that has helped me is Valarian, but I always forget to take it. Tylenol or red wine, warm socks, and a heating pad I put in the microwave also help. Sleeping with Puppy Girl does not help.
  4. Avoid being sedentary. This is hard for writers, right? The advice of my vein doctor is to get up once an hour and to wear compression socks while you work.
  5. Get regular checkups especially if you have a family history of a disease. A regular mammogram caught my cancer at stage one when it was still an easy fix.

If your life revolves and depends on doing harm to your physical body such as engaging such as smoking, drinking, having unhealthy sex, doing drugs, engaging in dangerous sports, mutilating your body, or doing other harmful things people do to their bodies, then you must also search for a deeper meaning to find out why and practice step #4.

Warning: This Mental Video Gets Very Physical

This video is an intro to “double-dipping” – Marsha’s Total Fitness Step # Three

Life Area #2 Mental Fitness

Of course, an educator wants everyone to include mental fitness into their routines. Some people love to go to school and read. What if you hate or don’t have time for either of those activities? Here are six options to improve and exercise your mind.

  1. Listen to audiobooks.
  2. Attend lectures – such as Town Hall meetings.
  3. Use Google and Wikipedia (or other sources) when interesting topics come up that you don’t know about.
  4. Always write – blogging, keeping a journal, poetry, short stories, or how-to books will keep your mind sharp and your conversations interesting.
  5. Travel – visiting museums, going to ball games, art exhibits, concerts, and taking pictures will stretch your knowledge about many subjects.
  6. Solve puzzles.
16939430_1229474037159698_4440410928025505694_n1499418020.jpg image
A) 062B) 602
C) 042D) 204
Take a break from reading. Exercise your brain now.

Filed Under: Number Puzzles Click to find the answer.
Exam Prep: AIEEE , Bank Exams , CAT , GATE
Job Role: Bank Clerk , Bank PO

Did you get it right?

Life Area #3 Spiritual Fitness

As I travel, I like to take pictures of churches or even activities that I think may have a spiritual overtone to them. That is much easier than talking about the topic of spirituality. Nonetheless, I think it is an important part of our total fitness. So bear with me or skip on through this part.

  • 2013 Nortre Dame trip with Randy
  • 2013 Accidental Vacation Ferndale, California

Some people love to go to church, but many people do not. Knowing God and developing your spirituality is not limited to human endeavors (what a shock.) This is what I believe about people, not about God.

  • All people grapple with sin and what to do with it.
  • All people ponder the mystery and meaning of life and how it relates to them.
  • All people wonder what happens after we die. Watch Netflix if you don’t agree!
  • All people believe in a higher power than themselves when the chips are down.

A dear friend and I discussed this topic last week. We have different beliefs, but we respect each other. She practices mindfulness and spirituality using practices and philosophies that she and her spouse have developed for themselves over the years.

Amazing group a blogger shared in a post and I got hooked.

As I thought about what we said, I think we all mold religion (our beliefs) whether or not we claim a certain religion. As a former Nazarene pastor’s wife, I know that even Christian churches do this. Church leaders and founders agree with certain beliefs and don’t like others, so they break away from one church and write their own doctrine based on their study and understanding of the Bible.

Individuals in every church do the same thing. Some drink, others don’t -even in churches that prohibit or don’t prohibit drinking. Some keep Lent, some don’t. You get the idea. The bottom line for me is that I know I can’t save myself and forgive my own sins. I’m not authorized to do that. LOL. If I were I could do anything I wanted and say I was okay. No fitness is required.

As a Christian, I trust God to provide that way for me and believe that He did that through Christ. That does not mean that it is my job to convert anyone or do everything I want to do. We all have the same needs and we can all do the following things to improve our spiritual fitness.

  • Five ways to seek spiritual fitness.
    1. Meditate or pray
    2. Read
    3. Practice and be mindful of what you learn: kindness, forgiveness, self-control, generosity
    4. Worship and sing
    5. Remember we all will die.
This young man’s best friend died, and he sang this song for him.

