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Fit for Life: Fail to Plan? Plan to Fail

Saturday, April 19, 2014

 

Plan and prioritize, and you will prevail.

Over the past 20 years, I have attended continuing education courses that pertain to exercise, human function, movement patterns, and holistic nutrition. I have gained a ton of knowledge over this time, and I still continue to educate myself, but as of lately, I have been attending courses that will help me market myself, and try to earn my potential, based on my level of expertise. The one thing both these methods of education have taught me is that in order to be successful at anything you need to prioritize and put the important elements of your goal first.

There are many factors, and moving parts to whatever it is you try to accomplish, weather it be building your business, raising a family, or trying to get fit and healthy. In order to utilize your time efficiently, and succeed, you have to make a list, and prioritize the most important elements of this list, because our time is limited. For this article I will give you examples of things related to health and fitness, since I am not very knowledgeable at the other two – but working hard on the business plan part.

Nutrition First

The number one priority in your quest for health and fitness needs to be your nutrition plan. Without sound nutrition you will fail to become healthy. You can get fit “looking” by eating low fat artificial food and man made supplements, but my goal is overall health, and you can't become, and maintain, good health by doing so. So make food quality priority one. Now to take it a step further if you find yourself wondering what food type to eat, make protein your priority, especially if you train hard. Protein will help build and repair muscle tissue, and it will take fewer calories to satisfy you, keeping you strong and lean. I always advise balanced nutrition, but if you are pinched for time, or low on funds, make protein a priority.

Balance & Core Strength

When you begin an exercise program, your number one priority needs to be balance and core strength. If not, you can compare it to trying to build a house on a sand bank. It may stand for a while, but eventually, the foundation will erode, and it will come crashing down. Do not load the body, unless your foundation is strong and balanced enough. If you currently go to the gym, strength training should be first on this list. Especially when time is limited, this should be done before cardio. Two reasons it is more beneficial, is that it builds muscle, and muscle burns more calories at rest, and with proper strength training your posture will improve, and your chance of injury decreases. You can make it metabolic by performing super sets or doing time intervals with little rest between sets, thus improving your heart and lung strength. When time becomes a factor, and you need to prioritize exercises, squats, dead lifts, shoulder presses, and a rotational exercise, will cover all the essentials: strength, mobility, and stability, creating balance throughout the body.

If you fail to plan, then you should plan to fail. This line has been following me around for years, and I have proven this to myself many times. One example was not getting to the market and buying snacks before a road trip. This should have been a priority equal to getting fuel. Instead, I thought I could wing it and grab something where I was going, only to discover a town with fast food and dollar stores on every corner. I settled for beef jerky, and mass-produced yogurt from a Seven Eleven store. No plan equals failed nutrition. So let this line play in your head before you make a list, then remember my advice, make your own list and highlight the important stuff. Plan and Prioritize, and you will prevail.

 

Matt Espeut has worked as a personal trainer for almost 20 years with clients ranging in age from 14 to 86. His focus is on overall health, strength, and functional conditioning. Holistic health and nutrition is the cornerstone of all his programs. Matt works in private and small group training available at your home or office location or at gym facilities. Matt offers his services to everyone wanting to be more fit and healthy, overweight young people, youth/collegiate athletes, and seniors. Matt has worked and continues to train at several facilities in the Providence area including Gold's Gym and CORE Studio, and he believes continued education is a must in his field. Email Matt: [email protected], check out his website atwww.fitnessprofiles.net or on Facebook at Matt Espeut or on Twitter @MattEspeut.

 

Related Slideshow: Most and Least Healthy Counties in Massachusetts

Using data from the 2014 County Health Rankings compiled by the University of Wisconsin Public Health Institute, GoLocal ranked each of Massachusetts' 14 counties from least to most healthy according to health outcomes. 

Health outcomes measure two factors: how long people live (length of life) and how healthy people feel while alive (quality of life).  

The report also ranks health factors, which measures health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic, and physical environment factors.

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14. Hampden County

Population: 465,923

Median Household Income: $48,386

Health Outcomes Ranking: 14 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: 15%
  • Low Birthweight: 8.6%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 14 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 19%
  • Adult Obesity: 29%
  • Physical Inactivity: 27%
  • Excessive Drinking: 19%

 

Access to healthcare professionals

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 1,368:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 1,408:1

 

Full Report

Prev Next

13. Suffolk County

Population: 744,426

Median Household Income: $50,884

Health Outcomes Ranking: 13 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: 17%
  • Low Birthweight: 9.2%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 12 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 15%
  • Adult Obesity: 22%
  • Physical Inactivity: 22%
  • Excessive Drinking: 19%

 

Access to healthcare professionals

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 693:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 638:1

 

