I know I’m not the only fitness program to cover wellness as a topic of discussion. It is, however, rare for wellness to be such an integral part of a fitness program. ZooFit’s motto is “Eat Clean, Live Green, Train Positive”. 

Living Green is literally two components: Living, as in staying alive and well. And Green, meaning eco-centric, sustainably, and environmentally. So, eco-wellness is an important part of ZooFit, as it allows us to thrive in an environmental way.

When working with trainers, the only experience I had with wellness was covering sleep and water. But there is so much more to it, and it really correlates with our fitness in a profound and significant manner.

I touched on oral hygiene the other day, and explained how taking care of our teeth is important to our overall health and well-being. So is other hygiene, and stress relief, and leisure activities.

So how does wellness keep us fit? Well, I’ll probably end up over-sharing this story, but it’s an important one, so learn to love it.

A few years ago, I left the zoo field to pursue a writing career (jury is still out on whether it was a smart move). When I left, we gave up our health insurance. Didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. I had a physical right before I left and my doctor smiled and informed me I was in perfect health. Same with Chris, so we decided with our healthy new lifestyle, we would be okay without health insurance. If something drastic happened, we would suck it up and pay.

Fast forward three years, and we didn’t want to have to suck it up and pay for physical therapy to get my knees back in order, so we got health insurance. And right after we got health insurance, Chris was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease.

So what happened? Did the doctors lie when they told Chris he was in perfect health? Did we not take care of ourselves? No, it’s nobody’s actual fault why Chris got sick. I mean, I’m perfectly fine. So, it wasn’t us, and honestly, it wasn’t the doctors.

It was a bad situation. Our first reaction to hearing Chris’ diagnosis was “How could this happen to us? We take care of ourselves and we are so healthy!”

But that quickly transformed into “Thank goodness we take care of ourselves and are so healthy. If we hadn’t, this situation would have been a helluva lot worse.” There is a good chance if we didn’t workout regularly and eat well, Chris would not be here with us. And for that reason, I started thinking about creating a wellness component to ZooFit.

Living Green. We have to take care of ourselves in EVERY aspect. It’s one thing to survive this thing we call life. It’s another to thrive. Zookeepers don’t want their animals to just survive, we want them to thrive. We provide excellent animal welfare in zoos. We should be looking at our own fitness and life the same way.

Taking care of ourselves goes hand in hand with taking care of the planet. From our hygiene habits to stress relief, the next month we will discuss all the ways you can become an eco-wellness warrior. And really learn how to put the LIVE in Live Green.