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Fit For Life: Tick-Tock

Saturday, November 28, 2015


It is something that is infinite, but nobody has enough if it.
It is something that can't be made.
It is something that can't be bought.
It has value, but it is priceless.
It can be spent, but you will never get a refund. 
Although it is infinite, we as humans only have a limited amount of it, and nobody will ever know how much they will have. 

The word of the week is time. My favorite cliché about time is: You only have a limited amount, so spend it wisely, because there are no refunds. So my question to you is: why do you keep wasting it in the gym? 

Yes, I am a big advocate of working out and exercising, but if you are not getting the results you are trying to achieve, then you are wasting your time. I would much rather be hanging out with my nephew, sitting in a coffee shop, reading a book, or lying in the sun somewhere, than being in a gym, if I was accomplishing nothing. Many of you probably feel that as long as you get there, that's better than not going, but I am telling you that's the wrong attitude and approach, because if you are not exercising properly you are not only wasting your time, but setting yourself up for injury, which is worse than doing nothing at all. I see it every single day. 90% of the people in the gym are wasting their time and getting nowhere from a fitness perspective, or looking worse, from an aesthetic perspective. 

Is this you?

*  Lumbering into the gym, grabbing a book or magazine and jumping on an elliptical machine or recumbent bicycle? Then you continue with poor form and posture by reading and ‘working out’ at a pace that would put people to sleep if they watched you long enough. You cannot read if you are training intensely, and you cannot train intensely if you are reading. Why bother doing "cardio", if your heart rate isn't going to elevate and you aren't working up a sweat? Sure you may burn a few calories, but if you eliminate a piece of bread or a cookie from your food intake, you have accomplished the same deficit as a sloppy day at the gym. Not only a waste of time, but by exercising with bad form you are feeding dysfunction at an accelerated rate, which will pay you back with lots of visits to the orthopedist. My suggestion: take a spin/body pump or some other form of exercise class, grab a partner and go for a fast power walk, or play a game of basketball. Anything to up the intensity, elevate your heart rate or work up a sweat. 

*  On the flip side, are you killing yourself in the gym, sweating profusely, slinging heavy weights, but ruining your efforts with a poor nutrition program? There are two different ways you can sabotage making gains with poor eating:

1) You eat all the wrong foods. You finish beating your body down, shredding muscle fibers, and burning up all your muscle glycogen, only to refuel your body with some processed garbage from a drive-thru, or some packaged form of protein bar disguised as nutritious and healthy. Remember this!  Your gains are determined by how much rest you get, and how well you nourish yourself AFTER the workout, not how hard you work during. So if this is your routine, remember you will get fit faster and waste less time if you pay attention to what you eat. As I continuously say, “you can't workout a bad diet.”

2) You don’t eat enough. I'm not sure which one of these two problems is worse. In order to perform at your peak levels in day-to-day life you need fuel, so when you work out you need even more. When you exercise and lack fuel you end up burning muscle mass, which changes your body composition or muscle-to-fat ratio in a unfavorable way. I always recommend keeping yourself fueled up and ready to perform at your highest level. 

So – nobody has enough if it, you can’t make it, you can’t buy it, but you can spend it.  It’s priceless, and there are no refunds.  It’s your time to waste – or use wisely.  Wasting it in the gym is time better spent laying in the grass or doing a thousand other things…investing time in the gym is a wise investment.  One that will reap more time for you in the long run – healthy time – time to be fit and really live life.

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one!"its fullest. 


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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