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Stairway to Lifetime Fitness, Health, and Wellness

This is an excerpt from Fitness for Life 7th Edition Cloth With Web Resource by Charles B. Corbin,Darla M. Castelli,Benjamin A. Sibley & Guy C. Le Masurier.

Do you live a healthy lifestyle? Do you eat well? Are you physically active? Many teens are active and eat well, but will you continue to do so when you’re older and on your own? Will you do the same kinds of activity you do now? If you answered no to any of these questions, you need to begin developing a lifetime plan for practicing a healthy lifestyle. One way to accomplish this goal is to climb the Stairway to Lifetime Fitness, Health, and Wellness. As you can see in figure 2.2, when you climb this stairway, you move from dependence (having others make decisions for you) to independence (making good decisions on your own).

Figure 2.2 The Stairway to Lifetime Fitness, Health, and Wellness.
Figure 2.2 The Stairway to Lifetime Fitness, Health, and Wellness.

Step 1: Practicing Healthy Lifestyles (Directed by Others)

Think about the way you eat, your physical activities, and your other lifestyle practices. When you were a kid, you were dependent on other people to make these decisions for you (see step 1, figure 2.2). As you’ve grown older, you’ve started making more decisions for yourself. As an adult, you’ll be almost totally responsible for making your own decisions. Living out the healthy lifestyle choices made or facilitated for you by other people is a good first step, but it’s up to you to keep climbing the stairway.

Step 2: Achieving Fitness, Health, and Wellness (Directed by Others)

If you stick with the healthy living practices in step 1, you will improve your fitness, health, and wellness (step 2), but the result is still dependent on others. For example, if you get fit because of exercise prescribed by coaches and physical education teachers, your fitness is dependent on their guidance. You may also eat well because a parent buys food and prepares most or all of your meals. It’s good that others help you adopt healthy lifestyles (step 1) that lead to fitness, health, and wellness (step 2). But it’s not until you move to the third step in the stairway that you begin to make your own decisions and become more independent.

Step 3: Obtaining Information

An important part of the scientific method is obtaining information (see chapter 1). Reading the text and having discussions in class are ways of obtaining information. You also learn by interacting with others through family, extracurricular activities, and in the community. Performing self-assessments also helps you learn about your personal needs and interests (e.g., fitness, current eating patterns, posture and back health). Knowledge helps you as you begin to move toward autonomy, or the freedom to make your own well-informed decisions.

Step 4: Processing, Understanding, and Using Information

Obtaining information (step 3) is important, but just having information is not enough—now you must examine and organize it so that you can better understand it. You can use the modified scientific method to help you determine if your information is accurate and reliable. Learning and practicing self-management skills can also help you process and understand information. These important skills are fully described in lesson 2.2 of this chapter.

Step 5: Practicing Self-Directed Healthy Lifestyles

At stage 5 you have learned how to obtain, process, understand, and use information. 

You have learned and practiced the self-management skills to plan, adopt, and maintain healthy lifestyles and healthy relationships. In a way, this step is much like the first step, but now you have transitioned from being dependent on others to making your own decisions and solving your own problems.

Step 6: Achieving and Maintaining Lifelong Fitness, Health, and Wellness

When you reach the top step of the stairway, you have achieved full autonomy and competence in using self-management, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. You have taken responsibility for your own lifetime fitness, health, and wellness, as well as for your own personal and social behavior. You’ll be well on your way to achieving and maintaining the benefits of healthy lifestyle behaviors as a result of your well-informed choices.

More Excerpts From Fitness for Life 7th Edition Cloth With Web Resource