iFit Personal Trainer Tanya Poppett: What Does Health Mean To You

What does health mean to you? Is it looking a certain way? Is it performing at a certain level? Whatever it may be, it may look differently to you than it may look to someone else; however, we can all agree upon how important it is to be healthy. And comparing yourself to how others physically look or perform in a certain way can do more harm than good for you. So, rather than compare yourself, focus on how you can improve yourself without that kind of comparison pressure.

Take iFit® personal trainer, Tanya Poppett, for example:

“On those days where your legs just can roll over the top of each other and it just feels good, your mind just wanders. Even just having that time where it’s just blank and you’re not thinking about anything but your breath and your breathing, just feels so freeing.

I grew up in a little coastal town called Gerringong – it’s about two hours south of Sydney. In high school, I competed in track and field and cross country running. One year, my goal was to make it to regionals and then it was to make it to state and then it was to make it to Nationals. That’s when I started to become concerned with the way my body looked and how it was different from others. I saw the way my body was shaped could impede my performance. I needed to train harder and make myself thinner, so I’d be faster and be able to achieve on a level that I wanted to achieve. And health was very one-dimensional to me at that stage. I completely just based it on a body type that was produced in the media, and I saw it being a similar problem to a lot of my friends and a lot of young women and men of just looking at fitness as a physical thing in it, as an aesthetic thing. Once we start getting into that physical side and that obsessive side of thinking that fitness is going to make us look like something that we’re not then that’s when it becomes dangerous. That’s where I feel like the media’s got it wrong.

Instead of running out of competitiveness, I started just running for enjoyment. Once I started looking at my body and all the things it can do, and especially when I nourished it properly and I gave it time to rest, I looked at my body as more of a machine that needs to function properly, and I want to get the most out of it. It gave me that insight and wow, I can move my body in so many different ways. That’s what gives me that zest and that passion for fitness is I’m doing something that I love and I have fun with it, and I love seeing what my body can do.

A lot of people have these thoughts, unhealthy thoughts about whathealth is. It comes down to the way you feel and trying to get the most out of your body and feeling good about it and feeling strong both inside and outside.

Exercise should be a reward for your body and not a punishment.”