By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
May 5, 2016
Okay, in all fairness, the title of this blog is something of a come-on, but hey, did it work? I mean, the cruelty of the said joke must now be wearing on you. If you are a big Douglas Adams fan, you will already know that the answer to the meaning of life is “42.” (sorry, just had to nerd this thing up for you all) Needless to say, these are the types of headlines that draw us in and unleash massive numbers of viruses onto our various computing devices. EARN $4,391 DOLLARS IN ONE DAY WITH THIS WORK FROM HOME SYSTEM? (after you fill out millions of forms and buy a bunch of crap). MEET YOUR DREAM GIRL ON THIS WEBSITE (more like webcam girl). THESE PILLS WILL MAKE YOUR MANHOOD THREE INCHES BIGGER (No they won’t). PUT PURE BUTTER IN EVERYTHING YOU EAT AND WATCH THE POUNDS MELT AWAY! (because you will most likely die from all the saturated fat, which will get sucked out of you at the mortuary where they prep your body). These kinds of headlines are standard click bait, the kind of garbage you see that reels lesser minds in so they will see the endless number of pop-ups and become insanely frustrated with the lack of user friendliness the said site has. Of course, we are being inundated with this nonsense from a political standpoint as the presidential season has gone on for seemingly forever, and now it will really start getting annoying as the political conventions are getting nearer and these ads will get nastier. Fitness is no stranger to this sort of problem, where just about every other ad promises some super (il)legal steroid-type substance that will really get your swole on. Or some kind of shake replacement that will help watch the pounds slip away. I will admit, I am really tempted by those ones. I mean, my weight has been stagnant for months, and I compared a photo of myself in December and saw there has really been no change in my body. Not one iota. I mean, I am down to 237 pounds, but I still look like like a bloated whale. And it really bothers me, because now I am thinking of stupid ideas like crash diets, starvation and even crazy stuff like those “Hollywood” liquid diets that you see at some grocery stores, promising 10 pounds of weight loss in the span of three days. I don’t know. Whatever the problem is with me, it has really bummed me out. Things are made worse by the fact things are just really haywire right now. I could blame it on stress or something, but I’m not really that stressed right now because I am getting more rest and not waking up at four in the morning anymore.
My out of whack body has kind of forced me to slow things down and not go as hard as I normally can. Right now, I have to be careful with my body as I try to fix some of my problems until I can afford to get professionals to retune my body. That could be a while, so I have to be patient. But anyway, back to the first subject I was talking about. As I am seeing myself become more and more tempted by powders and fads, I have to remain neutral and skeptical to just about everything I read. I always try to point out the objectivity in the articles I cite, for I know the information being utilized will either have a rather small sample size or possible be just conjecture. Hopefully I always provide that insight in a clear and concise way, for so many people will go out and start spouting stuff that is just not true. I don’t want to be one of those people that keep throwing around false quotes and whatnot. Since this is the political season, I really love it when conservatives keep complaining about illegal immigrants getting food stamps. Umm, they don’t. If you are racially profiling some guy that has food stamps, there is a strong possibility that he is a legal immigrant (the government sometimes helps legal immigrants with social services) or has American born children….which probably means the amount will be very close to the 31-dollar a week national average. Either way, we all fall prey to these headlines, and it is up to the person and their ability to decipher nonsense to sift through the rubble. But sometimes, sometimes, it just seems too real to not be the truth! I point out this “study” by none other than Reebok! http://www.shape.com/fitness/trends/amount-time-humans-spend-exercising-will-shock-you
Here is the funny thing, the article really isn’t about fitness, but it is being “click baited” into making you think it is. PEOPLE ONLY WORKOUT 0.69% OF THEIR LIVES! Yeah that sounds pretty shocking on paper, and I was all ready to start a whole blog on the subject….until I actually crunched some numbers. Okay, I’m going look at last week as my example, because some weeks I go above and beyond what I need to do. Last week, I worked out for a total of five hours and one minute. I’ll round it down to five since I am terrible in regards to complex math. Truth be told, that sounds like a lot of working out, even if I spread it out over the span of six days. But for me, that is pretty average these days. So, how much of my life did I actually take up? Crunch the numbers and you will see that 3% of my life last week was spent exercising! That doesn’t sound like much at all, but that is all! Since I went a little above and beyond in that respect, one can say that my results will be much different on the subject. But here is some truth for you, provided by The Mayo Clinic! http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20057916 I’ve mentioned this before, but the average person needs to utilize at least 150 minutes a week to exercise, to maintain the bare minimum of fitness provided they eat right in the process and stay away from drugs and alcohol. So, you calculate 2.5 hours to the standard work week and that roughly comes out 1% of your time. But the Mayo Clinic also has a caveat….you don’t need the 2.5 hours unless you are really going all out, balls to the wall for 75 minutes a week. So when you look at the final numbers, that is a mere .74% of our life. That is not a huge difference, certainly not one that should raise a ton of concerns, at least in my opinion. I mean, let’s look at it this way. This “study” is only classifying exercise as going to a gym, and this is all stemmed from answers straight from people and their own individual definition of working out or exercise. No actual scientific data…nothing. So yes, I take this thing with a grain of salt, for I would consider walking my dogs as part of my exercise time as well, even though I don’t put it on my Runkeeper App (which means it may or may not have existed!). Heck, if I added that stat to the mix for my weekly regimen, then you can pretty much double my total workout time, not to mention all of the other random walking I do (I try to not drive my crummy car). And here is another detail you might have forgotten about….were the 90,000 people they chose really the best cross section of people to have this sort of survey? I mean, you can’t really trust polls anymore in any spectrum of life, for they are mostly conducted by people with axes to grind and shareholders to please. It’s just extremely difficult to say that a 90,000 person sample is going to equate to the rest of the supposed First World!
