Thursday, January 3, 2013

Reasons To Be Cheerful -Part 1- Fitness Edition

Life can be a f**ker, one minute you're cruising along the next minute you're having an MRI scan of your brain or dropping £600 to get your car fixed (true story). Having said that most problems we have are first world problems, I live in a country with free healthcare, clean water and supermarkets that sell fresh fruit and vegetables all year round. Most peoples daily problems consist of deciding which piece of touch screen plastic/metal/glass to buy and trying to get free wifi access.

With that in mind, here's a list of reasons to be cheerful, with an emphasis on fitness and health (I'll concede some of the list is a bit tenuous).

Reason no.1 - The Internet: fitness websites & blogs - have transformed the fitness industry. We live in an age where we have access to more information than ever before, with the right filter you can learn an astounding amount. Fitness wise - when I first entered the industry the only information was the pitiful selection of books on your local high street. If you were lucky there was the Human Kinetics mail order catalogue, and that was it. The only other information was in magazines and courses (which in retrospect were mostly wrong and bore no relation to actually training people for results). Now, quality content is posted everyday by coaches, as well as products and books that continue to raise the game - use them wisely. And without the internet you wouldn't be reading this

Reason no.2 - Someone somewhere in the mists of time invented the barbell, dumbbell and kettlebell. Still the most effective and versatile strength and conditioning tools there are.

Reason no.3 - Coffee and hanging out in coffee shops. And all the associated health and stimulant benefits.

Reason no.4 - Running is free. And if you can't run you can walk or do bodyweight exercises. You can get fit with no expensive equipment. You don't need a gym or the latest running shoes. Just get moving.

Reason no.5 - Figure Athletes and Fitness Women. An increasing number of women are lifting weights, transforming their bodies and looking hot. And with the internet (see reason no.1) they are posting pictures of themselves and encouraging even more women to lift weights and be awesome; Bonus! This can only be a good thing.

Bonus list - top 6 inspiring fitness women as chosen by my girlfriend (see reason 12)

1. Ava Cowan

2. Neghar Fonooni

3. Nia Shanks

4. Andreia Brazier
Andreia at Leisure Industry Week. Photo taken by me. Conversation goes like this, Me: Can I take your photo, my girlfriend is a big fan? Andreia: Yes, do you want to be in it? Me: No, my girlfriend only wants you in the photo Andreia:(probably thinks to herself , Hmm you are a strange guy)

5. Erin Stern

6. Nicole Wilkins

Reason no.6 - Eggs. Superfood in a shell. Without eggs what would I have for breakfast? Frosties, toast?! Thanks chickens for all your hard work.

Reason no.7 - Steak.

Reason no.8 - Hanging out talking about fitness, health, rehab and nutrition all day. Although, this isn't all I do, I'm lucky I can spend a good proportion of my day doing this.

Reason no.9 - Cheese. Ok, this is hard to justify from a fitness perspective. Except maybe if your are eating low carb, high fat, high protein - then cheese is perfect. You can never get tired of eating cheese, even after very long runs when energy gels, sweets and drinks make me wretch, cheese is one of the few things I can eat. Remember a cheese sandwich is not paleo - damn.

Cheese - Cheddar - the best kind

Reason no.10 - Tea. And all its associated health benefits. Plus nothing beats a good cup of tea.

Reason no.11 - Rehabilitation renaissance and research. I think it was Craig Liebenson who coined this phrase. Not so long ago, physiotherapy mainly consisted of doing a bit of ultrasound and some strapping. Things are changing, with professions like osteopaths, chiropractors, physios, massage therapists and athletic trainers all communicating more and trying to raise their game. I'm not saying it's a revolution yet, but manual therapy is back on the agenda after being MIA for a while. Research wise, you used to have to go to a university library and spend hours looking through index cards and research journals to find what you were looking for. Now, with the internet you can find research at a click of a button, plus critical reviews of it and how to apply it in practice.

Reason no.12 - Having a girlfriend who is into fitness and has competed in fitness competitions. Having a common interest is one thing, but seeing someone compete and their dedication to training, nutrition and having the guts/balls to stand on stage is inspiring and makes me want to train harder, eat better and keep me on the nutrition/ fitness straight and narrow. Plus she is a trainee Osteopath, so I get the benefit of her practicing on all my injuries and numerous movement dysfunctions. Thanks Tissy!

Tiss Tanner - 'Can I have some carbs & cider now?'

There it is. So what are your fitness reasons to be cheerful?

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