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12 Days of Fitness 2012 – Day 6: The Link Between Fitness and Nutrition

December 15, 2012 0 Comments

(This is Part 6 of a 12 part series to provide you with some helpful fitness tips over the holiday season) Fitness and nutrition. The two are almost as inseparable as chocolate and peanut butter. Fitness is not optimal without a sound and healthy nutrition plan and eating well lends itself to being fit. A huge problem in our society today is that the two just don’t seem to jive.  In one corner, you have those who are fanatical about their exercise yet don’t put the same importance and attention on their nutrition.  In the other corner, you have those who are as good an eater as anyone can get yet still neglect the importance of physical activity.  And of course, there are those who refuse to accept the importance of both and are just “hoping for the best” through life.

The Fitness Link

From years of being in gyms I can say without any doubt or reservation that most people go to the gym and immediately do the exercises they like. Be it familiarity, not knowing what else to do or both, it’s a guarantee that no matter what day of the week it is people flock to their favorite exercise of choice. Is that such a bad thing? Not necessarily, but the positive stress the exercise once provided is now nothing more than activity with diminished gains.  The average person’s work ethic in the gym is the equivalent to going to a restaurant, ordering dessert, getting too full from the dessert and skipping the meal. Lots of empty calories and none of the stuff you need. The truth is that fitness is much like nutrition.

The Nutrition Link

Some people think that healthy food often doesn’t taste very good, to which I say they haven’t had it prepared correctly.  On the contrary, all the stuff that tastes great is generally more fattening and loaded with sugar. Exercise is the same way. Most of the exercises that are best for you are the ones that are least popular and are perceived to hurt the most, hence the popularity of exercises where you sit or lie down. The whole machine concept is based on appealing to the lowest common denominator of human nature – sitting. You can exercise while seated on a padded chair. It is called “working out” for a reason.

Putting The Two Together

As the saying goes, “you can certainly have your cake and eat it too”, but fitness and nutrition must harmonize with each other if the plan is for long term success. One breeds achievement in the other and when they are in accord with each other, the results speak for themselves. Don’t be duped. Workout consistently and progressively, taking time to change things up, and discover new ways to safely and constructively challenge your body.  Eat healthy, well balanced, non processed meals, and explore the endless taste sensations to the palate. But most of all, take the time to get out and explore the endless possibilities to physical movement and eating for life. You won’t be disappointed.

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

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

My 2012 Fitness Challenge personal update – 34,900 push ups done as of publishing time

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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