Questions About Fitness

Fitness has become a buzzword, and a whole industry has developed around it. It is time to demystify some of the points and questions that come up with an exercise program.

The plain truth about fitness
Common complaints: Translation into truth:
I cannot afford fitness gear

You don’t need special clothes. You probably have shorts and a T-shirt.

What about shoes?All you need is a good pair of walking shoes or cross trainers with proper arch support.
Can I start now?Absolutely! The only exception: if you have been chronically inactive or you have health problems, check with your doctor first.
I have arthritis and joint pains.Swimming will be your best option. Check with your doctor, if you have any doubts.
Exercise is too difficult, as I’m overweight!It is not! Try swimming to get started.
I get very sweaty and hot when I exercise. What can I do? Carry a water bottle.You need to replenish fluids. If you are in a warm climate, use common sense: exercising early in the morning is best!

Snacks and Fitness:

Fluid intake is crucial in any climatic condition. Even when you ski in cold weather conditions you still lose fluids through perspiration and also through breathing. Carry your water! This brings us to the point of “sports drinks”.They contain sugar(for energy) and salt (to retain moisture). The truth is that you can do without salt (unless you embark on an expedition into the Mojave Desert.) You are also not served well with sugar as the “quick fix”, which does not do a good job for your overall performance. You are a lot better off if you have a snack consisting of carbohydrates, protein, and fat for your energy demands.

 

A small apple, a piece of cheese, and half a dozen almonds will be a good “touch-up”. A nutrition bar with well balanced ingredients will do the job too. Beside the snack do drink your water!

Summary re. snacks and fitness

With this approach you are sure that you:

  • retain your energy levels (with the carbohydrates)
  • help you build your muscles (with the protein)
  • energy in form of glucose (and a bit of fat) is gradually released into your blood
  • your fluid loss is replaced (by enough water intake)

If exercise is already part of your daily activities, the next points may not be big news items to you.

The benefit of physical activity lies in the regularity and the successful integration of it into our daily schedule. If we do not exercise on a regular, ongoing basis we will forgo some of the benefits. Any athlete will be able to tell you a story about loss of muscle strength and endurance after an injury or illness. It takes a while to build muscle strength and endurance to the

previous level after not having used those muscles for a few days or worse, for a few weeks!

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Disclaimer:

This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.

References:

1. B. Sears: "The age-free zone".Regan Books, Harper Collins, 2000. Also see Dr. Sears' site.

2. B. Sears: "Zone perfect meals in minutes". Regan Books, Harper Also see Dr. Sears' site.

3. B.J. Wilcox, D.C. Willcox and M. Suzuki: "The Okinawa Program."    Clarkson Potter,2001, N.Y., U.S.A.

4. E.L. Rossi: The psychobiology of mind-body healing. Norton &Co.,   1986, N.Y., U.S.A.

5. Vitamins and Foods. Audio-Digest Family Practice Vol 49, Issue 29,    Aug.7, 2001.

6. P.C. McGraw: Life strategies. 1999, Simon&Schuster Source, N.Y.,    U.S.A.

7. B. Sears: "The top 100 zone foods". Regan Books, Harper Collins,   2001. Also see Dr. Sears' site.

8. Suzanne Somers: "Breakthrough" Eight Steps to Wellness-- Life-altering Secrets from Today's Cutting-edge Doctors", Crown Publishers, 2008

Last Modified: May 26, 2012