Monday, February 13, 2012

Avoid the Hype

Trends come and go, and in the world of health and fitness it's almost a guaranteed occurrence. With so much research coming through, and our species' innate desire to find shortcuts, it's no wonder that we don't know where to turn, or what works. Stretch or don't stretch? Will yoga help, or will it cripple you? Crossfit - revolutionary new fitness program, or dangerous over-training? Intermittent fasting? Hoodia? The Shakeweight? P90x, Get Insanity, run a marathon, don't run a marathon, Pilates, the Tracey Anderson Method... how to choose?

I'm going to help you sift through all the noise. Here are five simple to understand rules to apply to your health:

Number 1: Eat properly. Nutrition is the number one element needed to be addressed in your health. You want as few steps as possible between when it was living and when it was on your plate - so if you buy something that's prepackaged and just needs to be heated up in the microwave, you're already way off base. Same goes for restaurant food. Stop looking for the magic plan - try eating real food that you've prepared yourself first.

Number 2: Get strong. Learn how to lift heavy weights properly. It's good for your bones, it's good for your joints, and it's good for real life.

Number 3: Move really fast, move really slow, and everything in between. Climb hills. Throw things. Play. Have fun. If it's not fun, you're not going to stick with it.

Number 4: Sleep. Your health and fitness improves through cycles of breaking down and then recovering. Miss the recovery, and you're missing at least half of the equation.

Number 5: Don't look for the easy way out - there's no such thing. It takes prioritizing, it takes commitment, and it takes effort... just like anything else, it has to be earned. Take pride in the process, and enjoy the results.

There you go - doesn't matter what program, sport, race or activity you choose... just make sure it incorporates these five guidelines, and I can pretty much guarantee success.

Good luck!


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