Pearls of fitness W.I.S.D.O.M.

A few pearls of fitness wisdom will be shared this week in the form of an acronym. We utilize fitness acronyms frequently in the fitness industry such as the F.I.T.T. Principle (i.e. frequency, intensity, type and time of exercise) to commit the information to memory. Therefore, remember these pearls of fitness wisdom so that you may apply each regularly. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

W: stands for weight management throughout life. Managing a healthy body weight is one of the most important factors in living a full and productive life. Less stress on the joints, improved functional movement quality (i.e. efficiency) and many health issues impacting the viscera may be positively affected by healthy body weight maintenance. Consider the example of strapping on a 25-pound weighted vest and carrying it for life. Now, think of shedding that vest and how you would feel and how you would perform.

I: stands for information, health and fitness information. Where does the information that you adhere to originate and why are you following this information? As mentioned in this column many times through the years, determine who may gain from dispensing or selling this information? Do they have a scientific, peer-reviewed foundation of research to back up their claims? If not, run for the hills!

S: this refers to symmetry, body symmetry. Maintaining a body that is as symmetric as possible is important to ensure optimal form and function. This is not about being on the cover of a fitness magazine, it is about training your body to be as efficient and effective throughout your lifetime so that your skeletal structure, muscular and connective tissue components and your physiological elements are healthy and protected. Muscular balance throughout all three planes of the body leads to symmetry.

D: this applies to direction, health and fitness direction. Where are you headed? Where do you want to be this time next week, month or year? It is great to integrate health and fitness into your life, but without a clear path to follow, you may end up feeling discouraged and frustrated.

O:  stands for owning your mind and body. Our mind and body are inextricably linked and wherever the mind goes the body follows. So, owning our mind and body, committing to taking care of the total package throughout life, makes complete sense. Taking ownership by consuming a healthy diet, exercising regularly, practicing stress reduction techniques and being good to those around us, may lead to a happier, more fulfilled life.

M: represents movement. Moving every day, to whatever extent we are able. I love the example of one of my clients who was struggling a bit to achieve her weight loss goals. To provide her with an example of the importance of performing her exercise program consistently, I encouraged her to wear her heart rate monitor throughout the work day on two different days. One day she performed her regular exercise program and then went about her daily round. The other, she rolled out of bed right to the computer screen where she remained the rest of her work day. The difference was as follows: workout day plus = 2500kcal; non-workout/sedentary day = 700kcal—movement is key!

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