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Fit For Life: How to Make Fitness Your Way of Life

Saturday, April 26, 2014

 

This column is titled, FIT FOR LIFE – and though I didn’t come up with the name to describe my life, I really do live by that phrase. Health and fitness shouldn't be something that is seasonal, or done in cycles. It should be a way of life. The statistics in this country are alarming: approximately 65% of the population is overweight. This means that when you are in a crowd of people, you can observe the people that have a few extra pounds to lose. They may have a little flab around the mid section, or a little jiggle in their arms, or a little cellulite around their legs. So, basically if you are not in shape you might be considered overweight. But - over 33% are obese. This is really very different. This means that you are carrying 35% or more, of your body weight in fat pounds. And this figure is increasing every year. But, it’s also important to remember that these are just statistics that revolve around weight and muscle to fat ratios.

When I do a presentation, I always ask the crowd to raise their hands if they know someone who has had cancer or diabetes, and every time, about 99% of the crowd raises their hands. And although I like to be right most of the time when I talk before a group, when these hands go up, for that moment, it stuns me. What is depressing and frustrating is that I believe this doesn't need to be. Science is showing us this doesn’t need to be. It’s literally shouting at us that we are causing are diseases, in large part, by behaviors that are controllable and modifiable.

The American Heart Association’s slogan used to be “Your Life Is In Your Hands” – and it just about said it all. There are hundreds of books about getting fit on the market. There are gyms around every corner, and then you have the internet. The information is out there, and people are spending billions of dollars a year trying to get fit and healthy. Sure a lot of people don't care, and those who choose to remain ignorant are choosing to do harm to their bodies. For the most part, my focus has to be on the ones who want help, but can't figure out what to do to get to their optimal health. They’re buying book after book, joining gyms, even hiring trainers, trying fad diets, and going to extremes to get in shape, but fitness still seems to elude them.

Why is this? Being fit is actually easy. I know I do it for a living, but that's why I consider it easy. Drink clean water, get 8 hours of sleep, eat clean organic non- processed food. And - move your body. That's it. You do not need complicated restrictive diets, you do not need to watch YouTube for complex and difficult exercises, and you do not need to read every diet book out there. All you need to do is follow my advice above. OK! BUT….(I know what you are thinking, “Ha, I knew there was a catch.”) . The only way to achieve your goals is to do it CONSISTENTLY. Occasionally eating right, or moving around won't cut it. I hear it all the time "I ate great for breakfast and lunch, but had a drink and a piece of cake, or some bread after work". This behavior is inconsistent, and will not net results. You need to eat well 90% of the time and if you are consistent with a proper eating plan then your ratio should look like this: eat 5x a day (snacks and meals) for 7 days = 35 meals/snacks x 90%= just 3 1/2 bad meals but 31 1/2 have to be healthy balanced meals to make progress. In addition, you need to move around regularly. Even if you eat well, sitting all day leads to poor posture, and tight hips, usually causing lower back pain. You don't need to train like a marine every day but you need to move consistently or you won't move efficiently.

Simplicity is the best way to go. Follow the few steps I have given you. Find a program that will work for you. Keep it simple but follow it consistently. Just like building a house, the better you follow the plans, and the more time you put in on a regular basis, the faster it gets done. Building it is a smooth process, and maintenance makes it look great and it will last a long time. 

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 atMatt Espeut or on Twitter @MattEspeut.

 

Related Slideshow: Check Out The Grades: Rhode Island Hospitals Report Card

A recent survey released by The Leapfrog Group assigns a Hospital Safety Score, using the report card system of A to F to each of the hospitals in Rhode Island. These grades are based on expert analysis of injuries, infections and errors that cause harm or death during a hospital stay.

Let's see how each of Rhode Island's hospitals were graded from highest to lowest:

Prev Next

South County Hospital

Wakefield, RI

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

Prev Next

Kent County Memorial Hospital

Warwick, RI

 

Fall 2013 Grade: B

Spring 2013 Grade: C

Prev Next

Memorial Hospital of RI

Pawtucket, RI

 

Fall 2013 Grade: B

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded due to lack of publicly available data

Prev Next

Miriam Hospital

Providence, RI

 

Fall 2013 Grade: B

Spring 2013 Grade: B

Prev Next

Newport Hospital

Newport, RI

 

Fall 2013 Grade: C

Spring 2013 Grade: B

Prev Next

Rhode Island Hospital

Providence, RI

 

Fall 2013 Grade: C

Spring 2013 Grade: C

Prev Next

Roger Williams Medical Center

Providence, RI

 

Fall 2013 Grade: C

Spring 2013 Grade: C

Prev Next

St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island

Providence, RI

 

Fall 2013 Grade: C

Spring 2013 Grade: B

Prev Next

Landmark Medical Center

Woonsocket, RI

 

Fall 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded due to lack of publicly available data

Prev Next

Women & Infants Hospital of RI

Providence, RI

 

Fall 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded due to lack of publicly available data

Prev Next

Westerly Hospital

Westerly, RI

 

Fall 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded due to lack of publicly available data

 
 

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