It’s Your Health: Y-ending words in fitness

In fitness, three key words ending in “y” are mobility, agility, and flexibility. We strive to maintain these modules for independence and a better quality of life but we need to add adaptability and versatility for an overall enhanced wellness… physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Case in point. A few times a month I do promotional work for a couple of marketing companies. Last night, the event was a large wine tasting and I was dispensing delectable edibles for a gourmet food company. To my surprise and delight, the event’s food director had prepared two delicious hors d’oeuvres, featuring my products, both containing cream cheese.

The first display was wild Alaskan salmon mixed with cream cheese. The second item was a roasted raspberry chipotle sauce poured over a softened mound of cream cheese. Both simple, visually appealing, and tasty.

However, I was amazed at the concerned, detailed questions about preparation. I gave everyone the basic recipe but also suggested variations substituting non-fat cream cheese, adding this or that... Adaptability. More than I’d imagined, tasters said they couldn’t be flexible with a recipe and needed precise directions. One anxious man came back three times for clarification and more questions. I bet the inability for flexibility carries over into other areas of their lives.

How about you? Are you a person who bolts out the door to retrieve the trash bin as it’s being emptied? Or must get every last bug and speck of dirt off the front of your car each day? Maybe you walk or run the same route at a given time or never vary the intensity, duration, or type of workout. What would happen if you did? A break from rigidity would most likely give you a sense of freedom once you got over the shock of what you had done. Versatility.

If you’re a fitness devotee, you know for optimum performance you need to periodically mix it up to challenge your body and mind. But shouldn’t you apply this to other facets of daily existence? If we aspire to expand our minds (instead of our bodies — we’re good at that) and continue to grow as meaningful persons, we should be adaptable and versatile.

There is always a plan B. A daily routine is good but deviation from the comfortable makes life interesting and satisfying.

I realize this is a touchy subject but your favorite lounge chair by the condo pool doesn’t care who sits on it. The ire this causes evades me. We all have our little idiosyncrasies, but when these quirks prevent us from adaptability and versatility, it’s time for a reality check.

I admit that I have a few affectations. I automatically straighten pictures on walls if crooked. My coffee table magazines and couch pillows are in alignment before I go out the door, but the little cobweb in the corner of my ceiling… I’ll check on its progress tomorrow.


Kay Sager is a certified fitness and aquatic specialist living at Port of the Islands. She is a personal trainer using land and water fitness and teaches swimming. She also has written articles for Physician and Sports Medicine among other publications. Kay can be reached by e-mail:

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