Whether you are a fitness fanatic or you’re just managing to make it to the gym every once in a while, having a fitness philosophy can provide you with motivation on even the toughest days. Fitness philosophies are the reasons why we exercise; they are our thoughts and perceptions towards the importance of fitness. Most professional athletes have one. Serena Williams’ philosophy is that luck has nothing to do with success. She says that her success comes from the countless hours she spent training on the court. Everyone’s fitness philosophies are different and tend to change as we get older, adding in work schedules, families and other responsibilities. See how people of different age groups view the importance of fitness and how their fitness goals have changed over their lives.

Kaileya Humes, age 22

Kaileya is a senior at the University of Florida and did organized sports throughout her childhood. She said as a child participating in sports, working out was mindless, but as you get older, you have to be more intentional about the time you allocate to fitness. For Kaileya, creating a schedule has helped her stay motivated in the gym.

Kaileya says, “For me, it’s important just to stay active. The older I get, the harder it is, but I just try to find some time every day to get my heart rate going.”

Micheal Standridge, age 34

Michael’s favorite ways to exercise are by running or working out in group settings. Growing up, he wasn’t very interested in fitness or sports, but then he found a love of running stadiums in his time off work. He is currently exercising at a local CrossFit center, B3 Gym. He recently was named one of the most consistent members and enjoys the diverse workouts in a community setting.

Micheal says, “I work out to improve my self-confidence and stress management.”

Denise Devonish, age 47

Denise said she is stronger right now than she has ever been in her entire life. She has been focusing on improving her general fitness through strength training, endurance and nutrition. She loves competition, and her favorite way to exercise is through ultimate frisbee. Seeing her progress and her abilities improve motivates Denise to keep exercising.

Denise says, “Each person has their own direction, for me, my goal is to continue improving. Each day I give my 100%, but I know that my 100% is different on any given day depending on what my body is telling me.”

Rick Swenson, age 67

Rick has been an avid runner for the last 40 years. He said he began running because it’s an activity that gives him energy, helps him get in shape and makes him feel and look good. Rick believes fitness is essential because it allows people to do all of the things they want to do in life in terms of vacations, work and maximizing their own lives as they grow older.

Rick says, “I focus on stamina, endurance and strength achieved through moderate strength work and running. Fitness for me is not only a physical quest but also a mental and spiritual one.”

by Julie Walter