What is fitness?

Is fitness being skinny? There’s skinny people out there who are so out of shape they can’t lift even 15 pounds. Is fitness having strength or endurance? There’s overweight people who can keep up with the best of them in the gym. So what is fitness?

There are two components to long term fitness and weight loss: proper diet and exercise. I learned that if you over-do one or neglect the other, and your results won’t be as lasting. It needs to be a balance. Look for a diet and exercise program that you will stick with.

Don’t fall for claims of overnight results in either diet or exercise. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Sure, you may loose some weight, but chances are as soon as you go off the program the weight will be back and likely more.

It’s not good to get your meal in a can (well, maybe a soup can sometimes). I’m referring to increasingly popular diet drinks and meal replacement shakes here. Believe it or not, most of them have as many calories as a small meal anyway. They’re fine every one in awhile, but not on a regular basis. If you like a shake, make a smoothie. They’re easy, healthy, and don’t have all the additives and processed junk of canned “meals”.

Your diet should be a proper balanced diet (yes, that includes some carbs and fats). When eating, use moderation with fruits and veggies making up most of your plate. I like to divide my plate in quarters. The fruit, veggies, or salad takes up at least half. The protein and carbs then take a quarter each.

It’s best to eat real food avoiding processed or pre-packaged as much as possible. Read labels. Often foods claiming low fat, low carb, sugar free, etc will add other junk like sodium or additives to make up for the taste of what they took out.

Exercise is the other component of long term fitness. Contrary to popular myth, you can’t spot reduce a huge stomach away. Your body will take the fat from where it wants. Work on building muscle tone since that will help burn the fat. The best exercise program is one that has both cardio and strength training.

2 Responses

  1. These are some great common sense tips that unfortunately aren’t very common these days. There’s so much information out there these days related to losing weight and getting “healthy” that I think it’s often easy for people to lose sight of sensible solutions like simply trying to eat more whole, natural foods.

    And it’s really no wonder people are confused. Just look at TV where commercials alternate between advertising greasy fast food and weight loss supplements. The crazy mix of messages is almost unbelievable.

  2. Adventuresofalicat,
    Thanks for your comment. I recently wrote a post about some of the hoax diet gimmicks discussing some of the points you mentioned. It can be hard sometimes to tell truth from fiction with a cleaver marketing scheme. Since most of these products are sold as supplements rather than medicine they aren’t regulated very strictly.

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