Health Is Not a Number: Why Fitness Doesn’t Translate to Thinness

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Health Is Not a Number: Why Fitness Doesn’t Translate to Thinness featured image
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For some women, the size of their clothes dictates how they feel about themselves, but why should it? Instead of focusing on dress sizes or the numbers on scales, women need to love their bodies and remember that a healthy exercise routine doesn’t always translate to thinness. Strength, flexibility and wellness come in all shapes. Shopping in the plus-size section doesn’t mean you aren’t fit and beautiful.

Research from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study shows that at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five or more days a week is enough to maintain your weight and reduce your risk of disease. So, if you’re looking to enhance your fitness routine, follow these tips for a fit body no matter your size. 

Set Your Own Pace
Be realistic with your fitness goals by setting expectations for yourself. Everyone responds differently to diet and exercise, so you should avoid comparing yourself to others. Take it from Leah Gilbert, plus-size triathlete, founder of Body Positive Fitness and fitness instructor, who shared this advice: “Whatever pace you do is awesome. Set your own pace goals, but don’t go beating up the effort you just put your body through for the sake of meeting someone else’s expectations. Own your pace, understand it, be in tune with it, and be patient.”

Try Something New


Get out and try fun new activities that double as a workout. Performing a variety of activities will challenge your body in new ways and provide results. Plus, regular exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight and give you more energy.

Try a new rock climbing gym, head out to the water for some paddle boarding, take a dance or yoga class or go for a hike in a local state park. Finding ways to get fit will make exercise fun and a bit easier because you’ll be distracted by the new activity.

Eat a Balanced Diet
By eating a healthy diet with whole grains, fruits, vegetables and protein, you’ll nourish your body with the fuel it needs. Guidelines on ChooseMyPlate.gov can show you how to choose healthy meals based on your age, weight and lifestyle. And don’t forget about water! Your body needs water to hydrate those muscles and boost your metabolism.

Track Your Progress
Use an app on your phone or a wearable device to track your diet and exercise. Knowing how many calories you’re consuming and how many you’re burning during exercise will help manage your fitness. Following a healthy diet and exercise plan can be tough, but by using a system to monitor your goals and progress, you’ll have proof of all the hard work right in front of you!

Dress for The Part


Be proud of what you’ve accomplished and honor your figure! Feeling good about yourself also means wearing athletic apparel that fits your shape and allows you to move the way your body needs to for your favorite athletic activities. Look for fitted apparel with clean lines, pretty colors and sweat-wicking fabrics.

By choosing activewear that suits your figure, you’ll look and feel your best, which will keep you motivated to maintain your fitness routine.

See more about fashionable ways to stay fit with JCPenney’s Boutique shop for women sizes 14W–30W.

This article was produced by JCPenney’s Boutique shop for women sizes 14W-30W, in collaboration with NewBeauty.

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