The Difference Between “Fitness” and “Training”

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To the average person, fitness and training are the same, since they both involve sweating and burning of calories. But in actual reality, there is a big difference between fitness and training. Fitness involves sets of exercises taken on to help an individual achieve a good state of health and good feeling in their body. Training however, involves building resistance and strength.

Fitness exercises are geared towards burning calories and maintaining a good size and shape, meanwhile training activities are geared towards making the individual skillful in certain area of specialization. For instance, a footballer must train in order to be successful on the football pitch. It is mandatory, not optional, else they would fail in their set task. For fitness persons, exercising is not mandatory, it is important, but optional; no one imposes it on him.

Fitness is a fundamental part of a healthy person’s regime. It has to be done just to ensure we stay healthy or in shape. Fitness is mostly performed by most people just for the fun of it; some do it to stay in shape, while others do it because they just feel like it. Many gym-goers even go to the gym with exercising as a secondary motive, along with other motives such as socializing and making new friends. With training this is not so, most trainees such as athletes and sports persons know that training is mandatory for them to accomplish their long term performance goals.

With training comes planning. Planning is very important to achieve the desired goal of every trainer, and this planning is done strategically with a series of intense and strenuous exercises going into making it successful. Fitness does not require much planning, as anyone can do certain reps of aerobic exercises each day and still be fit. There is no end goal in mind, other than to be healthy, which is why there is no necessity of systematic planning for a fitness regime.

Fitness does not involve any form of intensity, because you do not necessarily have to have a set goal in mind nor something to look up to to make you always stick with it. Training takes effort and involves pain. It is intense and takes a lot of hard work. It involves putting yourself under a lot of tension to bring about your desired objective, meanwhile fitness is easy and fun, and can be done by almost anybody. It does not require much intensity or much effort, unlike training. Many trainees may want to quit because of the intensity involved, but constantly reminding them of the end-goal makes them spurred to keep at it no matter the pain and pressure involved. They see the pain as mandatory and a normal feeling for them to encounter the rewarding effects of training later on.

With fitness, most people tend to stop working out or exercising once they have gained the desired shape or size they wished for before starting the fitness regimen; they usually do not see a reason to follow through, since they now seem fit. They may just exercise at irregular intervals just for health’s sake. Trainees on the other hand go through the exercises with an end goal in mind, most of which are long-term goals with great rewards. These may include monetary, trophies, accolades and other forms of personal accomplishments. With this end goal in mind, they can easily put aside thoughts of quitting like the average fitness person would. This end goal pushes them to keep going the ‘extra mile’ in their training hoping to reap the rewards sooner or later.

Training is aimed towards making the individual strong and make the body able to do certain tough activities usually not easily achievable. Fitness on the other hand, is geared towards making the individual be in good shape and maintain proper health. Training makes you more conscious of the abilities of your body, its strengths and limitations, how responsive it can be to certain tensions put on it, and how that tension transforms it. It empowers you to know the capabilities of your body, its endurance limits and helps you to stretch yourself even further.

For the average gym-goer, fitness involves going to the gym and repeating the same types of exercises each time. This makes the effect of exercise predictable and yields fewer results, because it gets to a point where the individual plateaus in those sets of exercises and it just becomes the norm, or a fun thing to do; otherwise not stimulating any new desire or growth. With training, series of exercises are systematically arranged and planned to attain specific results.

Training is a task that must be mastered through consistency. Being consistent in training makes the body adapt to it and only then does it start yielding the desired results.

Fitness is something that can be performed on your own without the need for any support or enforcing party; meanwhile with training, because of the intensity of the exercises carried out, there is a tendency to want to quit, which is why training has to be done alongside an experienced coach who encourages you to keep going, even when you feel like quitting. The training coach ensures you stay true to your training goals without compromising. Most of the time, these training coaches help to design the training programs and plan out how to realize the goal.

I wanted to write this blog so that people understand the difference between “training” and “fitness”, and to truly realize what goes into “training.” I also think that training helps one cope with the hardships that we encounter in our lives. How so? Well, if someone can develop themselves to go through a challenging training, he/she will then be able to handle the challenges of life. Because when one is training, he/she is not only training the body, but also (and maybe even more importantly) the mind. And that is why at IMS, I train my clients with the hope that not only can I help them become better ‘performers,’ physically, but also ‘mentally.’

Training changes your philosophy of life because you recognize that you are capable of using your mind to change your body. –Jean Nidetch

 

I Don’t Have Enough Time to Workout… Really?

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timefliesTaking care of our health is a non-negotiable factor for longer living. Living a life of perfect health involves a lot of personal effort on an individual’s path, including eating right and having a proper fitness regimen which is strictly adhered to. As important as this may sound, it seems a rather difficult task for many people to keep up to.  When it comes to lack of proper exercise schedule, the number one excuse people give for not working out is that they do not have enough time. With the daily pressures of work, family and pursuing a career, many people feel less compelled to put much priority to having regular exercise.

