Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Get through all the noise and discover the truth.

We are inundated with health and fitness info every day. Each time you open a magazine or turn on the TV, someone is trying to sell you on THE ANSWER to all your health and fitness needs.

These products range from magic pills that will eliminate body fat or rid your body of the oft-dreaded “toxins”. Other times it’s a new piece of equipment or training system. The “best” total body workout imaginable in the shortest amount of time.

“All you have is three minutes a day? No problem! OUR system will give you that beach body you’ve always wished for in TWO MINUTES A DAY! GUARANTEED or your money back!”

The amount of time and money poured into the making of these products and commercials is staggering. Commercial health and wellness is a multi-billion dollar industry and it gets bigger as the majority of us struggle with new and effective ways to improve our health.

Unfortunately, the burden of delivering the “bad” (read: factual) news to the public usually rests on those of us in the industry who are GENUINELY concerned about our clients’ health.

Here is a short list of the fitness myths to keep in mind when you’re being yelled at by the 12-3am infomercial about the next biggest thing:

1. There is no magic pill. If there were it’d have been in the hands of actual health professionals long ago. Companies can make ridiculous claims because what they are selling you is not regulated by the FDA. Thus, these manufacturers can say anything as long as they “believe” it will do what they claim. A simple thing to remember is to read the fine white print at the bottom of the screen when they make their money back guarantee.

2. There is no ONE best method or piece of equipment. If there were, then why is that guy Jake selling something different than he was a year ago??? Those of us who have made health and fitness a career attempt to be proficient using thousands of pieces of equipment and better yet, no equipment at all. A carpenter can do a better job with a hammer that he’s mastered than with a hundred different hammers that he is familiar with.

3. Don’t believe the hype: Be skeptical, ne, avoid any purchase that promises results “AS FAST AS POSSIBLE” or in “JUST __ MINUTES PER DAY”. Please understand that these folks are not in the business of health, they are in the business of sales. Promising results as fast as can be imagined sells better than telling the truth about putting work in over an extended period of weeks, months and years.

4. You can’t lose just “belly fat”: It’s just impossible. Our bodies don’t work that way. Take our word for it.

The solution is simple but many of us struggle with the implementation:

1. Eat well! Your meals should be made up of low fat, low sugar items that are rich in lean protein and complex carbohydrates.

2. Eat often!!! This one is tough because it requires the most discipline of all the rules. If we’re serious about getting better, we should eat a small meal every 3-5 hours throughout the day.

3. Exercise. It can be ANYTHING! Walk. Run. Play. Lift. Jump. Dribble. Throw. Literally anything that raises your heart rate for 20-60 minutes per day is enough. When an activity starts to feel easy, bump up the speed, the amount, the frequency or change it up. Variety is important for a number of reasons so switch things up on a monthly or weekly basis.

The short list above is the ONLY time-tested and 100% proven way to achieve maximum physical health. All the other fads and myths will come and go but the true solution will remain.

Be well.