We have been coaxed into believing the scale is the highest measure of health and fitness. But the scale fluctuates a ton depending on how much water you retain, what time of day you weigh in, how much fat vs. muscle you have on your body, your bone density and more. It’s a pretty crappy way to evaluate whether you are actually getting more fit or not.
While I was vacationing in Mexico this past weekend, I jumped on a treadmill for my usual jaunt. I started pushing the speed button and it was like I was floating. Up and up the miles per hour went until I was gracefully moving at a 11.5 mile per hour pace.
Folks, that’s a 5:13 per mile pace, and the fastest I have ever run just one mile is 5:14.
I kept this pace up for just under 40 minutes. I felt like a BEAST.
Obviously, this treadmill was lying to me.
There’s comfort in knowing the numbers, right? We want to be assured that what we are doing is working and that we have something concrete to prove that our invested time and energy has produced results.
There are many numbers we actually have control over. Things like…
- How many real push-ups or full pull-ups can you do
- In what time can you run a mile around the track
- How long can you hold a perfect plank
- How many glasses of alcohol consumed in a week
The possibilities are endless. But the number that matters the most is the number that resides in your heart.
I am not saying to ignore the hard and fast, tangible proof, what I am saying is that we need to dig deeper.
The best number to track to get fit and improve your health is to use The Joy Scale.
Yes, I know, I know, fitness is all about getting more physically strong, racking up a better VO2Max, holding that long yoga pose to improve your flexibility. But the REAL end goal of doing these things is that they actually provide us with the capacity to live life more fully engaged. Which is to say, that you are able to find deep joy in your day-to-day activities and being because you are getting stronger and connecting with your physical strengths. Getting stronger helps us to sustain our energy and to act upon our passions so that deep joy bubbles up in us.
Are you workouts both bringing you joy and allowing you to open yourself up to more joy in your life overall?
If not, here are some suggestions that can up your joy through movement:
- Consistently workout whether you feel like it or not.
- Listen to inspiring music while exercising.
- Get curious about how much your body can actually do. Push yourself to the outer boundaries to let it show you what you are capable of.
- Surround yourself with people who encourage and uplift you during your movement.
Movement can reduce depression, it can clarify your mind, it can improve your immune system, and boost your confidence.
Of course it’s great if you can bust out push-ups, rock a deep squat, and run a 5 minute mile- but using movement to increase your joy is a wonderful motivator and method to make your whole life better.
And regardless of what that treadmill told me, I felt absolutely amazing running on my vacation. Joy welled up in me in ways I don’t get from any other thing.
The number on the screen was irrelevant.
Where do you find your joy in movement?