Life Area #4 Social Fitness

These are all pictures from Woodlake Rose Garden. From the homeless to community members who happened to drop by the park, working in the garden pulled people from all walks of life together in a social setting. It did not matter whether they were paid to work or not they all had a common purpose and something to talk about.

Knowing how to relate to others is nothing to put down. It’s a struggle. We get angry when people don’t agree with us, we fight, backbite, gossip, sue, never speak, divorce, self-isolate, move, harbor resentment, and the list goes on. Social fitness is one of the biggest world problems right now. Practice these seven steps to becoming more socially fit even if you think you hate socializing.

  • Work – even in the yard, people will notice and start talking to you. Most people make their strongest friends through work. Either volunteer or paid work helps people socialize.
  • Blog – you can do it in the privacy of your own home and meet like-minded people.
  • Take classes, work out, walk, help out in an area you enjoy, go to parades, outdoor concerts, out to eat. Do anything that exposes you to people. Then try the next steps.
  • Smile.
  • Say something nice to a stranger or the person you are with.
  • Ask a question.
  • Listen

Social Situations

WQW Fitness Posts Past – Present – Future

  • WQWWC #19 Fitness Health or Wellness
  • WQW #3: Fitness Resolutions You Can Keep
  • WQW #14 Fitness Followup #1: Four Steps to Achieve Total Fitness (Today’s post)
  • July 6th Fitness Followup #2: List physical, mental, spiritual, and social obstacles that hinder you from doing what you enjoy.
  • October 5th Fitness Followup #3: Figure out how to kill two or more birds with one stone or meet several goals through one activity.
  • November 9th Fitness Followup #4: Substitute healthy habits you enjoy for unhealthy ones.

Now it’s your turn.

Have some fun with quotes and fitness this week. Share your tips with us either in your post or in the comment section. I hope you will allow WQW to fit into your blogging plan and enjoy. I can’t wait to see what you come up with. BTW songs count as quotes. Sorry if I overdid it!

58 replies »

    • Thanks so much Yvette. Today I’ve been reading the book you recommended, How to Read Literature Like a Professor and becoming mentally wiser by the second. LOL What I’m realizing is how out of shape I am when it comes to literature. One of the good things that comes out of degrees in liberal studies and curriculum and instruction is that you are BALANCED, but not very KNOWLEDGEABLE. As I continue forward into the world of blogging, I continue on that path with every blog I read, every person I meet – everyone experts in their own fields. I have a massage therapist who claims to understand Numerology, and her analysis of my name tells me that above all things I am BALANCED. I was pleased at her analysis. Balance brings wisdom, but not necessarily expertise. LOL Nonetheless, if I had my life to live again, I would just do more of the same with more intensity. How are you doing on your break? I hope you are having some times of reflection and getting things done that you wanted to accomplish.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Marsha – my blog break is zipping on by but the posts are ready for the rest of the month so I having a break until May (if that makes sense) and I am peeking in on a few blogs and comments – because it is not a strict break- and I am getting some stuff done but sometimes I don’t know where the day goes? Zip on by!

        And maybe that is another reason why Anne’s story was completely enjoyable and stayed with me all day – because I have pulled back from reading the last week and so my threshold was changed and I soaked up the story a bit hungry!

        And I again was training about how the vertical in the title didn’t match at all with my take away .

        Quite the contrary – I felt across – overt – here and there along the horizon of life and even across the room to hear the foreign music – but not mycu up and down at all – so Anne- I am curious about the title and maybe if you have time you can share how you chose it for this wonderful selection (I am so curious and maybe others will enlighten me).

