You are eating right. You are exercising. You have stuck to your commitments to cleanse, and improve yourself — mind, body, and spirit.
Now it’s time to share your success and motivation with others. It’s great that you are getting and staying fit, but don’t stop there. Spread the word and inspire fitness throughout your friends, family, and community.
You know there are two ways to define the word “champion.” You can be a champion as in a winning professional athlete, and you can also “champion” a cause.
Whether you are a professional trainer, or just someone who “gets it,” and would like to share the wealth, here are my Top Ten Ways to become a local “Fitness Champion” in both senses of the word!
- Become a Fitness Ambassador – See your home town like a tourist and get fit in the process. Many coaches and professional trainers have combined getting fit, with getting to know the local attractions. Organize fitness tours of the sites of your city. These can be walking, jogging, hiking, or more intensive “boot camp” like workouts. Either way, it’s a great way to get people moving, while experiencing some community pride at the same time.
- Create a Community Challenge – Get with your mayor, local chamber of commerce, Rotary or Lions Club, and/or other community leaders to create a community fitness challenge. In the US, personal trainer Linda Fondren challenged her hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi to lose a combined 17,000 pounds in 17 days. More than 2500 residents rose to the occasion, losing a total of 15,000 pounds in the first few weeks, and met the challenge goal several weeks later.
- Knowledge Is Power – Make sure you know the recommended National Physical Activity Guidelines for your community to see how much physical activity you should be getting on a daily basis, and encourage family, friends and co-workers to do the same.
- Go Green and Local – Support local farmers markets, organic growers, and other local access points to fresh fruits and vegetables. This is not only great for your own well-being, but it’s also good for the local economy.
- Create or Join Your Neighborhood Watch – Joining a neighborhood watch is a great way to support your community, get to know your neighbors, get some exercise “on patrol,” and help improve public safety, which is also part of your community’s health.
- Plant Trees – Every town or neighborhood can get healthier with more trees. Trees not only improve the look of streets and intersections, but they also become habitats for wildlife, provide shade, and give off life-giving oxygen. Furthermore, spending a day or two of planting is great for physical activity and community bonding.
- Volunteer – Become aware of any National or Regional “Fitness” or “Health Awareness” Days, such as cardiovascular disease or cancer screenings, and volunteer to help in any way you can.
- Lead by Example – This means not only living the healthy life you have chosen to lead but be open and willing to talk about the choices you have made to those around you. Share your ups and downs, triumphs and failures. Be particularly willing to share some of the intimate things you have learned about yourself, this will help people relate to YOU as a person and contemporary, and can be far more motivating than some celebrity on TV.
- Have Fun – and Show It – Find every example you can to show how exercise and eating right can be pleasurable and even fun. Too many folks worry about what they have to “give up” to get fit. Instead, show them how eating right can be just as satisfying as less healthy choices. Maybe partner with a local restaurant to hold a healthy cooking demonstration or workshop.
- Make People Feel Good – Being a fitness champion means always seeing what is good in those around you, and making them feel good about themselves. Think about what you like about the people you associate with, not only physical attributes, but whatever it is you admire about them, and be sure to tell them, sincerely and often. People may not recall what you have told them, but they will always remember the way you make them feel.
Helping the people around you to get fit by being a local fitness champion will not only result in healthier neighbors, but also healthier neighborhoods, and that is good for everyone in the community – Mind, Body and Spirit.