Thursday, January 20, 2011

Collected Fitness Wisdom #30

Too many people focus on short-term goals. Trying to reach some "perfect" physique or losing weight for a big event can only motivate you for so long – then you’re right back where you started. I call these kinds of short-term goals “fixed motivation.” True motivation -- lasting motivation -- is something quite different. If you can tap into your long-term goals and create a group of friends you can relate to, you will never have to make another New Year’s resolution to lose weight, or put all of your hope in an exercise gadget from an infomercial -- and you certainly won’t find yourself going through the perpetual cycle of yo-yo dieting.

~Kris Gethin


People often get stuck on the minutiae of fitness when they really just need to move more and eat junk less. Yes, it’s important to have a goal and a plan but don’t fixate on what are the best supplements, should you eat breakfast before or after your workout, are you in your fat burning zone. Just get to work. You can refine as you go.

~Valerie Waters


If it weren’t for dead guys, we’d probably never have started doing crunches. That’s because for years, much of our knowledge of the way muscles work was based on the study of human cadavers. By looking at the anatomy of corpses, modern scientists figured that the function of our abdominal muscles must be to flex the spine. Which is exactly what you do when you perform a crunch, a situp, or any other move that requires you to round your lower back. As a result, these exercises were popularized as the best way to work your abs.

But the reality is that your abs have a more critical function than flexing your spine: Their main job is to stabilize the spine. In fact, your midsection muscles are the reason your torso stays upright instead of falling forward due to gravity. So your abs and lower back actually prevent your spine from flexing.

The upshot is that if you want better results from your core workout, you need to train your abs for stability.

~Alwyn Cosgrove


A century ago, to consume 400 calories, you had to go buy the meat, vegetables, and rice, and come home and cook it. Now you can consume the same amount of calories just by downing a bag of Cheetos.

~Caroline Apovian, M.D.
Director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center


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