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Fit For Life: Work Smarter Not Harder

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Without exercise you won't get fit. Without good nutrition you won't become healthy. 

Many people group the words health and fitness together as if it were a synonymous term. It's hard to believe, but there are vast differences between the two, and I incorporate a system that stresses the importance of both. I will give you an example of how both terms differ, and how to bridge the gap. 

Granola Guys & Gals

The health conscious people (sometimes referred to as salad eaters, granolas, health nuts, etc.) make sure to only eat organic foods, use non-chemical cleaners, and avoid as many toxic compounds as possible. A wise decision for all. I know someone that even purchased an organic mattress, and had the air quality tested in an apartment before making a decision to move in. A little extreme, but health conscious for sure. Many of these people own juicers or, in particular, a vita-mix. Also a smart decision. The biggest mistake this population makes is that they fail to do any kind of strenuous exercise or strength training. Peaceful in nature, the option of walking, gardening, mild yoga or a cup of green tea and a book, is generally more appealing to them than a sweat fest or moving some iron. I believe this is a mistake, because everyone needs to be able to move and lift on a functional level and will at some point need to tackle a set of stairs or chase a child or pet around, and without a solid strength and cardio base, or great movement patterns, daily tasks are difficult, or even hazardous, and developing important muscle mass becomes impossible. 

Sweat Addicted

On the contrary you have those crazy workout people. You know the ones that kill themselves on the cardio equipment day in and day out, to the point of stressing out if they miss a day. Then, they hit a drive thru for breakfast. Or the body builders that go to extremes such as dehydration and steroid use to have that sculpted look. Long distance runners beat their bodies to the point of joint injury and exhaustion, while actually burning up and depleting precious muscle tissue, only to become skinny and sick looking. Fitness models, drinking caffeine with artificial sweeteners, on the way to the tanning salon, are another example of a borderline fanatic. While a majority of these people look like the definition of fitness, they use some unhealthy methods to get that way.

I personally do not believe you need to go to extremes to be both fit and healthy. If you have a temporary goal, such as a body building contest or wedding, ok, but it's TEMPORARY – and not a plan to maintain as a lifestyle. The first step in my system is to build a nutrition program based on whole organic foods. Every member at PFBBC is required to attend a nutrition consultation after they join. I educate them with facts like: If you eat quality foods such as grass fed beef and lamb, wild caught fish, organic fruits and vegetables, eliminate processed grains and dairy, you are on your way to optimal health. Your body starts to work more efficiently on all levels. Remember, good health is impossible without proper nutrition. We are cellular by nature and every cell is important to nourish so we can achieve ultimate health and build immunity from sickness and disease.

Fitness becomes a lot easier after the first step in my system is applied, because after you incorporate great nutrition, you will only need to work out for three to five 30-minute sessions per week. That's right, we incorporate metabolic and strength training into one high intensity workout that only takes 30 minutes to complete, so you gain muscle, burn maximum fat and you won't over train or beat yourself up for hours at the gym. I tell folks from day one that health is a priority, then the fitness part will follow. I use the cliché "you can't out exercise a bad diet". Most people just need to step back and use a different approach. Work smarter not harder. When you incorporate a system like the one we use it will S-ave Y-ou S-ubstantial T-ime E-nergy and M-oney.

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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