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Fit For Life: Being Fit & Healthy Isn’t Easy

Saturday, June 02, 2018


Being fit and healthy isn't easy.

There are many personal obstacles as well as outside distractions that derail us from our mission, and I am here to help you overcome a few.

It is difficult enough for people that like to work out to find the time, and people that know how to eat healthy, stay disciplined and focused, imagine how tough it is for the uninformed and unmotivated.

Obstacle #1- marketing and advertising.

Everyone wants to get results the quickest way possible, doing the least amount of work, and I have said it over and over again that there is no easy way.

It takes time energy and intensity to be fit.

You will not get it in 4 mins a day, or by eating at a chain sandwich shop, because some guy claims he lost 100# eating at the restaurant.

You won't get abs in 8 mins. a day without a proper eating plan, and you will not get fit at home watching videos unless you follow the program with intensity and read the fine print.

So, do not give in to all the fancy ads, if it says easy or quick, it is a lie.

It is hard work, but anything worth having requires hard work. Many people fall prey to these quick fix schemes, and when they fall short of unrealistic goals, they get discouraged and quit. So, do not start a program with unrealistic goals, and remember, there is no easy way. You need to set small attainable goals, and make fitness and health part of your lifestyle, and stop hoping for a quick or easy way.

Another obstacle is peer pressure.

If your friends are unfit and unhealthy, they want you to be right there with them, and will do all sorts of things to sabotage your goals and hopes. They tell you look fine, or you need to live a little, then they will tempt you with unhealthy food, or try to distract you from going to the gym regularly. True friends will want the best for you and encourage you to do positive things for yourself, so associate yourself with people that have your best interest in mind.

Being fit and healthy is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, and it is a lifestyle you shouldn't have to justify or defend. When I hear that I am too conscious, or I let fitness run my life, or I take it too far, I don't feel the need to explain myself, nor do I have the desire to critique negative aspects of someone else's lifestyle. You need to live with yourself, and if you choose the path to better health and fitness, then consider that a positive thing, and you don’t need to defend yourself for having that mindset.

I feel that taking care of yourself is a normal, primal instinct, and feel that knowingly consuming products that are harmful of damaging to your body is not an ideal lifestyle, so know that you are doing the right thing, stay the course, and let your critics enjoy their doctors visit.

The last obstacle I will discuss is all about you.

Many people don’t go to a gym to exercise because they feel self-conscious or are too insecure with themselves to take that step into the unknown. I say that you need to get over it and loose the mind trash.

Ya see, you are the only one thinking about that stuff. Everyone had to start somewhere, and you are no different. You can’t go through life worrying what everyone else is thinking, and most of the people in the gym are experiencing the same pain as you and need the help and encouragement that you do.

Yes, there will be people more fit than you, but when someone at work makes more money than you, do you not go to work? I don’t think so. You have as much of a right to be healthy as anyone else, so don’t be self-conscious, embarrassed, or ashamed to be there.

Besides, the fit people are focusing on themselves, and not you, and the people worrying about what you are doing should be focusing on themselves instead. You should be proud of yourself for making positive changes in your life and stop feeling self-conscious. Everyone that makes an attempt to better themselves should be praised, and if you are walking into a gym, you are a brave soul and should walk with confidence, not embarrassment.

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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