Full Report

Prev Next

12. Bristol County

Population: 551,082

Median Household Income: $53,670

Health Outcomes Ranking: 12 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: 15%
  • Low Birthweight: 8.2%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 13 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 20%
  • Adult Obesity: 29%
  • Physical Inactivity: 28%
  • Excessive Drinking: 20%

 

Access to healthcare professionals

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 1,906:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 1,790:1

 

Full Report

Prev Next

11. Berkshire County

Population: 130,016

Median Household Income: $46,660

Health Outcomes Ranking: 11 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: 12%
  • Low Birthweight: 8.1%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 9 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 17%
  • Adult Obesity: 22%
  • Physical Inactivity: 21%
  • Excessive Drinking: 21%

 

Access to healthcare professionals

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 887:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 1,417:1

 

Full Report

Prev Next

10. Plymouth County

Population: 499,759

Median Household Income: $72,795

Health Outcomes Ranking: 10 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: 11%
  • Low Birthweight: 7.7%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 10 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 18%
  • Adult Obesity: 25%
  • Physical Inactivity: 23%
  • Excessive Drinking: 21%

 

Access to healthcare professionals

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 1,626:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 1,538:1

 

Full Report

Prev Next

9. Worcester County

Population: 806,163

Median Household Income: $62,318

Health Outcomes Ranking: 9 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: 12%
  • Low Birthweight: 7.4%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 11 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 18%
  • Adult Obesity: 26%
  • Physical Inactivity: 23%
  • Excessive Drinking: 21%

 

Access to healthcare professionals:

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 971:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 1,590:1

 

Full Report

Prev Next

8. Franklin County

Population: 71,540

Median Household Income: $54,159

Health Outcomes Ranking: 8 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: 10%
  • Low Birthweight: 7.0%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 8 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 19%
  • Adult Obesity: 25%
  • Physical Inactivity: 19%
  • Excessive Drinking: 18%

 

Access to healthcare professionals:

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 1,523:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 1,741:1

 

Full Report

Prev Next

7. Barnstable County

Population: 215,423

Median Household Income: $58,616

Health Outcomes Ranking: 7 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: 8%
  • Low Birthweight: 6.9%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 4 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 14%
  • Adult Obesity: 28%
  • Physical Inactivity: 18%
  • Excessive Drinking: 18%

 

Access to healthcare professionals:

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 1,068:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 1,143:1

 

Full Report

Prev Next

6. Essex County

Population: 755,618

Median Household Income: $67,408

Health Outcomes Ranking: 6 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: 13%
  • Low Birthweight: 7.6%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 7 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 14%
  • Adult Obesity: 24%
  • Physical Inactivity: 22%
  • Excessive Drinking: 19%

 

Access to healthcare professionals:

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 1,272:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 1,282:1

 

Full Report

Prev Next

5. Hampshire County

Population: 159,795

Median Household Income: $58,206

Health Outcomes Ranking: 5 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: 10%
  • Low Birthweight: 6.5%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 3 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 12%
  • Adult Obesity: 22%
  • Physical Inactivity: 17%
  • Excessive Drinking: 20%

 

Access to healthcare professionals:

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 698:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 1,858:1

 

Full Report

Prev Next

4. Nantucket County

Population: 10,298

Median Household Income: $70,286

Health Outcomes Ranking: 4 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: N/A
  • Low Birthweight: 5.3%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 6 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 15%
  • Adult Obesity: 24%
  • Physical Inactivity: 20%
  • Excessive Drinking: 26%

 

Access to healthcare professionals:

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 2,028:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 1,295:1

 

Full Report

Prev Next

3. Norfolk County

Population: 681,845

Median Household Income: $80,192

Health Outcomes Ranking: 3 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: 9%
  • Low Birthweight: 7.3%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 1 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 12%
  • Adult Obesity: 20%
  • Physical Inactivity: 20%
  • Excessive Drinking: 19%

 

Access to healthcare professionals:

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 812:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 927:1

 

Full Report

Prev Next

2. Dukes County

Population: 17,041

Median Household Income: $56,784

Health Outcomes Ranking: 2 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: N/A
  • Low Birthweight: 5.0%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 5 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 12%
  • Adult Obesity: 20%
  • Physical Inactivity: 20%
  • Excessive Drinking: 26%

 

Access to healthcare professionals:

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 882:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 1,908:1

 

Full Report

Prev Next

1. Middlesex County

Population: 1,537,215

Median Household Income: $81,924

Health Outcomes Ranking: 1 of 14

  • Poor or Fair Health: 9%
  • Low Birthweight: 7.5%

 

Health Factors Ranking: 2 of 14

Percent of population engaging in:

  • Adult Smoking: 11%
  • Adult Obesity: 23%
  • Physical Inactivity: 22%
  • Excessive Drinking: 18%

 

Access to healthcare professionals:

  • Primary Care Physicians Ratio: 814:1
  • Dentists Ratio: 1,165:1

 

Full Report

 
 

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