Fitness – Intrinsic or Purposeful?

Many of you may know that I have been moving back and forth from Florida to California over the last decade.  It’s pretty extreme I suppose, compared to how most people go about their daily lives.  We trade snow for sun and I trade usually 2 jobs for none.  I go from zero to sixty and back again.  It’s an adjustment.  For me, for my closet (!) and for my body.

When I am here working, I tend bar and waitress.  I get a lot of movement in my daily activities just by going to work.  I also like to go biking, rafting, etc with my friends.  Any purposeful workouts are above and beyond living an active lifestyle.  Conversely, in FL I don’t work and I instead focus on running and races and triathlons.  My workouts are very purposeful, and timed, and scheduled, etc.

I feel I stay fit both ways.  I’m not sure I can say one is preferable to the other.  I can say that I do weigh less when I come home to CA. I have years of graphs to prove it.  There is a study about high altitude that might have something to do with that, beyond how active I personally am.

I will say that after 40, flexibility becomes more important, as does strength training.  Luckily, bartending requires plenty of carrying and bending and twisting, not just standing upright pouring drinks.  This is no small reason why I left an office desk job in ’92 and never looked back.  I did not want to sit 40 hours a week.  I like moving.  I like even more when it’s built into my day and I don’t have to ‘make time’ for it.

That said, if my career should shift and I find myself in a less active job, I will make the time for purposeful workouts to compensate.  Running, yoga, weightlifting.  I figure it has to at least be one or the other, but you can’t do neither and expect to remain fit as you age.  Thin and fit are not the same thing.  One can stay thin with diet, but to be fit you have to move your body in some way.

Do you ‘workout’, or are you ‘active’?  Do you differentiate between the two?  Do you feel you get the movement in most days that you’d like to?  Or do you wish you had more hours?  Or, like me, sometimes wish for more motivation?  If you could choose – would you pick scheduled workouts or an overall active lifestyle?  Does it matter?


7 thoughts on “Fitness – Intrinsic or Purposeful?

  1. I must be sad exception to altitude weight loss; maybe it’s the cold and I want more food, more wine, or maybe it’s cuz my hormones (>50) but I live in CA mountain town about 1/2 time and CA beach town. I do work out at gym or walking for errands when I can by beach and walking/ hiking / skiing in mountains. Need to make time around work since hunched over computer 8 to 10 hrs/day. Have never competed but having goal such as 7 night summer backpack helps get me going, I do need purpose. Yet, another activity that guys come back skinny and I do not.


    • Well that’s a bummer! When I say I weigh less, it’s about 2 or 3 pounds. Maybe not a lot, but enough to notice on my graph, as I remain in a 5 lb maintenance zone.
      Is the town maybe not high enough? Over a mile at least. Hmm. I live at 6300 or 13 feet, respectively lol. EDIT: I see you live in Mammoth – definitely high enough! Are you sure there isn’t a couple pound drop the first week or so you come back up to elevation?
      I hear you on purpose. That’s why I do like races. Makes you train for the goal. I have motivation issues. Once I get started, I’m good to go, but getting off the couch into the cold (or conversely the sticky hot in FL summer) is not always easy.


  2. In an ideal world, I’d be active at work and do something else, like swimming or running in the evening. With a small baby this is not possible, so I am grateful I am very active at work. Sometimes I sit about one hour out of six… And I go for a walk every afternoon with the baby, which helps too.

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  3. For me there is a significant difference between ‘working out’ and being ‘active.’ When I work out, it is because I have made a conscious decision to do so, and I have specific fitness goals – while, being active means that I am regularly moving my body and am engaging in what might be physically challenging activities, but I am not concerned with specific times/weights/reps, etc. I would love it if I had the kind of lifestyle which accommodated both – but alas, my job pretty much dictates that I am sitting much of the work-day. Therefore, I am much more of a purposeful fitness type of person, than an active lifestyle type of person. I am fortunate though that I live in a climate where I can comfortably be outdoors year round – and so that means that I can easily walk to many of my destinations – but that just doesn’t satisfy my psychological need to push my body and achieve certain fitness goals that I set for myself. That only comes (for me) when I purposefully work-out – hence, my preference for pre-planned work-outs!

    Mo – you have years of graphs charting your weight???? Wow – that just amazes me! I honestly have never owned a scale – so I really have no idea (other than how my clothes fit) how much my weight fluctuates from season to season – or year to year. I prefer it that way – I figure it’s one less thing for me to obsess about!

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    • Having a temperate climate really is a blessing for being able to go outside and play pretty much any time!
      I have a chart from my Fitibit of my weight. If I choose the ‘all’ option it will give me each month’s average for the last 5 years (how long I’ve had it). I used to record weight and measurements in a little spriral book and I’m sure it’s in the bottom of a drawer somewhere. That would be WAY back 20+ years ;). Told you I like to count stuff.
      I started my first gym training in ’92 when I moved to Vegas to become a waitress after 4 years of a sit down job with State Farm Ins. Dropped 10 to 15 lb and a full clothes size. Tried to stay on the fitness routine and weight maintenance from there on out. Had a few bumps in the road. Went up again in my late 20’s just out at all hours drinking and eating crud. Reigned that back in and have tried to stay in the same clothes size since. I go up and down a bit like anyone. Burst appendix caused me to go down another half size, etc.


  4. I hired a personal trainer 3 months ago after realizing that try as I might, I just don’t have the motivation to get to a gym on my own anymore. Bundle that with not knowing what to do when I am there and you end up with one bored and repeating the same thing over and over again gym member. I work out 3 days a week with the trainer, usually with weights, but sometimes intervals too. Two more days I do cardio on my own. And a sixth day is not for the gym, but I horseback riding, which is it’s own workout. I do all of this to counteract my 40+ hour a week desk job, where I do not move AT ALL during the day.


    • I would have a very hard time with a desk job after food and beverage for so long. I know I could do it, but scheduling in THAT much other exercise to counter it would be difficult. These days, I’m hoping for 2 purposeful workouts and a semi active job. Semi active being a stand up job, but maybe not running around waiting tables in a super busy place 😉 Playing outside would round that out, but in winter that becomes limited.
      Good job on committing to the trainer workouts and supplementing with your own cardio on top of it!

      Liked by 1 person

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