Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Everything I need to know,, I learned in High School

About fitness, health, and weight loss that is. Let's do the breakdown and see if the fabric of confusion can be pierced by simple talk and dark areas can be illuminated by the light of organization.

Fitness for example. There are many paths to the top of the mountain in terms of exercise. It seems that every week a "new" form of exercise comes out that is revolutionary and changes your body in some mysterious way. Lets ignore this miracle for a second and go back to high school gym class or "PE" as they call it now.. What were the fundamentals? Running for distance and sprints, pull ups, push ups, and sit ups. Occasional rope climbing and maybe some basic gymnastics tumbling. If you were lucking to have a pool at your school maybe some swimming. Then you played games. Let's flash forward and see what our elite special forces do for exercise.
Push ups, pull ups, sit ups, running, sprinting, rope climbing, maybe some tumbling over obstacles, and some swimming. Maybe they recreate with some specialized drills or games. Sound familiar? Yes it is. The most elite special response teams use the body weight exercises as the core of their fitness program. Can and do they use other methods when equipment is available? Sure,, but when conditions are spartan... Body Weight training rules. Just like you did in high school.

How about fat loss? What did they tell you in high school health class? A calorie is a unit of energy. The energy law is the most important thing in regards to body weight control. If you want to lose weight, consume less calories, and burn more calories. It's that simple. It's also elegant,,, absolutely miraculous. You actually have a high level of control over how much body fat you have,, and it's a simple two part formula. Eat less, exercise more. End of story. Don't eat clean,,, don't mess with macro nutrients,, don't adhere to buying special foods,,, simple eat less and move around more.. That's it.

How about health? Let's see, eat a balanced diet, wash your hands, get regular check ups, sleep adequately, take care of your teeth, don't drink excessively, don't smoke, don't over eat, avoid too much sun, consume water according to thirst, manage your life, (1960's way of saying to deal with stress), and avoid accidents or dangerous situations. I can remember these things in hand outs in the early '60's and they were probably printed in the 1950's. That was a time when no one used sun screen or carried water bottles or popped vitamins. I suppose those last habits came about as a method to rationalize bad behavior.

The point being made is to focus on perfection of the basics like every other art or science. If you simply try to keep the foundation strong, everything else will fall in place.