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Fit For Life: How to Make Fitness Your Way of Life

Saturday, April 26, 2014

 

This column is titled, FIT FOR LIFE – and though I didn’t come up with the name to describe my life, I really do live by that phrase. Health and fitness shouldn't be something that is seasonal, or done in cycles. It should be a way of life. The statistics in this country are alarming: approximately 65% of the population is overweight. This means that when you are in a crowd of people, you can observe the people that have a few extra pounds to lose. They may have a little flab around the mid section, or a little jiggle in their arms, or a little cellulite around their legs. So, basically if you are not in shape you might be considered overweight. But - over 33% are obese. This is really very different. This means that you are carrying 35% or more, of your body weight in fat pounds. And this figure is increasing every year. But, it’s also important to remember that these are just statistics that revolve around weight and muscle to fat ratios.

When I do a presentation, I always ask the crowd to raise their hands if they know someone who has had cancer or diabetes, and every time, about 99% of the crowd raises their hands. And although I like to be right most of the time when I talk before a group, when these hands go up, for that moment, it stuns me. What is depressing and frustrating is that I believe this doesn't need to be. Science is showing us this doesn’t need to be. It’s literally shouting at us that we are causing are diseases, in large part, by behaviors that are controllable and modifiable.

The American Heart Association’s slogan used to be “Your Life Is In Your Hands” – and it just about said it all. There are hundreds of books about getting fit on the market. There are gyms around every corner, and then you have the internet. The information is out there, and people are spending billions of dollars a year trying to get fit and healthy. Sure a lot of people don't care, and those who choose to remain ignorant are choosing to do harm to their bodies. For the most part, my focus has to be on the ones who want help, but can't figure out what to do to get to their optimal health. They’re buying book after book, joining gyms, even hiring trainers, trying fad diets, and going to extremes to get in shape, but fitness still seems to elude them.

Why is this? Being fit is actually easy. I know I do it for a living, but that's why I consider it easy. Drink clean water, get 8 hours of sleep, eat clean organic non- processed food. And - move your body. That's it. You do not need complicated restrictive diets, you do not need to watch YouTube for complex and difficult exercises, and you do not need to read every diet book out there. All you need to do is follow my advice above. OK! BUT….(I know what you are thinking, “Ha, I knew there was a catch.”) . The only way to achieve your goals is to do it CONSISTENTLY. Occasionally eating right, or moving around won't cut it. I hear it all the time "I ate great for breakfast and lunch, but had a drink and a piece of cake, or some bread after work". This behavior is inconsistent, and will not net results. You need to eat well 90% of the time and if you are consistent with a proper eating plan then your ratio should look like this: eat 5x a day (snacks and meals) for 7 days = 35 meals/snacks x 90%= just 3 1/2 bad meals but 31 1/2 have to be healthy balanced meals to make progress. In addition, you need to move around regularly. Even if you eat well, sitting all day leads to poor posture, and tight hips, usually causing lower back pain. You don't need to train like a marine every day but you need to move consistently or you won't move efficiently.

Simplicity is the best way to go. Follow the few steps I have given you. Find a program that will work for you. Keep it simple but follow it consistently. Just like building a house, the better you follow the plans, and the more time you put in on a regular basis, the faster it gets done. Building it is a smooth process, and maintenance makes it look great and it will last a long time. 

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 atMatt Espeut or on Twitter @MattEspeut.

 

Related Slideshow: Check Out The Grades: Massachusetts Hospitals Report Card

A recent survey released by The Leapfrog Group assigns a Hospital Safety Score, using the report card system of A to F to each of the hospitals in Rhode Island. These grades are based on expert analysis of injuries, infections and errors that cause harm or death during a hospital stay.

