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Fit for Life: What Is It To You?

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Is it something you dread or look forward to daily?  Is it a chore for you to workout, or does it ruin your day when you miss a workout? Either way, it's something we all NEED to do, so whatever your mindset, you need to program yourself to get it done. But, like anything else, there are different levels and stages you must go through to reach ultimate success.  Hopefully this information, here, will help you get on the right path to health and happiness. 

In the beginning:

Some start because their doctor told them to. Some start because they can’t button their pants. Some start to emulate someone they saw in a magazine, and some start because they feel like crap all the time, and they want to feel better. 
Whatever your reason, this is the tough part.  Most of us don’t know what a dumbbell is when we start a program, we just feel like one. We have no idea how or what to lift.  Or, how to execute good form, or how to put a program together. With all that being said, we get intimidated and scared about what’s in store for us.

When I started Providence Fit Body Bootcamp this was the way it was for most of the people who came in the door.  To institute a successful start, I always start by helping to program your mind that you can do it. I cater to all abilities, provide the professional guidance of a certified coach working with you every step of the way, and, what makes my approach even more unique is that we provide the nutrition guidance, too.  So, from the workout to the nutrition part, we have you covered.  Knowing that the beginning process can be difficult, and intimidating, we put your mind at ease while getting off on a program to guarantee you results. So my advice to beginners: Get some help and guidance, so you won’t feel alone, get hurt, or waste your valuable time. 

The lifestyle:

This is the point when you get it. You realize that this is a necessary part of your life. You incorporate it as part of your schedule. You go through your workouts, and feel great when you finish. Sure, maybe you sometimes feel like ditching your workout, but your conscience won’t let you. You know that if you take a week off, your soreness will start all over again. You start getting more active, because you have enough confidence to do activities you never thought would be possible. You don’t make excuses, and you encourage others to join you. This is where we should be able to stay forever and maintain good health and a desirable weight. You now know your body, and what it takes to keep it fit and healthy. Unless you are competing in some physical demanding event, there is no reason to leave what you’ve started. 

The obsession: 

This is the danger zone. People who feel more is better will fall into this category, and I urge you to leave it. "But you’re a trainer, shouldn’t you be telling people to always work harder”?  No. I tell people to work hard but work smart. Too much of anything isn’t a good thing, and exercise is no different.  This is the group that trains hours a day, works through injuries, and gets stressed by missing one workout, and are always trying to push themselves to unrealistic goals. 9 out of 10 of you are over trained and that causes a whole bunch of problems to the body. Here are a few :

-Increased vulnerability to back, knee, ankle, and foot injuries, (overuse)
-Abnormal hormonal output. Including changes to menstrual cycle in women.
-Reduced sexual desire.
-Mental stress, depression, and anxiety.
-Muscle deterioration 

So which one are you? If you don’t workout, you need to get started. If you want to look and feel great, move better, and be able to perform life tasks, make it your lifestyle. If you are an athlete, or competing for something, you need to take it to that next level, but be smart about it. Listen to your body, get the proper nutrition to support you activity level, and get plenty of rest. This zone is dangerous and unsustainable, so get in only if you need to, and get out while you can, otherwise you will break down. Then it’s a setback you don’t want to experience. 

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of two fitness centers on the east coast. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one!"


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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