Now, the real gist of that story was kind of interesting, especially when people responded that nearly 40% other lives are spent in front of some kind of technological device. I certainly don’t know how true this stat is in the long run, but it kind of makes sense in regards to several things that are going on in our country. People read too much nonsense on the internet, thus “educating” themselves with useless information, or people are just spending too much time playing video games and playing Angry Birds. But you also have the issue of people really having no knowledge of how much they actually worked out in a week. If someone had come up to me and asked me how much time I put into exercising, I might have been at a loss for words. Not every week do I get some five hours of workout time. Some times I only three and sometimes I have exceeded six hours. I honestly couldn’t give you a base number of what I do per week, and thus, my answer may be way off because I really don’t know off the top of my head. Not everyone uses a fitness app, despite what the market indicates in regards to the deluge of products that are available to us. So unless someone gave me the option to check my phone and see how much I actually exercised last week, I might be off. Honestly, I thought I maybe put a good four and half hours into my work last week, but it turned out to be over five hours!
So, if you are still reading this blog at this stage of the game, you have to realize this was just a little jab at an entire industry….the health and fitness industry. I suggest you stop clicking these knuckleheads and start looking for the real stories that can inspire you to actually get your butt in gear, and help that mythical percentage that Reebok cited in their “study” go up. Just typing in “Fitness” and “Health” on Google for me shows multiple stories of people taking about their journeys of weight loss and health. There was a story abut a woman that lost a boat load of weight by eating better and getting a dog, training it to do physical challenges that would require her to lose the extra pounds and get into shape. Of maybe take up gardening? http://azdailysun.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/columnists/find-peak-health-in-the-garden/article_9cbd68d6-132f-5ffc-bfef-bf551fa99724.html Well, some research is indicating that partaking in the art of gardening can help get you some much needed exercise. How you might ask? Think about it…the bending, the sowing, the digging, the pulling. So many little muscles being used and maintained. Heck you can even say that the health apps alone are not helping, for the very same newspaper that talked about gardening also wrote a story about how phone apps are not as effective as people might think they are. And then of course, the most hilarious article I saw was Sylvester Stallone giving advice about health and fitness in old age…without ever mentioning the chemical help he got and the fact he has the money to not work a real job and workout constantly! Oh, to be a fly on the wall when that interview was being conducted!
Now, I’m not saying none of these things work. Some people have made a lot of good results with these types of click-bait articles and schemes, but just remember…it might not be your way. As for me, I am just frustrated as heck about everything. Maybe it is the fact my hips are incredibly out of whack and it is affecting all of my workout methods, or maybe it is the fact I really need to do something more, of the layer of fat around my waist is just really starting bother me. I don’t really know what to do right now. I look at it this way….I need to stay on the path, and that means I really need to get my life more consistent in the maintenance. Hopefully that can be straightened out soon enough and this weird few months will all be a passing dream. Right now, I’m just kind bummed out because I had to drop out of the Ultra Ragnar race I wanted to do in November. Not because of my body breaking down but due to the fleeting nature of money. Ironically, doing Ragnar Races is getting a little more expensive since Reebok took over the company. Go figure.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
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About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.