The Fitness industry can be guilty of deceiving the public when it comes to realistic expectations. Some programs tout fast results, like “abs in 30 days!”. Others use fitness models on their advertisements, leaving our brains to draw the conclusion that this person became ripped from just 90 days of calisthenic training.
But abs aren’t built in 30 days. As a matter of fact, everybody already has abs. They just only “show” when someone has a very low (sometimes unattainable) body fat percentage.
And the models used on these ads have been working out for many years, probably using heavy weights. They likely eat incredibly restrictive diets, and are instructed to drink very little water a few days before their photo shoot, as this makes muscles look more pronounced. These are just two examples of the truth-bending strategies that people use to sell their get-fit-quick schemes.
The Truth Depends on Who’s Asking
These aforementioned practices are precisely why we don’t recommend making fitness goals based on what you’ve seen on Instagram. Every single body is different- which means, that each one has its own unique version of “fit”. Bone structure, for example, will largely determine which areas of your body are more muscularly prominent. And genes have a lot to do with this, too.
Instead of setting unrealistic goals for your body (which isn’t something you have too much control over), set goals for your performance in and outside of the gym.
For example, don’t set a fitness goal of losing all of your arm flab in three months- but see how much heavier you can go with the dumbbells you use for your bicep curls. Maybe this translates to lifting a several hefty bags of groceries from Lemon Street Market up the stairs in one trip.
And don’t aim for a six pack- see how much longer you can hold a plank after 90 days. Then, take note of your posture. Do you walk a little bit taller? Have less back pain? Find that you have more stability when climbing the rock walls at Spooky Nook?
The best fitness goals you can set for yourself still demand hard work and consistency, but don’t attempt predicting the future. They make life easier. They don’t stress you out by demanding impossible results.
Before setting goals for yourself, whether it's in FIT Studio or not, be wary of the unrealistic expectations the fitness industry sets for you. No matter what your goal is, patience and self discipline is a requirement. There is no cheat code for health.
Luckily for us, what we have to gain is more amazing than we can ever imagine.
To start or continue your fitness journey, schedule a free consultation here.
(Or Feet. Or Shins. Or Hips.)
We can’t avoid it- running is a high impact sport! We’re cringing just thinking about all of the knee, hip, and shin pain that’s about to occur city wide as Lancaster gears up for the Red Rose Run. The good news is that many of these injuries are entirely preventable. Follow these tips, and you’ll be right as rain come race day.
1. Don’t Push it!
A common mistake that first time runners often make is going too hard, too fast. We know! Running can be exciting, and pushing the limits can feel incredibly rewarding! But ultimately, training consistently and gradually over a longer period of time will be more effective, and it’ll also keep you safe. The general rule of thumb is to only increase your mileage by 10%- that means, if you’re running 3 miles today, don’t go beyond 3.3 this week. Also, don’t forget to train for the hill on South Duke Street! Approaching a hill for the first time on race day is a recipe for injury. An easy way to do this is just practicing on the hill itself- and remember to slow down your pace when you do so.
2. Stretch, Rest, and Recover.
Don’t forget to take your rest days seriously. It’s during these periods of recovery that your muscles rebuild. Disturbing that process prematurely can lead to injury, but most frustratingly, it slows your progress. While we’re at it: don’t forget to foam roll and stretch. You’ll feel sore less often, which means you’ll be able to train more often and efficiently. And if you find yourself injured or need advice about recovery, feel free to reach out for some tips!
3. Stay Hydrated and Fuel Your Body Properly
Did you know that you should be drinking an additional liter of water per every hour of exercise? Are you refueling your body with a protein and carb heavy meal post workout (try an Oola Bowl from Central Market!)? Give your body what it needs in order to be the well oiled machine it’s meant to be! Not only will you prevent aches and pains, but the results may surprise you.
4. Strength Train a Few Days a Week
Listen, we get it! Runners gonna run. But they also can avoid getting hurt by taking a day or two a week to spend some time strength training. It may not be your favorite way to sweat, but the benefits of training your glutes, core, hips, and back are BIG. Think: improved posture, less low back pain, reduced likelihood of knee injury, and more power in your legs.
Every muscle in our body is connected, working in systems to make movement as easy and possible for our bodies. When we functionally train our core and back, we fundamentally spend less energy during a run holding our upper bodies up. And when we do a few squats a week, we’re building the muscle we need in our glutes to gain speed. If you’re not sure where to start, we can certainly help. Click here for a free consultation.
Otherwise, we’ll see you on race day!
When we start looking to change the way we eat, it’s inevitable that folks will start popping up out of the blue with all sorts of advice. Popular trends like KETO and intermittent fasting are all the rage right now, capitalizing on the concept of “restriction”, whether it’s an essential nutrient, calorie intake, or when we eat.
The truth is that- yes- consuming less calories, especially calorie dense food helps us lose weight. But these are not realistic long term solutions for everyone. It’s a well known fact that 95% of all diets fail- so why do we keep failing to identify these fads as what they are?
Why They Work (At First)
When dieters first adopt their new habits, it’s normal for them to start feeling better. Aside from the “master cleanse”, most diets are rooted in basic, truthful concepts; loading up on vegetables, limiting portion sizes, drinking water and avoiding sugar/alcohol. As new dieters detox their bodies, restrict their calorie intake and hydrate themselves properly for the first time in years, their body is bound to react positively.
But as time goes on and other life events take precedence, high maintenance trend diets tend to slip away from the average person. Eating out becomes increasingly difficult- maybe money is tight, and we can no longer afford the shakes we’re buying. Maybe we don’t have time to pack our lunches for work, and maybe cooking something different from what our family is eating every single night becomes too much to bear.
Before we know it, we’re back at square one. The likelihood that we regain that weight is now much higher.
Permanent Solutions for Everyday Life
With so many different bodies, lifestyles, and circumstances in the world it’s difficult to determine the universal magic recipe for successful, long term weight loss. But people who find the most permanent solutions simply tend to adopt sensible eating habits.
While educating ourselves about nutrition is time consuming, the advantages are limitless. Books like Food Rules by Michael Pollan dive into how simple a healthy diet can be, and Podcasts such as this one by Monica Reinagel gives us sensible, small ways to change how we eat (also, short enough to listen to on a work commute).
Nutrition and weight loss are common sense. All of these resources will tout the same thing: avoid processed foods and sugar, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink as much water as you can. In Lancaster, we have abundant access to fresh, seasonal produce. We can stop by Central Market once a week to load up on some fresh veggies, or swing by Silantra for a healthy Bing Bowl when we’re pressed for time to cook.
Local interest in healthy lifestyles are growing, and small businesses are increasingly looking to include alternatives that help us eat and live sensibly. By patronizing these restaurants/farms, you’ll not only be nourishing your body- you’ll also be helping Lancaster grow into a healthier community!