My fitness philosophy can be summed up in one short sentence: As long as you’re moving, I’m happy.

While this slogan has become a running inside joke among my personal training clients, it’s true.

For me, fitness is all about meeting people where they are, and supporting them to get to where they want to be.

I am also a firm believer that fitness is not about how you compare to others. It’s about taking strides to improve yourself each day.

I encourage my clients to develop their own fitness philosophies, too. This helps them define what health and fitness looks like in their lives.

To develop a personal fitness philosophy, I have my clients begin by setting boundaries. In our first session, I typically ask the following questions: What means of attaining your fitness goals do you consider too extreme or outside of your vision of healthy living? What are you willing to let go of to reach your fitness goals?

For some of my clients, cutting down on daily coffee is out of the question. For others, running for any length of time or distance seems too extreme. Once these boundaries are clearly established, I can then develop a course of action to help my clients accomplish their goals.

Establishing priorities also helps to direct the focus of my clients’ fitness philosophies. I begin this stage by asking my clients if the number on the scale alone defines health and fitness for them. Or, if other measurements of success such as inches lost, decreased clothing size, or improved blood pressure work, too.

Over the years, I’ve found those who view health and fitness as reaching a particular weight require additional support and motivation through their fitness journeys.

Finally, I ask my clients to define what motivates them. There comes a point in everyone’s fitness journey when things get challenging, and the results begin to plateau. When that stage occurs, I have my clients refer back to this portion of their fitness philosophies so that they can focus on what motivates them to get back on track and push through.

If you’re looking to begin your fitness journey and commit to leading a healthier life, I challenge you to define your personal fitness philosophy to guide your path.

Brittany Baldwin is a certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Creighton University. She writes regularly for livewellnebraska.com.

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