        Regarding knowledge – Marsha – your humility is genuine and I have known you a while and would never say you are lacking in that area! Nobody ca be knowledgeable in all areas and you might forget that curriculum and material design is a huge niche and serious knowledge layer! It might be easy to forget or gloss over it because that knowledge doesn’t trickle out in so many areas – but you have a lot more knowledge than you indicated here!
        I think your comment actually shows an advanced level of huge knowledge – because those that reach a certain level of high knowledge realize how much MORE there always is to know and then with all their seasoning and layers they have that advanced awareness of the period at the end of the sentence that really is what we know – hahaha
        Did that make sense?
        Also – I just don’t know if it possible for even the smartest of minds to have knowledge in tons of areas!
        Remember when we recently chatted about chuck swindoll (truly someone I owe so much to because so much of who I am today was from listening to his radio show weekdays for two years while commenting- he helped ground me and bright humor into my life with godly teachings in ways I had never ever heard before and still don’t find) – anyhow – he once shared that people can only have a few friends – our capacity for depth has limits – etc – and this was early 90s before the inflated stats of social media and before the average joe could become worshipped if he had the right site stuff going on!
        Now of course I totally know what he means about quality and genuine depth of friendship and that idea comes to mind with the areas of knowledge.
        Humans have limits and even those that multitask better or seem all extroverted and amiable have limits to depth of friendships and even the smartest and most intelligent folks can not be knowledgeable in all areas!

        And if we think “jeopardy” contestants are gifted because of what seems like a vast knowldge about many things – that is a different gift mix! It is more memorizing and exposure and doesn’t even qualify as a measure of intelligence!

        In one of recent posts I mentioned spending a week with Peter Drucker and he noted that it is crucial that humans develop other areas of expertise outside of their main field!
        And it sounds like that is what you area doing as you expand on your past career with the rich background of history and curriculum development (and side note – in 2018 I was part of a review team for a herbal psychology learning module and it was a pain because the lady who redeveloped the “shell” did not have skills ;and knowledge) in instructional design but thought she did! Ugh! It was a challenge to “mange up” and speak truthfully.
        Anyhow / I mention that story because don’t you ever undermine your skills and knowledge in that area because not everyone can do it and when it is done well – it is a gift to the learner!!)
        And so now in the life as you blog and expand your knowledge about so many topics – well it can be quite humbling as we continually realize how much more there is to soak up….

        And glad that the “read lit like a professor” is enjoyable – I absolutely love Foster’s jovial tone with all that seasoning in his area!!

        Lastly – speaking of this knowledge topic – another strength of the story here was Anne’s background with mental wellness- personal development – and culture-rich innuendos that I likely only got half of (plan to read again to extract more).

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so glad we can inspire each other every week, Marsha, even on my two-week blog break, LOL! Thanks for the shout-outs and more visitors to my fitness posts! You cover all aspects of fitness that deal with the whole person, which is a no-brainer in my book. It was great to see Vince in his fine fitness days and that lifestyle and attitude will keep him healthy for years to come. I’m grateful Hans is so fit and healthy. He’s dropped a few pounds now that he has been so busy working around the property. He even went on a hike with me this morning after church (Happy Palm Sunday to you!) up in the hills near our house. Got too cold suddenly and I decided to hop on the PC, read some blogs, and get some blog posts written/prepped this week. Throwing in a Wordless Wednesday post this week, too. Always great to have our phone chats and enjoy your Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I enjoy the phone calls, too! Happy Palm Sunday to you as well. We had a great service this morning. Did you know that Hosanna is more of a cry for help than a praise? The idea with the palms was more that they were looking for the savior from the bad situation they were in as a country (kind of like Ukraine.) They were saying, “Help us! Help us!”
      I’m missing your Sunday posts, too, LOL. Like I don’t have enough to do! I have a couple of really great pictures from the Frank Lloyd Wright House that I think are going to fit in with your next challenge. I do enjoy our phone calls as well. It is great to work with someone as we do our challenges. I so admire Donna, Jo, Debbie, and Sue and the way they bring so many interests together and make challenges out of their phone calls. I think we both have our hands full with what we have but I think we might have something exciting going with fitness. There are a bunch of people that are coming out this time in WQW that happen to be fitness experts. I don’t have my next fitness post for quite a while, though. I have a great post on curating coming up from a museum curator that I know in California. I am really excited about that one. Talk to you soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I believe fitness is a topic that never gets old. Perhaps we’ll look into more engagement with it. My blog started out as a leisure and fitness topic and it’s time I got back to more of the fitness aspect. I have a book’s worth of info after all 😁

