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Fit for Life: Fail to Plan? Plan to Fail

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Plan and prioritize, and you will prevail.

Over the past 20 years, I have attended continuing education courses that pertain to exercise, human function, movement patterns, and holistic nutrition. I have gained a ton of knowledge over this time, and I still continue to educate myself, but as of lately, I have been attending courses that will help me market myself, and try to earn my potential, based on my level of expertise. The one thing both these methods of education have taught me is that in order to be successful at anything you need to prioritize and put the important elements of your goal first.

There are many factors, and moving parts to whatever it is you try to accomplish, weather it be building your business, raising a family, or trying to get fit and healthy. In order to utilize your time efficiently, and succeed, you have to make a list, and prioritize the most important elements of this list, because our time is limited. For this article I will give you examples of things related to health and fitness, since I am not very knowledgeable at the other two – but working hard on the business plan part.

Nutrition First

The number one priority in your quest for health and fitness needs to be your nutrition plan. Without sound nutrition you will fail to become healthy. You can get fit “looking” by eating low fat artificial food and man made supplements, but my goal is overall health, and you can't become, and maintain, good health by doing so. So make food quality priority one. Now to take it a step further if you find yourself wondering what food type to eat, make protein your priority, especially if you train hard. Protein will help build and repair muscle tissue, and it will take fewer calories to satisfy you, keeping you strong and lean. I always advise balanced nutrition, but if you are pinched for time, or low on funds, make protein a priority.

Balance & Core Strength

When you begin an exercise program, your number one priority needs to be balance and core strength. If not, you can compare it to trying to build a house on a sand bank. It may stand for a while, but eventually, the foundation will erode, and it will come crashing down. Do not load the body, unless your foundation is strong and balanced enough. If you currently go to the gym, strength training should be first on this list. Especially when time is limited, this should be done before cardio. Two reasons it is more beneficial, is that it builds muscle, and muscle burns more calories at rest, and with proper strength training your posture will improve, and your chance of injury decreases. You can make it metabolic by performing super sets or doing time intervals with little rest between sets, thus improving your heart and lung strength. When time becomes a factor, and you need to prioritize exercises, squats, dead lifts, shoulder presses, and a rotational exercise, will cover all the essentials: strength, mobility, and stability, creating balance throughout the body.

If you fail to plan, then you should plan to fail. This line has been following me around for years, and I have proven this to myself many times. One example was not getting to the market and buying snacks before a road trip. This should have been a priority equal to getting fuel. Instead, I thought I could wing it and grab something where I was going, only to discover a town with fast food and dollar stores on every corner. I settled for beef jerky, and mass-produced yogurt from a Seven Eleven store. No plan equals failed nutrition. So let this line play in your head before you make a list, then remember my advice, make your own list and highlight the important stuff. Plan and prioritize, and you will prevail.


Matt Espeut has worked as a personal trainer for almost 20 years with clients ranging in age from 14 to 86. His focus is on overall health, strength, and functional conditioning. Holistic health and nutrition is the cornerstone of all his programs. Matt works in private and small group training available at your home or office location or at gym facilities. Matt offers his services to everyone wanting to be more fit and healthy, overweight young people, youth/collegiate athletes, and seniors. Matt has worked and continues to train at several facilities in the Providence area including Gold's Gym and CORE Studio, and he believes continued education is a must in his field. Email Matt: [email protected], check out his website atwww.fitnessprofiles.net or on Facebook at Matt Espeut or on Twitter @MattEspeut.


Related Slideshow: New England’s Healthiest States 2013

The United Health Foundation recently released its 2013 annual reoprt: America's Health Rankings, which provides a comparative state by state analysis of several health measures to provide a comprehensive perspective of our nation's health issues. See how the New England states rank in the slides below.



All Outcomes Rank: Outcomes represent what has already occurred, either through death, disease or missed days due to illness. In America's Health Rankings, outcomes include prevalence of diabetes, number of poor mental or physical health days in last 30 days, health disparity, infant mortality rate, cardiovascular death rate, cancer death rate and premature death. Outcomes account for 25% of the final ranking.

Determinants Rank: Determinants represent those actions that can affect the future health of the population. For clarity, determinants are divided into four groups: Behaviors, Community and Environment, Public and Health Policies, and Clinical Care. These four groups of measures influence the health outcomes of the population in a state, and improving these inputs will improve outcomes over time. Most measures are actually a combination of activities in all four groups. 

Diabetes Rank: Based on percent of adults who responded yes to the question "Have you ever been told by a doctor that you have diabetes?" Does not include pre-diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy.

Smoking Rank: Based on percentage of adults who are current smokers (self-report smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke).

Obesity Rank: Based on percentage of adults who are obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher.

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/

Prev Next

6. Rhode Island

Overall Rank: 19

Outcomes Rank: 30

Determinants Rank: 13

Diabetes Rank: 26

Smoking Rank: 14

Obesity Rank: 13



1. Low prevalence of obesity

2. High immunization coverage among adolescents

3. Ready availability of primary care physicians  


1.High rate of drug deaths

2. High rate of preventable hospitalizations

3. Large disparity in heath status by educational attainment

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/RI

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5. Maine

Overall Rank: 16

Outcomes Rank: 25

Determinants Rank: 12

Diabetes Rank: 23

Smoking Rank: 29

Obesity Rank: 28



1. Low violent crime rate

2. Low percentage of uninsured population

3. Low prevalence of low birthweight  


1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2.High rate of cancer deaths

3. Limited availability of dentists

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/ME

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4. Connecticut

Overall Rank: 7

Outcomes Rank: 15

Determinants Rank: 4

Diabetes Rank: 16

Smoking Rank: 4

Obesity Rank: 12



1. Low prevalence of smoking

2. Low incidence of infectious diseases

3. High immunization coverage among children & adolescents  


1. Moderate prevalence of binge drinking

2. Low high school graduation rate

3. Large disparity in health status by educational attainment

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/CT

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3. New Hampshire

Overall Rank: 5

Outcomes Rank: 7

Determinants Rank: 5

Diabetes Rank: 16

Smoking Rank: 11

Obesity Rank: 22



1. Low percentage of children in poverty

2. High immunization coverage among children

3. Low infant mortality rate  


1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2.High incidence of pertussis infections

3. Low per capita public health funding

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/NH

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2. Massachusetts

Overall Rank: 4

Outcomes Rank: 14

Determinants Rank: 3

Diabetes Rank: 10

Smoking Rank: 7

Obesity Rank: 2



1. Low prevalence of obesity

2. Low percentage of uninsured population

3. Ready availability of primary care physicians & dentists  


1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2. High rate of preventable hospitalizations

3. Large disparity in health status by educational attainment

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/MA

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1. Vermont

Overall Rank: 2

Outcomes Rank: 12

Determinants Rank: 1

Diabetes Rank: 4

Smoking Rank: 9

Obesity Rank: 5



1. High rate of high school graduation

2. Low violent crime rate

3. Low percentage of uninsured population  


1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2. Low immunization coverage among children

3. High incidence of pertussis infections

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/VT


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