by Gina Paulhus, Owner of Home Bodies
This article is about using your body to teach you what works and what doesn’t work for you. In the end, a trainer can advise you, diet and nutrition books can educate you, and videos and watching others execute proper form can instruct you regarding exercise. Heart rate monitors, bodybuggs and food and exercise logs are all tools that can help you. But no matter what tools you use or what you think is working, your body does not lie.
While we all have varying genetic makeups, the basic rules of thermogenics govern us all. Meaning, your body mass varies based on whether or not you consume more than you expend between exercise and other daily tasks and your body’s energy demands just to remain alive.
Your body is also an amazing adaptive machine, meaning that it will respond by changing based on what you demand of it. If all you demand is sitting on the couch all day, your body will become soft and round. If you demand that it lift heavy things, it will become firm and toned. If you demand that it travel far distances under its own power, it will become more streamlined and lighter. If you stretch, your muscles and tendons will mold to a newfound ability of range of motion. If your biggest stretch involves reaching to the high cupboard for cookies, you will be stiff and not move well.
If you make your body move and respond quickly by playing pickup basketball, you will become better at that activity. If the only exercise you get is leisurely walking, you will no longer be quick and fast as the years go on. And your body will look it.
However, we all respond a little bit differently to the same stimuli. While some might not need to exercise every day to feel great, others do. While some may simply need to watch how much junk food they take in, you might find that your body responds much better with a lower carbohydrate or lower fat eating plan.
We all are tempted to blame poor genetics, our family or work obligations, or our training program for lack of results, but we all know deep down inside that we could do more to help ourselves. The more you can focus on taking the steps you know help you succeed, rather than thinking of ways to avoid the work, the better you will do. Make sure you are always thinking, “how can I fit in workouts and eat right,” and not “This is why I can’t fit in workouts and eat right.”
We have more knowledge and choices than ever before on how to incorporate movement and healthy eating into our lives, but we also have more distractions and reasons to get out of it than ever before. It is more socially acceptable than ever before to be heavy and out of shape, since more Americans than ever find themselves in this predicament. We are no longer the odd ones out if we are not fit. On the flip side, being fit really gives you an edge nowadays.
Just remember that you are the only one who pays the price or reaps the benefits of your hard work. Make it happen for you—not your trainer or anyone else.
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