        Liked by 1 person

        • You definitely should. It is not my chosen area of expertise even though I’ve had quite a bit of experience. I wouldn’t be qualified to teach it, but you ARE! My area is developing curriculum in whatever area. I don’t use that expertise AT ALL. Not in my blog, or as a sideline occupation, nada. All that work of earning my degree and experience for 15 years at the county office and more if you include my teaching. But the areas in which I’ve developed curriculum are pre K-12, and actually one of my units I developed for an author has been used for years at the junior college level. So if I’m not inspired to do what I have done for 20 years or more, it’s understandable that you haven’t finished your book or focused more on fitness. Right?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Later to the party than I would’ve liked to I loved your #3 on four steps to fitness. You also reminded me in this post to remember to quote other bloggers whose thoughts I’ve enjoyed. I seem to forget this. I loved your lists and “tips”. So good. I’ve never heard of that crack the code one. I might need to look into it. I love puzzles. I love Pentatonix. THey’re so amazing. and her name is Kirstin like mine haha. I love that Ed Sheeran song. I’m looking forward to the other follow-ups.

    Here’s my link:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lots of useful advice Marsha. I particularly like your mental fitness advice – I’m for all that! Socialising is not high on the list for a lot of people. It’s something I force myself to do when I lack a bit, because I know how important it is. My husband talks about that a lot. He’s a real social butterfly and has lots of friends and acquaintances. No matter where in the world we go….he meets someone he knows from somewhere or other.
    Oh gosh….our ex-president was sitting at a table beside us in a restaurant one day and when she was leaving he struck up a conversation with her. I didn’t know what to think at first. In my head I’m saying, “What on earth are you doing?”
    But she was lovely and chatted as if we were long lost friends! He’s right when he says, we’re all just people at the end of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Much to muse upon here. I figure that fitness, in any area of your life, is what you make of it. One person’s ‘healthy behavior’ is another person’s ‘what a fruitcake!’ You can be sure that you’re either doing too little or too much, the right way or the wrong way, depending on who you talk with. Fortunately I believe that what other people think of me is none of my business. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so fun, Ally. At my age it doesn’t matter either, but I find it interesting to compare notes and make changes in my life as I see fit, no pun intended!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post on staying fit on all areas of your life. I am currently doing a Fitness ‘Challenge’ with a group of friends where we set fitness goals, keep a simple journal, and support each other. The support from friends makes a very positive difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Marsha, I really enjoyed your section on spiritual fitness and as someone who has recently joined the 99 and found an inner peace which in turn gives me a strength I never thought I needed, I was captured by your words and indeed never thought of this as aform of fitness. My number one way of achieving this “fitness” is prayer and at times when I cannot focus on speaking to God, I recite the Rosary and it always calms me. Thanks for sharing. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love the Churchill quote very much! And appreciated your discussion of religion/spirituality–very nicely done, Marsha! And of course, your photos are always wonderful–as an “armchair traveler”, I relish the experiences vicariously!! Much love to you–God bless you abundantly, Zelda ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Brilliant post Marsha. I loved the collection of things and I did the puzzle and got it right (happy dance). I loved the focus on mental health too, I totally agree this can be equally as important as physical fitness. KL ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay on getting the puzzle right. People with good language skills and able to use their power of reasoning stand a good chance of solving the mystery. It’s not really a math problem, no calculations.

      Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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