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12 Days of Fitness 2015: Day 6 – 10 Rules of Fitness

December 14, 2015 0 Comments

(This is Part 6 of a 12 part series to provide you with some helpful blurbs and  tips to keep your fitness in focus over the holiday season)

3320970787_58eb36939aEveryone has their interpretation of what fitness is or what it means to be fit. However, at the end of the day we can all agree that fitness is (and should be) an important part of our lives no matter how we all go about it. The most important concept to remember is the best way to improve and work on your fitness is the one you’re doing and going to keep doing. If you’re successful with that concept, here are a few key points to always keep in perspective no matter what you’re doing.

  1. Respect Sleep and Rest. Somewhere along the way we became martyrs to our work. The more you worked (not necessarily harder) the better you would be and sleep or rest would leave you behind the pack. Who has time to rest when there’s all this work to do? Wrong! A good night’s sleep, when your body’s chemistry shifts, and all kinds of beneficial bodily repair gets underway is one of the easiest ways to make an investment in your health. Want to be stubborn about it and think sleep is overrated? Your lack of sleep probably manifests itself daily with the same stubbornness with which you don’t recognize it – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  2. Exercise Specific to Your Goals. Just because you exercise doesn’t always correlate with what you’re trying to accomplish. Somewhere along the line we grouped ALL exercise as a way to achieve any goal. If you want to be a bodybuilder then train like a bodybuilder. If you want to be a runner, then train like a runner. If you want to just feel good and healthy, it’s not necessary to kill yourself with mindless exercise that will probably cause more harm than good. Be clear about your goal first and foremost and then use the literally thousands of tools in the tool chest to accomplish that goal.
  3. Stop Buying Into Supplements. The word supplement itself simply means “in addition to.” The “in addition to” is an already healthy lifestyle that may or may not get an extra added boost from taking a dietary supplement. Supplementing a poor diet and lifestyle isn’t going to magically improve anything. The kicker is despite the supplement industry being a multi-billion dollar industry there is very little real data to support most of the theoretical claims. While you probably can’t do a lot of real harm if you take any supplement, putting your blind faith into them is time and energy poorly spent.
  4. Do It Right or Don’t Do It at All. If you’re going to commit to the time and energy to make fitness a part of your daily life, don’t waste any time and learn to do it right. The mindset of “something is better than nothing” has a very low return on investment and it’s a lie people keep telling themselves to feel good about what little they do. Remove the hood of pride and ego. Do it right, and make fitness worth your time every time.
  5. Get Off Your Ass. If you sit on your butt for the greater part of your day at a desk or even in the car, the little bit of exercise that you might be doing isn’t enough. According to a new study that found an hour of sedentary behavior increased people’s risk of being unable to perform basic functions—like doing household chores—by 46 percent even if they still met the minimum exercise requirements of 3 days a week of 30 minutes. Get up and move often. It’s why we were born with legs.
  6. Never Stop Moving. Take this in the most expansive and philosophical way. Build movement into all aspects of your life—work, home, play—and throughout your life. You name the diseaseand exercise is the cure. Workout, and not only will you be healthier, but happier and more confident.
  7. Eat Real Food. You won’t find the recipe for a healthy diet on the back of a package. Change the way a food naturally exists, and you change the way your body absorbs it. There is a huge disconnect between the marketing claims of pre-packaged food and real food made from scratch.
  8. Real Fitness Goes Beyond Skin Deep. Our society has been assuming for years that the picture of health is thin. If you look great externally you must be healthy and of course the opposite that if you carry some extra weight you must be unhealthy. You can be skinny and fat just as you can be overweight and very healthy. Exercise goes a long way to prevent many diseases better than it can change the shape of your appearance. If change in your appearance is what you truly desire, you have to have a concern for the growth and development of lean tissue – whether you see it or not. But that is not what fitness is all about.
  9. Experiment on Yourself What works for others may not work for you —and vice versa. We all have the same muscles and biological make up but that doesn’t mean there still aren’t many differences among us. Find what works for YOU based on what YOU want and will keep YOU engaged.
  10. It’s Not All About the Gear. Don’t get me wrong. Good gear makes things more enjoyable and potentially more comfortable but they ultimately don’t get the work done. Put as much priority, care, and thought into your fitness and nutrition and you’ll look good in any gear you put on. Remember, the ancient Greeks used to compete in the Olympics naked. I don’t think there was much concern for their gear over performance then.


See you tomorrow for Day 7 of the 12 Days of Fitness


Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

Day 1 – Chew Your Food
Day 2 – Fitness for the Road
Day 3 – The Many Names of Sugar
Day 4 – Side Stitches: Causes and Treatments
Day 5 – The 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Feel Hungry When Trying to Lose Weight


About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

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