Let's see how each of Massachusetts' hospitals were graded from highest to lowest:

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Addison Gilbert Hospital

Gloucester, MA

 

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Anna Jaques Hospital

Newburyport, RI

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: B

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Baystate Franklin Medical Center

Greenfield, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Baystate Medical Center

Springfield, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

 

(Photo: John Phelan, Wikimedia)

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Berkshire Medical Center

Pittsfield, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Milton

Milton, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: B

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Boston, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Beverly Hospital

Beverly, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Boston Medical Center

Boston, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Brigham and Women's Hospital

Boston, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital

Boston, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Cambridge Health Alliance: Cambridge

Cambridge, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Cambridge Health Alliance: Whidden

Everett, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Cape Cod Hospital 

Hyannis, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

(Photo: Davee, Flickr)

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Carney Hospital

Dorchester, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Charlton Memorial Hospital: Southcoast Hospitals Group

Fall River, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: B

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Emerson Hospital

Concord, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: B

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Hallmark Health System: Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford

Medford, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Hallmark Health System: Melrose-Wakefield Hospital

Melrose, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Harrington Memorial Hospital

Southbridge, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Holy Family Hospital

Methuen, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Jordan Hospital

Plymouth, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: C

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Lahey Hospital and Medical Center

Burlington, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Leonard Morse Hospital

Natick, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Lowell General Hospital

Lowell, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Marlborough Hospital

Marlborough, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Mercy Medical Center of Springfield

Springfield, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: C

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Merrimack Valley Hospital

Haverhill, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: C

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Framingham Union Hospital

Framingham, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Milford Regional Medical Center

Milford, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Morton Hospital

Taunton, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Mount Auburn Hospital

Cambridge, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Nashoba Valley Medical Center: A Steward Family Hospital

Ayer, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: B

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Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Newton, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Noble Hospital

Westfield, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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North Shore Medical Center - Union Hospital

Lynn, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Quincy Medical Center

Quincy, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital

Brockton, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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South Shore Hospital

South Weymouth, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Steward Good Samaritan Medical Center, Inc. 

Brockton, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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St. Luke's Hospital: Southeast Hospitals Group

New Bedford, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: B

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Steward Norword Hospital

Norwood, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Steward St. Anne's Hospital

Fall River, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Steward St. Elizabeth's Medical Center

Boston, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Sturdy Memorial Hospital

Attleboro, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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The Cooley Dickinson Hospital

Northampton, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: 

Spring 2013 Grade: 

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Tobey Hospital: Southcoast Hospitals Group

Wareham, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Wing Memorial Hospital & Medical Centers

Palmer, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: A

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital: Needham

Needham, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: B

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Falmouth Hospital

Falmouth, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: B

Spring 2013 Grade: C

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Holyoke Medical Center

Holyoke, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: B

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Lawrence General Hospital

Lawrence, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: B

Spring 2013 Grade: B

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Massachusetts General Hospital

Boston, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: B

Spring 2013 Grade: B

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North Shore Medical Center: Salem Hospital

Salem, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: B

Spring 2013 Grade: B

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Saints Medical Center

Lowell, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: B

Spring 2013 Grade: B

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St. Vincent at Worcester Medical Center

Worcester, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: B

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Tufts Medical Center

Boston, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: B

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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Winchester Hospital

Winchester, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: B

Spring 2013 Grade: B

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HealthAlliance Hospital

Leominster, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: C

Spring 2013 Grade: B

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North Adams Regional Hospital

North Adams, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: C

Spring 2013 Grade: A

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U Mass Memorial Medical Center

Worcester, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: C

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded because the hospital did not respond to Leapfrog's voluntary survey

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U Mass Memorial Medical Center: Memorial Campus

Worcester, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: C

Spring 2013 Grade: C

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Athol Memorial Hospital

Athol, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded because the hospital did not respond to Leapfrog's voluntary survey

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Baystate Mary Lane Hospital

Ware, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded because the hospital did not respond to Leapfrog's voluntary survey

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Boston Children's Hospital

Boston, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded because the hospital did not respond to Leapfrog's voluntary survey

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Clinton Hospital

Clinton, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded because the hospital did not respond to Leapfrog's voluntary survey

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Boston, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded due to lack of publicly available data

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Fairview Hospital

Great Barrington, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded because the hospital did not respond to Leapfrog's voluntary survey

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Martha's Vineyard Hospital

Oak Bluffs, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded because the hospital did not respond to Leapfrog's voluntary survey

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Massachusetts Eye And Ear

Boston, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded because the hospital did not respond to Leapfrog's voluntary survey

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Nantucket Cottage Hospital

Nantucket,  MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded because the hospital did not respond to Leapfrog's voluntary survey

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New England Baptist Hospital

Boston, MA

 

Fall 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

Spring 2013 Grade: Not Graded*

 

*Not graded because the hospital did not respond to Leapfrog's voluntary survey

 
 

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