Career Spotlight: What I Do as a Personal Trainer

With most of my knowledge of fitness gleaned from reality TV, I imagine a personal trainer’s primary role is to yell at people to exercise. Of course nothing is so simple; a good trainer understands how different exercises and diets will affect the body, and what their trainees need to do achieve their fitness goals.

Source: Career Spotlight: What I Do as a Personal Trainer

There was a lot of discussion in the comments section about certification, but I felt the aspect of personality mesh or clash wasn’t addressed.  You can have all the knowledge, but if it’s difficult to transfer that information or even motivate & challenge – it’s moot.  And the personal trainer is a reflection of the clientele – lots of New Years Resolutioners won’t last the month of January…

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‘Fat But Fit’ May Be A Myth

One of the most controversial ideas in medical science today is whether people can really be fat and fit. That is, is weight in itself a marker of health — or simply a suggestion of a person’s physical fitness?

Source: ‘Fat but fit’ may be a myth, researchers say

You’re probably wondering: Obviously it isn’t bad to work out, but is exercising while people are overweight an issue until there is fat loss? Is it not beneficial at first?

A lot of studies have indeed concluded that exercise is beneficial in terms of the later risk of disease. Physical activity have various positive effects on the body and it is most likely beneficial for individuals no matter their body fat percentage. However, analyzing fitness (as we have done) does not account for exercise that does not alter fitness level. Lastly, it is important to highlight the limitations of this study; it is merely an attempt to show an association, and the researchers did not intend to demonstrate causality. Further research is needed!

How Much Does Genetics Really Affect Your Fitness?

If you’re not seeing results in the gym, there are a lot of things you can tweak: your diet, your exercise schedule, and the types of workouts you do, to name a few. But genetics is also a big factor. We’ve all had that thought on bad days: Maybe I’m just not cut out to succeed at this.

Source: How Much Does Genetics Really Affect Your Fitness?

Height is considered ~80% heritable, but malnourishment and/or disease can stunt your growth.  If you’re really serious about addressing your height, limb-lengthening operations (cosmetic surgery) are a reality.  But tot only are they ridiculously expensive, but they also involve having your legs broken!  To lengthen limbs, the bones are broken to be spread so the body fills the gap by healing.   Anti-inflammatory painkillers can’t be prescribed because they might inhibit bone growth.   At a rate something like a millimeter a day, the apparatus is tweaked daily.  Some have achieved 6 inches, but most seem to be 2-3 inches.  Surgery would require someone like me to be off blood thinners, so far less likely that anyone will want to do the surgery for you.

All that said, for me part of the process has been about accepting what I can not change.

Fitness Isn’t Just for the Wealthy: How to Stay Healthy on a Budget

Personal trainers, fresh vegetables, and gym memberships all cost money. Not everyone can afford such luxuries. It’s one reason why being poor is too expensive—a crappy diet and sedentary lifestyle costs more down the line. Don’t worry: While fitness comes at a price, it’s not one you have to pay out of your wallet.

Source: Fitness Isn’t Just for the Wealthy: How to Stay Healthy on a Budget

Couple of points:

  • The article mentions bodyweight exercises, but stops short of saying yoga or pilates?
  • Cooking for yourself will take time, but it’s worth it for health/nutrition by minimizing how much packaged food you consume.  Just be sure to wash the fruit & veg, eh? 😉
  • While you’re likely to pay more for better food, lowering body weight means portion control.  You’ll eat less, which will cost less.

Does Yoga Have Any Real Fitness Benefits?

Take one look at someone in Scorpion Pose and you’ll know: yoga can build strength and balance. But how does it stack up to traditional strength training—and what can’t yoga do for your body?

Source: Does Yoga Have Any Real Fitness Benefits?

What about hot yoga specifically?  Heat makes you feel like you’re working harder, but that’s not a benefit by itself. Compare to sitting in a hot room—you’re sweating [and miserable], but it doesn’t count as exercise.

If you do it often enough that you’re getting acclimated to the heat, that will help you exercise harder in the heat, like if you run a race on a hot day. There are some small benefits to exercising in the heat, but it doesn’t turn a non-cardio exercise into a cardio one.

Turn Your Fitness Knowledge Into a Skill You Can Act On

If you’re having trouble getting started on your fitness goals, it’s often not because you’re incapable or don’t have the knowledge. It’s probably because you haven’t yet developed all the skills necessary to act. Here’s how to turn the knowledge you have into actionable skills.

Source: Turn Your Fitness Knowledge Into a Skill You Can Act On

There’s also such thing as “paralysis by analysis” – overthinking the situation.

Crossing the Fitness Chasm: How to Move from Beginner to Intermediate

In fitness, just like with any skill, you won’t stay a beginner forever. I’ve seen many people graduate from beginner territory in fitness without knowing, and this leads to problems. Let’s look at how to recognize when you’re no longer a beginner and what to do next.

Source: Crossing the Fitness Chasm: How to Move from Beginner to Intermediate

There are lots, including myself, who focus on the minutiae of fitness (diet specifics, calorie counting, macros, etc.) when they should just be getting in there and doing the work. I think they get overwhelmed from making such drastic changes and lose their willpower instead of getting in a routine.

I wouldn’t categorize myself as “intermediate”, more like “beginner plus”.  I’m learning more about how and what to do, pacing.  There’s a base to work from – a foundation – but if that makes me “intermediate”, then there’s a lot more levels …or “intermediate” is wide and vast.

How to Defeat the Most Common Self-Fulfilling Fitness Prophecies

“I’ve ruined my diet” is a motivation-crushing phrase. We like to think that we’re a pretty trustworthy analyst of our own fitness lives, but we’re often wrong—and making our own bleak analysis can actually cause a bad outcome.

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that causes itself to become true. These are dangerous in fitness, where mindset is often the determinant of success. Here are three of the most common, and how you can overcome them.

Source: How to Defeat the Most Common Self-Fulfilling Fitness Prophecies

  1. “Ruining your diet”?  Know that there’s benefit in failing on your diet.
  2. Training won’t always be good.  I certainly have off days, and days that are certainly better than others.  Make the most of it, when you can.  And I know lots who’ve recorded themselves on their Garmin/etc, thinking they had a bad day only to find out it was a good one.  So there’s something to be said for having technology to give you more insight.

With a little knowledge and self-compassion…

 

Four Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Healthier Person

If you’re completely satisfied with your health, don’t read this article. This is not for you. Give yourself a pat on the back, and save yourself the scrolling. For the rest of you, approach what I’m about to say with an open mind, and maybe you can come out of this a fitter person.

Source: Four Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Healthier Person

This article really is about getting the conversation with yourself started.  It doesn’t talk about long term, re-evaluating periodically.  A plateau is a more obvious sign about re-evaluating – not too late, but can be.

I’ve made some changes in diet in the last six months or so.  Weight loss is part of the training agenda, while noticing that I should probably eat more protein.  But the changes also appeared in my INR tests – my levels having consistently been in the 3.5 range.  A bit of a concern – higher chance of bruising/internal bleeding.  My doctor started taking notice, test in two weeks rather than monthly.  So made another change, which I’m hoping suits all goals – natural food source, a bit more vitamin K intake to level off the INR, and cheaper than what my second breakfast was (besides healthier).