Exercise is rather important because of the innumerable benefits it offers our bodies, among which is the ability to help us live longer and healthier, by ensuring we do not lose a lot of bones and muscle as we age. The benefit of exercise is common knowledge to most people, and they wish they could engage often in it, but they are laid back because there are so many activities all seeking for their attention. Yet among these activities, a fitness program is of utmost importance to sustain a healthy and well balanced life.

If we carefully analyze our lives, we would find out that, if our priorities are properly organized, we would have enough time to do the important things such as exercising. We often focus most of our time on a lot of irrelevant tasks, such as watching TV, reading emails, or chatting for long hours with friends. These tasks are not bad by themselves, but they could be properly prioritized to enable us have enough time to focus on keeping our health together. Being accountable with our time and setting priorities would enable us have time to include a workout schedule.

People complain they don’t have time to exercise because they don’t see it as a priority. They admit it is important, but their failure to workout shows that it is not a priority in their list of activities; because what we actually do is what determines our priorities. Seeing fitness as a priority would change your perspective, ensuring you create time for it no matter your tight schedule. How your time is spent determines the priority you place on something. Carefully planning your time and minimizing the time spent on some other activities would allow you have time to put in on a workout.

With 168 hours in a week, exercise time can easily be included. If you count family time, work time, and sleep time, time should also be reserved for taking care of your health. If the health is neglected, when the body breaks down, we would be forced to take off work and family time just to get our health back. Since this is the case, it is imperative to avoid the body breaking down by taking time to care for our health. It’s sufficient to state that we all have equal hours in a day; what we do with it determines our outcome.

Some ways to make exercising a lifestyle is:

  1. Hire a qualified fitness professional (and as you can see I’m using the word qualified, not certified, because as I always say, certified does not mean qualified.)
  2. Set up your fitness goals: You could have a diary or an app on your phone which you use to set up your fitness goals and set reminders to achieve them, setting up the times and days of the week to work out. When we have goals, the rate of achieving them is high.
  3. Choose your most favorable times of the day: You can fit your workout sessions as the first thing do in the mornings. That way you are not exhausted from work, and it has been planned for earlier on. You could get up earlier in the mornings just to have time to exercise.
  4. Adjust your timetable: Adjusting your timetable to allow workout time is very paramount. Cut down a little time from some of your usual tasks to have extra time that can be used for exercise. Ensure that the extra time is not used for anything other than exercise.
  5. Incorporate exercise in your work: While working you could take short breaks of 10-15 minutes to work out even while at the office. Simple exercises such as plank, squats, lunges do not need any special equipment, and can easily be done anywhere.

To make exercise a lifestyle, it is important to be consistent with it. Do it consistently for about a month and you will see how it forms into a habit you will always enjoy doing without much effort.

Exercising is not comfortable but it is necessary. The benefits of engaging in it regularly far outweigh whatever discomfort you may feel initially. Making time for it would go a long way in ensuring we live better and healthier lives.

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. – William Penn

Fitness or Weight Loss? Two Different Goals

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Being healthy involves living a balanced lifestyle with both fitness and proper nutrition. Many people consider weight loss to be the highest priority and sideline the effect of having a proper fitness program in place. It is important to note that both weight loss and fitness are crucial aspects of achieving wellness, though neither one depends on the other.

In weight loss, a certain amount of intake restriction is required.  Reduction of calorie intake is vital, as excess calories form a majority of the excess weight. When losing weight, look at food and drink options that are beneficial to the body yet contain fewer calories. Focus on healthy options such as fruits, vegetables, fats and proteins.

It is a well-known fact that exercise is important for a healthy body. Weight loss alone is not enough to live a healthy lifestyle, it must be coupled with exercise and working out as part of a lifestyle regimen to maintain a healthy body. When starting a new fitness program, something as simple as taking a daily walk will help increase weight loss as long as it coincides with a healthy diet. Since many people are sedentary for most of the day, including physical activities in their lives will increase their weight loss efforts.

Fitness benefits the body in many ways regardless of the weight of the individual. It helps in preventing cardiovascular disease. It also helps the heart function optimally, without fear of certain heart diseases such as stroke. Fitness also contributes to the CNS (central nervous system) operating with a higher capacity. It does this by ensuring that blood is pumped efficiently throughout the heart and brain. Exercising also helps in burning calories, whether light physical activity or high intensity. It is beneficial to our emotional health, and helps to reduce stress. It even improves sleep, which is essential for a healthy body.  

Fitness is an important aspect of wellness that will benefit anyone whether you are slim or overweight, meanwhile weight loss efforts are common among people who are overweight, obese or people who are generally unhappy about their weight.

Generally, the process of weight loss ends when you achieve your desired weight. It’s not a go-ahead to binge or return to old eating habits, it just means no more anxiety about losing that extra fat. Fitness, however, is a lifelong journey. It is necessary for both the old and the young. We can’t outgrow the need for a regular fitness routine. It is an important aspect of any weight loss journey. Weight loss meanwhile, isn’t required for any form of fitness endeavor. Exercises vary from cardio, to endurance, to strength training; all of which are geared towards achieving total health.

