This weekend I took 7 of my trainers with me to Chicago for a fitness conference. It was an educational 3 days for personal trainers and group fitness instructors. We learned a lot of hands on skills, along with the latest in exercise science, research, and trends. For me, one big take away from the event was the revelation and understanding that our industry’s focus on exercise is flawed and is need of a paradigm shift. The same 20% of our population bounces from health club to health club while the health of our country continues to deteriorate to the point where the experts estimate by 2050, 50% of our population will have diabetes (that freaks me out!).
Questioning why our industry’s approach to helping people is failing miserably, has literally been waking me up consistently at 3 AM for nearly the past year. After pondering some ideas and facts presented at the conference, I’d like to share some of my thoughts…
Our keynote presenter suggested that trainers are actually snake oil salesmen when we tell people that they should exercise to lose weight. Study after study has shown that exercise is quite futile in weight loss. These studies do NOT mean you shouldn’t exercise. Exercise will add MANY quality years to your life, but don’t believe that it will do much of anything for weight loss on it’s own.
If have made this claim in the past, I want to apologize.
I will always believe exercise is ESSENTIAL and MANDATORY for living the healthiest and most awesome life possible, but when our industry claims exercise alone will create massive weight loss, don’t believe the hype. If exercise really did result in massive weight loss, every person that consistently goes to a health club would be an ideal weight.
So, if exercise is not the solution to weight loss, what is?
Nutrition of course plays a massive role in losing weight, nothing new here. But the challenge with nutrition is determining how we can best educate and then empower you to make the right choices.
Overall lifestyle also plays a role in weight loss. The latest data shows that the average women in the U.S. sits for 13 hours per day! That doesn’t include the additional 7 hours they sleep.
Can you imagine that?
We, as a culture, spend over 80% of our lives sitting on our butts! No wonder our nation is getting more and more obese! Research has shown that a person who doesn’t formally exercise, but is on her feet a lot moving around, is overall healthier than someone who works out for one hour most days of the week, but sits for the rest of the day. We must fight the urge to plop down in front of the TV or computer screen and get up and move! Even if it is just 2-3 minutes on the hour, every hour we’re sitting. Sitting kills, and if you think the 30 minutes of intense exercise you get in daily is all you need, you are mistaken.
Big box health clubs, provide a physical space for exercise to occur but they provide very little in the way of education, accountability, and support. Even if these gyms do educate you on how to best exercise at their club, it will do very little to empower you to transform your life.
Moving forward, I believe the role of fitness facilities will soon move toward creating a coach to client environment. Gym memberships will include effective coaching that provides you with safe, efficient, and fun ways to workout, empowers you to transition some of your sitting time into movement, and provides you with encouragement and honesty (they’ll also call you out on your BS).
This environment is what I am attempting to create at the Transformation Center in Madison, and in my various DVD and digital programs, as well. Fit Moms For Life strives to create programs, products, and services that can empower you throughout your entire day, not just the 30 minutes you spend with us in our programs working out. Losing weight, having more energy, and up-leveling your life to awesome, this takes work and many, small changes over time.
Focus on your future. If you make improvement a priority, the future will be far greater than your past.
Another thing I would like to see people obsess less over – how many calories they burn in a workout. It hardly matters in the big scheme of things. Workout hard – yes – but building a foundation of fitness that will allow your body to move well throughout your day is FAR more important than just discovering how many calories you burn per workout. A more interesting number to focus on – how many calories you burn per day. This number will be indicative of how much or how little you are sitting day in and day out.
I am honored to be part of an online health summit, alongside many of the top wellness experts in the country! It is called the High Performance Health summit and you can listen to all 33 experts for free! You will have to opt-in to receive the interviews. First one starts soon. ->-> Click here to sign up <-<