We are consumed in a world to believe that more is always better. The more money we make, the more things we can buy, the more house we can get, the more dinners we can go out to, and the more we can enjoy our lives. Supposedly. We need to get off this mindset that more is better and be happy with what you have and what you are given. More is not always better. Remember the song, more money, more problems.
Let’s take a look shall we into where more is not always better in the health and fitness world.
Sugar. Sugar that sweet, addicting substance that is in almost everything and in which most of the world is currently functioning on. We put it in our coffee’s, our teas, it’s in bread, pasta, all pastries, candy, cereals and a lot of our condiments. Well guess where all that sugar goes if we do not burn it off? It gets stored as fat. The more sugar we eat the larger we have a chance of becoming. The more sugar we eat over time, the more chance of acquiring diabetes.
Sitting. We are very active and involved creatures by nature, we are very mobile and need to be upright, moving and always engaged. Sitting is becoming the death of our bodies. We are not designed to sit for hours and hours of the day. The more we sit, the more our posture deteriorates and the more our bodies become tight and dysfunctional. Majority of us sit for way to many hours of our day. We wake up, sit and eat breakfast, sit in our cars going to work, sit all day at a desk, sit for lunch, sit more for work, drive home and then are tired from working all day so we have to relax on our couches. Think about how many hours a day you actually sit? Count them up, I bet you will be surprised. The more we sit, the tighter our hip flexors get, the more hunched over we become, the more our butts do not work and the more back pain we acquire because of it.
Stress. So, you want to have a bigger house and more this and more that, well then, how are you going to get it? Chances are you are going to have to work more. The more you work the more stress you get, the more stress you get the more your health goes down the toilet. Stress is good for the body, but to much stress over time is very detrimental. The more stress you have, the more your blood pressure probably rises, the more you are not sleeping so you aren’t recovering from your workouts (getting to that one soon) and the more you look to some sort of way to relax from your stress such as medication or liquid medication. Some people are so stressed out from working to hard they have a glass or two of wine at night and an ambien to help them sleep. This would not be so bad if it was a once a month ordeal, but the problem occurs when it become a nightly ritual. This is called chemical dependency and it is not good. Good old fashioned regular REM sleep is what you need.
Exercising. Here is where it gets a little tricky. Yes, exercise is great for you, lifting weights, moving your body, getting your heart rate up, sweating and having fun is what it is all about. More is definitely not better in some aspects of fitness. If two or three days a week of heavy weight lifting is great for you, then 6 to 7 days has to be tremendous right? Wrong. If you are not eating correctly and not sleeping enough, you can not recover properly. The more you push it and continue to go hard everyday the more chance you have of breaking down and getting yourself injured. The more sets you down also matters. If 3 sets are great then triple that and I can get triple the results. Not so much. The amount of time you are in the gym is relevant. Your workouts should not take any longer than 45 minutes to an hour to perform. If you are exercising for 2 hours or more, you are overdoing it. Try to find ways to crop your workouts in half. One of the best things to do is time your recoveries. Keep them short of about 1-3 minutes. With aerobic exercise the same principle applies. The more you run, the more pounding your joints take, the more stressed your muscles become and the more chances of injury goes up. One of the few places where more is perfectly acceptable is the weight you lift. The more weight you can lift safely and successfully, the stronger your body becomes, the bigger your muscles get and the more lean muscle mass you acquire.
Frontdive’s bottom line:
Eat whole natural foods. Stay away from as much processed food as you possibly can. Remember sugar is considered white death, try to avoid it as much as you can at all costs.
Move your body. For every hour you sit, move around for 15 minutes. Get as much activity as you can everyday. Take the stairs, go for walks at lunch, and try to work standing up,
De-stress your life. Find ways to naturally unwind. Take up yoga or painting, practice meditation or light some candles and listen to some soothing music before bed. Let your mind wander.
Exercise less. Less is more. Think about doing a 3 day a week training program where you do full body workouts every time with high intensity and short recovery periods.