Fitness and weight loss are both crucial elements of wellness. Each one enhances the other. Weight loss focusing on nutrition and food choices, without including a complete fitness plan, is unrealistic. Likewise, using exercise to burn calories without considering, and making adjustment to your eating habits, is a wasted effort. A healthy lifestyle can be countered by missing out on any one of them. Including regular exercise like running, lifting weights, or even walking helps to complement a healthy diet.

“Development of the mind can be accomplished only when the body has been disciplined.”

 

DIETS DON’T WORK, REALLY!

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Diets don’t work in long-term effectiveness. They are a quick fix. One must change their lifestyle for long term success.

So many diets have come and gone, with many promises of quick weight loss if certain programs are adhered to. It has quickly become a massive industry generating a lot of income, because of the desire of many people to achieve the slim-figure constantly shown to us in the media. It is interesting to note that, despite all the multitudes of dieting programs, there has been little success in the weight loss efforts of most of the population. People attempting to lose weight seem to do so initially at the start of these diet programs, but end up with much more weight after the dieting is over. This leaves them resigned, wondering how they blew it again.

Maintaining a healthy weight involves much more than food restriction. It is a lifestyle that  needs to be developed and not just a program to stick to for two or three months. Dieting is just a temporary fix to solve your weight problems, the results really aren’t going to last, because once the diet has ended, you find yourself plugging back to the same old habits that got you stuck with the fat in the first place; and then the cycle continues. For effective weight loss, everything from what you eat, to how you think, to what you do, should all be in alignment with the healthy lifestyle that you are developing.

A common assumption among dieters when they fail in their efforts to lose weight is that they are not disciplined enough, or that they lack the willpower to stay lean.

Some attribute their dieting failures to their own laziness or gluttony, failing to realize from the inception that, dieting is bound to fail, because it is not a healthy way to lose weight. Meanwhile, losing weight shouldn’t be this difficult and strict-ruled. It is easy to maintain a healthy weight when it’s fun, and not with stringent rules. Dieting produces a kind of tension in our minds, with don’t- eat- this rules, eventually causing stress that makes many well-intentioned efforts backfire.

Through research carried out by psychologists, it has been found that, dieting sends the message “I am being starved” to the brain. The result is that after the dieting period has ended, the body tries to regain every ounce of the fat it has lost, thereby leading to additional weight gain. Your body doesn’t understand the concept that you are dieting, instead it sees it as starvation and goes into fat storage mode; kind of like, storing fat for the ‘rainy days’.

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Diets really don’t work because they just focus on one aspect of weight loss: food. Other aspects such as mindset, exercise, sleep, stress management, and hydration are left out, making it totally one-sided, which is not what the body needs. Effective weight loss focuses on total management of every area of health and wellbeing, ensuring a balance and not starvation in any form.

Cultivating sustainable lifestyle changes is important, much more than just focusing on food restriction alone. What we eat, and how much we eat is equally important, but that shouldn’t be the only point of focus or weight loss efforts will just be myopic and yield no results. It is overall important to look at our previous eating habits and patterns, why we eat what we eat and how we eat it. It is a process of changing our negative patterns all around, both internally and externally, to influence every sphere of our life, and not just our food.

Dieting produces psychological effects such as obsession with food, and increased cravings to eat even in the absence of hunger, due to lack of attentiveness. The rigidity and restriction of dieting may eventually lead to some form of eating disorder and binge eating. The high focus on weight loss in dieting may lead to depression and low self-esteem, when the dieter eventually finds out the approach isn’t yielding any positive results. Medical complications that can arise from diet due to starvation include: weakness, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, fatigue, and poor immune system.

Getting past the don’t-eat-this-or-that to developing a healthy habit of choosing healthy pathways to staying healthy; having a healthy approach to living allows excess weight to be lost  slowly and naturally, and because of the accumulation of healthy habits. This kind of lifestyle prevents you from being at war with your body through some diets that could damage internal workings of the body as a whole. When weight is lost through healthy lifestyle habits, the effects are lasting.

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Being healthy isn’t all about weight loss. It involves choosing to live daily with habits which ensure your overall well-being. Our lifestyle choices would determine in the long run whether the excess weight is lost, and not merely by boycotting certain foods. For overweight/obese persons, it’s a change that should be taken one step at a time.  It should not be a quick fix, but instead a long-term guarantee to better living that improves overall health even without weight loss. Dieting or any method of losing weight other than lasting change in habits may cause more problems.

Better lifestyle changes that can help maintain a healthy weight without any dieting input include eating consciously, ensuring to eat a balanced diet, being active and engaging in regular moderate physical activity.

After all, what we should all be striving for is total Wellness. “A state of complete physical, mental, and spiritual well-being; not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

“Learn to eat to live, and not to live to eat.”