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Not So Common Sense

Updated on May 3, 2013
Jokerjensen profile image

While I have only been formally studying psychology and working in research for the last 3 to 4 years, It is one of my favorite topics.

To the Point

With pictures of over-muscled men flooding the internet, and unfathomably skinny woman prancing across our televisions, I think that the time has come for more than just a few curious people to learn about what real health is. Though this topic could be carried on and on, I will restrict myself to some basic points that I have been asked about for sometime: "what can I eat that will help me loose weight and feel healthier?", or "I want to start working on my fitness, but I am not sure how."

The first is a simple question, as far as the answer, well there in lies the problem. Our bodies are a fantastic machine in which different chemical processes are constantly occurring and changing depending upon our current and past activities. With this knowledge in mind, it is very difficult to truly come up with a diet that will improve everyone's life style. There are, however, broad recommendations that can be made to everyone. For instance, the first thing I always ask my clients regarding their health is how much water they consume on a daily basis. Their reply has been anywhere from six to ten glasses a day to once or twice every couple of days. I recommend that everyone drink at least or closed to a gallon of water a day. I make this recommendation based off of my own studies and research in my field, and because my clients are aware of my professional background, they take my advice and attempt to change their daily habits. I recommend this to everyone, drink more water. Your body needs it. Those are common sense recommendations that can be heard and understood. What about the not so common? What lean meats are there? Is it better to exercise in the heat of the day or when its cold? Is my diet more important than my exercise?

I make no promises on being able to give you all the answers, but I will list some good tips for anyone regardless of what level of fitness you are in. I do hope you find this helpful.

First on the list, diet. Shopping healthy now days can be a little rough especially when you are not sure what your body truly needs. Keep it natural and keep to the basics. In a simply put fashion, your body needs its meats and veggies (protein and complex carbohydrates). That should be your first step when selecting meals. Ask yourself "how natural can I keep it" when shopping. This does not mean you have to throw countless dollars into the organic trend. Organic is always better but can be very pricy at times. Shop for simple things like apples, cucumbers, broccoli. As far as meat goes, look into lean white turkey meat or fish. I personally prefer fish for the joint supplementation and low fat percentage. Try to avoid red meats and pork, these seem to more fatty than the others I have listed. Rice and brown pastas are good for basic carbohydrates as well. Beginning your day with an apple and oat meal will give you a healthy start and keep you going for quite a while. Avoid any form of synthetic sugar, or synthetic foods. A word of caution here: this does not mean you have to abstain from all other foods! You dictate how strict you want your diet to be. Remember though, nothing can be gained without sacrifice

Next important point: Build a foundation. Whether you are a body builder, martial artist, or marathon runner, you have to establish a foundation of fitness that will stabilize your growth in which ever direction you wish to proceed. Basically you must strengthen your body to a level that will allow you to progress in your chosen fitness habits. For example a beginning lifter who has dreams of competing in bodybuilding completions, should start with all over body exercises in an effort to prepare his muscles and tendons for heavy weight training cycles and ballistic training. Of course for runners and martial artists, differences in training are in the early stages but the focus here is to learn your starting point and build your foundation. Never jump into full training regimens and make an attempt to learn how long your training sessions should be in relation to your training goals. I have seen too many people that believe that you have to spend full days in the gym and some that believe that you should only train for twenty minutes every few days. Learn for yourself, ask questions. The only stupid question is the one that is never asked.

Here is my last recommendation: know your source. If a popular fitness Magazine told men they could get a six-pack of abs in two weeks by eating nothing but celery, I am almost positive that someone would make the attempt. Two weeks would go by and there would be no results. Why? Because the magazine failed to mention the exercises necessary or what else should be consumed in order to achieve that physical outcome. This is indeed a radical example, but hopefully the point is clear. Examine every thing that is recommended to you. Take what I have said and ask others or research it. Study for yourself and learn what your body needs. Look up the body builder forums or even the health question forums. If your unsure about a product or supplement, don't take it. Look before you leap when it comes to health because its your health that is on the line.

Thank you for reading and I do hope that someone found this useful. When I started out, long before I was certified, I asked big guys in the gym for advice and I read everything I could about lifting. If anyone has any questions on any fitness related subjects, feel free to comment. If I do not have the answer, I will help you find it. Good luck and stay strong.

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