Holistic Fitness: What’s In and What’s Out

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When people think about trends in the fitness industry it is usually associated with the latest piece of equipment, the newest ‘get thin quick’ supplement, or the craziest new group exercise class. Thank goodness I see the fitness and wellness industry veering away from these fads more now and steering towards an educated perspective on methods to make your body healthy, strong and functional.

I find the majority of well educated trainers currently heading more towards a trend focused on intelligent, functional training for clients instead of the old school, over-training philosophies of ‘no pain no gain’. The majority of Americans currently sit at a desk all day with hunched shoulders, forward head posture, fast food processed diets, over-stressed lives, poor sleep schedules, over-caffeinated drinks, dehydration, and daily alcohol consumption. So to then exercise someone like this through a round of ‘slap em’ down workouts will not only break their bodies down more, it will also keep them over-weight, weak, and exhausted.

Take a look at the following list and see where you, your workouts and your lifestyle fall to find out whether you are currently on trend for your fitness and wellness:

IN – Holistic Health – eating natural, organic foods, sleeping 8 hours a night, doing an equal amount of energy rebuilding exercise work (yoga, stretching, meditation) as break-down work (strength training, cardio, sports).

OUT – Blindly killing yourself in the gym 6-7 days a week, taking artificial ‘get big or get thin fast’ supplements and ignoring your diet, lifestyle, and health.

IN – Getting professional help (through a well educated personal trainer or physical therapist) to discover where your body imbalances are located and developing a corrective stretch program for your body to perform daily (i.e. a meditation exercise) in order to maintain your body’s alignment and posture while insuring performance of your daily and athletic activities safely and to full potential

OUT – Ignoring postural imbalances and tight areas of your body and never stretching. OR Over-stretching areas of your body that are already too loose or weak, making these areas even weaker, longer and more taught (hamstrings come to mind when I think of this issue).

IN – Getting your daily exercise by doing outdoor activities like walking to work. Planning weekends around ski trips or recreational sport leagues. Using the gym for supplemental strength training for athletics and functional daily living. Having a lean, athletic, natural body.

OUT – Focusing all of your exercise around the gym EVERY DAY. Running on the treadmill or elliptical as opposed to running or hiking outside. Doing trendy supplements or steroids and becoming too big, hard or tight to function or even imagine doing anything athletic or functional.

IN – Doing intense, ass-kicking exercise based on your body’s specific needs, posture, imbalances, goals, and activities.

OUT – Group based, ‘run you into the ground’, generalized workout programs like Cross Fit or Boot Camp, which do not take into effect any of your personalized needs.

ҬӬIN РLosing body fat through proper diet changes such as eating a balanced diet of organic natural foods, removing all processed foods (cereal, bread, pasta, bars, protein powder) and artificial sweeteners. Also reducing alcohol consumption, removing gluten from your diet and increasing your intake of filtered water. And lastly through muscle building/strength training with 2 days/week of 20 minutes of cardio (NOTE: If you are training for a cardio event your cardio workouts may need to be more)

OUT – Focusing only on exhaustive cardio workouts every day (or even every other day) of 30-60 minutes in order to ‘burn off’ fat. Over eating protein and over supplementing.

IN – Eating fats (avocado, all natural meats, free range egg yolks, etc) as part of your daily diet.

OUT – Being scared to eat fats and consequently eating hydrogenated oils (margarines, salad dressings) thinking that they are healthier for you.

IN – Asking at your grocery store, restaurants where they purchase their produce and source their meat to make sure the farms and ranches are using organic and natural farming methods.

OUT – Making what you think are ‘healthy’ food choices without asking where foods are grown and how they are produced and processed.

About The Author

Having grown up in North Carolina, I have lived in San Francisco for 16 years now. I began personal training in 1999 and my partner Mike Clausen and I opened DIAKADI Personal Training and Wellness Center in 2004 in the SOMA district of San Francisco. We currently have over 70 of the TOP personal trainers in San Francisco working with us as well as an in-house sports med doctor and physical therapist, a registered dietitian, an organic personal chef service, corrective massage therapists, and yoga/Pilates instructors. DIAKADI has become San Francisco's leading one stop shop for all of our client's wellness needs.

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