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Fit For Life: Get Battle Ready!

Sunday, November 06, 2016


Let’s face it, for most of us, life is a bit of a struggle. Unless you are a trust fund baby, or were born with that silver spoon in your mouth, nothing comes that easy. Look at self-made millionaires. Most endured years of struggle, late hours, and hard work to get where they are today, and many still put in the hours to maintain their status. Poor people born into an unacceptable situation struggle every day. Living in squalor, not knowing where their next meal is coming from, wearing secondhand clothes, well, that just isn’t a good way to live this life.

Even people in the middle face struggles every day. Supporting a family, paying a mortgage, car payment, private school, or just being able to take a vacation takes hours, days, and weeks of long hours, and late nights, just to live a middle kind of life.

The bad news is, that’s the way it is at the moment, and there is nothing magical we can do about it except deal and conduct our daily lives in the manner in which we want to be able to live. Giving up is an option some take, but that will only make matters worse. So, how do we proceed?

Face the fact that nothing worth having will come easy. It’s always been that way, and always will be. I believe we are put on this earth and struggle ‘til the day we die, so either fight for survival, or wither away. It’s your mentality and mindset that dictates how you will handle the situation, and that’s what will dictate your fate.

So why make it worse and live with poor health? I am a Discovery Channel nerd. I love watching programs about the wild, and all the science that shows us how this world was created, and how we have evolved as humans. I was watching a program last week about the rain forest in Brazil, and it dawned on me that every species on this planet faces some kind of struggle. From birth, every species faces a struggle to survive. From birds to lions, either environment or predators make it difficult just to live.

Humans in the past had the same issues, only we were at a disadvantage. Let’s face it, we are not a species meant to physically survive. It was the fact that we are intelligent enough to provide resources and create solutions in order to survive that we still exist. 

We don’t grow a fur coat in the winter and we can’t withstand long hours in the sun. We don’t have protective armor, claws, or venom, we can’t camouflage ourselves nor do we have the ability to out run most animals. Our most vital organs are exposed, and our feet can’t withstand the abuse most other mammals can. In general, we are a weak and vulnerable species by nature.

There is good news.

But the good news is that we have the intelligence to create fire, shelter, and protective clothing to withstand the elements. We can out smart predators, and manufacture all the necessities to live a comfortable life. After all, we’ve been doing it for eons – and we haven’t become extinct – yet.

So my question to you is….. why are we doing things that ruin our health and make things more difficult for ourselves? Do we not know how lucky we are? Think about it. We have evolved to the point that we don’t need to worry about the elements, or some wild animal coming into our dens and eating us. We have resources to live a nice productive life, but yet most of us are destroying ourselves by eating garbage food, and becoming a sedentary bunch. Have we forgotten how lucky we are not to have to look over our shoulders, and travel through hell to find our next meal? Why do we choose to live in pain, on medication, overweight, sick, and tired all the time, when we have most of the resources – and the intelligence - to take care of ourselves, and live a healthy, vital, and productive life?

I hate it when someone says “I struggle with my weight” or when I see someone unnecessarily living in pain, because I know there are answers so they don’t have to do that.  They know there are answers, too.

4 Things To Make Your Habits
I have a simple formula for ultimate health. It involves 4 things you must habitually do on a daily basis, and you will be guaranteed good health.

1. Eat clean food. Stay away from packaged/processed garbage and eat only real natural food.
2. Drink enough water. You need to consume 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water daily to maintain optimal health.
3. Get some sleep. When we sleep, we reset and repair. Lack of sleep is detrimental to your health.
4. Move. Do 30 minutes of exercise daily. (this is why my clients at Providence Fit Body Boot Camp are so fit and strong)

It’s that simple. You don’t need to hunt, make clothing, create fire, or struggle to survive. It’s all right in front of us, but yet the human population is destroying itself by not doing these things.

I didn’t write this to be negative, or to depress anyone, but to shine a light on how far we have come, and how far back we are going if most folks don’t start making some changes in their life. The struggles will get worse. If you think things are difficult for you now, try doing it in poor health, or doing things in pain and broken down. Realize how fortunate you are, and instead of trying to destroy ourselves, just pay attention, and make some adjustments, and this thing called life that we all struggle with, becomes a whole lot better.

Here’s the good news. It’s probably not too late to turn it around. Material things that we work for will always come and go, but once our health gets to a certain point, there is no coming back. If being in top shape and living a healthy lifestyle appeals to you, reach out and seek help from a pro. I am always here for my clients, and if you are not a client already, shoot me a message, and I can help you reduce at least one struggle in your life. It’s not just about exercise routines with me, it’s about helping the “whole you” – diet, motivation, mindset. Once you get “reset” the struggle you may face with other parts of your life is manageable – you will be ready for battle.  So let’s do it – together.

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. 


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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