The Real Fitness X-Factor
There is no shortage of fitness and nutrition advice today. Almost everywhere you look, there is a new diet or a revolutionary new fitness diet. Claims abound about foods that finish fat, such as heat-seeking rockets and secret ten-second exercises that increase your metabolism by more than 300% (this crazy claim actually sells programs).
Everyone is looking for this effortless solution to shred fat but allows you to eat whatever you want. There is a reason why the term “fitness fashion” has become fashionable. These flashy gadgets come and go when they turn out to be untenable, ineffective, or just plain weird (did we really expect the weight of the shake to be the answer?).
Even the scientific community sometimes feels confused. A recent study on the groundbreaking research behind the “energy flow” found that the body’s energy needs (read the calories burned) remain virtually the same, regardless of the amount of exercise.1
Those who sit and eat all day treat about the same daily calories as those who exercise like crazy, except that they store those calories as fat instead of using them. It also seems that some may benefit from the “energy flow gap”, through which more exercise and more food will increase your metabolism and make you slimmer. Further research is needed in this area. This study, conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, measured only adolescents, an age population that can experience radical changes in metabolism.
Start with what you do
This can be confusing and make us unsure about the implications. As interesting as the concept of energy flow may be, it does not yet prove anything new. Nutrition matters more than exercise to lose weight. However, even if weight loss has only been influenced by diet, exercise is still crucial for the body and mental health in the long run.
The message to remember is, and always has been, to create lifestyle habits that promote long-term health. Counting calories turns out to be ineffective, especially when we think about how many low-calorie foods can be nutrient-poor, and our tendency to stop counting when motivation decreases and life becomes hectic. Instead of claiming to have an idea of our basal metabolic rate, we just need to find healthy foods that we like to replace with poorer choices. Even though different training methods can meet our individual needs, it is very important to move more and sit less. Of course, a balance between strength, cardio, flexibility, and stability is ideal, but with nutrition and exercise, you just start with what you do.
So, What Are You Going To Do?
If you run out of time and equipment, there is a training plan for this. If you prefer to train outdoors, or with a lot of variety, or with heavy weights, or with a lot of stretching, or with games, or with something else, there are plans for this too. However, most likely, they prefer to exercise and eat with friends.
Pete Hitzeman of Breaking Muscle has identified exactly the only variable that is important for training, nutrition and any goal: consistency or what you do in the long run. However, there is often more to be consistent. We all have the power to change, but the will alone do not prove to be an effective strategy for most.
Community: The Real X-Factor
A community will is a basis for most of our actions. Paradoxical as it may sound, the community is the key to creating individual health changes. We are social creatures who take on the role models of our environment. Whatever your goals, the answer is simple: to be successful in the long term, create a community around your health and fitness.
Author Neil Strauss explains what Finding a healthy community meant to him Personally:
I used to go to the gym to achieve a certain weight or muscle goal, and I never stuck to it. Now I come to my friends, and we always train outdoors: on the beach, in a pool, on a lawn, it’s the highlight of the day. I don’t expect any results, and I’ve never been in the best shape of my life. This helped me to realize that the secret of change and growth is not the will, but a positive community.
Strauss does not say anything revolutionary, but he deeply articulates the solution to our epidemic of poor health. The lack of community and connection leads to poor mental health. Healthy communities most influence the actions necessary for body health. Nothing we do for ourselves is more important than creating communities of people who sincerely share the desire to achieve health and balance.
Community is not only the most sustainable way, it is also a necessity for health. Psychologist Julianne Holt-Lunstad found that social connection is correlated with a 50% reduction in the risk of early passing away. She concludes that chronic loneliness is comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day in terms of health check.2 as we all know, social media and population growth do not alleviate loneliness. Social bonds are based on body presence, experience, and authenticity.
Create Your Own Healthy Communities
The community and the connection of matures are the struggles of our time. As one customer recently asked me “ “How the hell are you making friends now?”We go to school with peers and like-minded people, and then go to the country of cabins. We enter the” real world ” and are confronted with social alienation. No one invites us to play racquetball. There are no intramural sports and no easily visible hiking clubs.
We need connection and we’ll find it somehow. Many fill the void with drinking friends. Softball leagues for matures are becoming the only exercise many people get because they drink beer and laugh about how their bodies slipped. The community, rare as it may be, is focused on the new realities of lethargy and immobility because many social forces seem to want to scare away health.
The answer is you, the individual. Take steps to find the fitness community you know you need. Start a group or try something new. Maybe there is a great kettlebell gym or a Brazilian jiu-jitsu studio in the city. For body and mental health, social connection is the answer.
This can be scary. Daniel Coyle’s new phenomenal book the Culture Code shows that a deeper connection requires vulnerability. We have to risk failing and being “the new person.”We have to risk rejection or feel uncomfortable in a new group. Health occurs when you roll the dice and live. With a little courage, we can all create the bodily and socially nurturing communities we need to thrive.