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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Ways to stay fit and get healthy, dispel the myths

Do you find excuses are easy to come up with so you avoid having to visit the gym, or put on your trainers to go for a run?

My excuses or reasons for avoiding a workout are tiredness or lack of time. The rational side of me says, I should make time for exercise as my health should be the number one priority.

The ‘be kind to myself’ side of me says, I need to rest or I’ll be no use to myself, family or employer. I know I’m not the only one that at some time quoted myths to justify why I fail to beat the struggle to find ways to get fit and stay healthy.

I decided to explore some of the myths that have morphed into accepted facts. These ‘facts’ are great excuses or reasons to avoid finding ways to beat the struggle to find ways to get fit and stay healthy.

Here’s one myth that has made in roads into folklore for men – lifting weights will turn my body into the Hulk so, ‘I’ll avoid lifting weights’.

This myth is also circulating amongst some women, who avoid weights because their bodies will end up being bulky and no longer feminine. Fortunately, these are just myths.

Lifting weights as part of a varied fitness programme will not give you unsightly muscles.

Doing nothing else but lift weights for months or even years will develop muscle strength and muscle mass, eventually.

You’d only concentrate on lifting weights if you were entering competitions to show off your pecs (pectoral muscles).

One further myth which can be used as evidence to avoid finding ways to get fit or stay healthy, especially if over or underweight is to believe, ‘my metabolism is higher or lower than everyone elses’.

Again, the truth is less remarkable – your metabolism isn’t.

Excluding rare and serious metabolism conditions, which should be diagnosed by your doctor – your metabolism tends to be plus or minus 200-300 calories of other peoples'. That’s a small slice of cake.

Follow up articles will explore other myths we might rely on to avoid beating the struggle to find ways to get fit or stay healthy.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Presidential Candidates – Are they Superfit Supermen?

The USA election is over and both presidential candidates will continue life more or less just like before they started on the campaign trail.

But have you have ever wondered where does a 65 year old – Mitt Romney and 51 year old Barak Obama get the tremendous amount of energy to maintain a punishing and gruelling schedule to appear fresh faced at their campaign rallies.

Could you travel thousands of miles, get off a plane and deliver rousing speeches to an audience?

Let’s start with Barack Obama. Between June 1st and November 2nd this year the president made 214 campaign appearances. He’s trim, he's athletic, which could be due to stress, following a fitness regime or both.

According to, President Obama has never missed a day’s training; he spends 45 mins in the gym on the treadmill and elliptical machine as well as weight training. In addition he plays basket ball, and boxing.

The President also does plyometrics, a series of exercises of that involved fast powerful movement to increase an athlete. For example, jumping in to the air and landing on bended knees, then quickly jumping back up into the air again. Or, leaping in to the air as if you’re doing the long jump.

The President’s family diet apparently have a 90/10 per cent rules which allows them eat 90% healthy food and 10% for indulgencies.

It’s reported that in 2008, while campaigning for president, Mr Obama revealed that his typical breakfast consisted of four to six eggs, wheat toast, potatoes, and occasionally oatmeal, bacon or fruit.

Mitt Romney, in the same period between June 1st and November 2nd also travelled thousands of miles and made 277 campaign appearances.

There has been little mention of Romney's age being a handicap in his failed attempt at capturing the presidency. This is likely because he reflect a near perfect image of health and fitness for a man of his age.So what does he do?

Romney runs three miles a day either on the treadmill or around the grounds of his hotel and eats low-fat diet that's high in protein, with a typical dinner consisting of turkey breast, rice and broccoli.

So both President and ex Presidential candidate get their energy not by being fanatical about following a fitness regime, but doing everything in moderation - eating and exercise.

I guess the key factor is actually doing the exercise and not making excuses for not doing exercises like, I’m too busy. This is a constant refrain for those of us trying to beat the struggle to get fit and stay healthy.