Saturday, June 19, 2010

Don't lose weight.... Get Healthy!

Everyone loves to ask the question, "How can I lose weight?", "I need to lose 10 pounds, can you make me a program?", or my favorite "How can I lose the fat right here in this section?" In my head countless sarcastic statements are flowing that I have learned to hold back but believe me I am laughing in my head.

After holding back for about 5 seconds and gaining my composure I have now learned to reverse the thought process from don't lose weight get healthy. A major reason to change this way of thinking is that if you think fat loss, you're putting negative thoughts in your head saying that you're fat. In my point of view it will be harder to stay disciplined to your goals because of the negative self image. If you think healthy, you think more positive thoughts and everything will revolve around an image you visualize in your head of you as a healthier person.

If you think that you need to lose weight, your goal revolves around losing weight and that's it. This is where Fad diets have come in to help you lose weight in the wrong, short term ways, while taking a lot for your money with it. If I'm ever need of money I think I might make one of these up and write a short book showing how on the water and cucumber diet you can lose 87 pounds in 16 hours. Back to the point. By just trying to lose weight, it's more likely that you will not create a habit of exercising and eating right but rather just achieve the goal then revert back to your old habits. Then it's a recurring cycle that really won't help you in the long run. If you end up going the "I need to lose weight" route, at least switch it to I need to lose fat. If you cut your calories down to 1500 per day but it's all from 2 donuts and coffee, thats like a cigarette smoker saying they'll stop smoking for 3 days but end up throwing in a couple dips and thinking its helping.

If you become healthy and have a desired look in mind, the fat loss will follow and the habit of eating right and exercising will be ingrained in your brain. You will more likely keep the weight off and have more energy everyday. You can still write down a desired weight you would like to be but keep in mind if you start eating right (vitamin enriched=bullsh*&T) and exercising consistently (walking around the block 3x a week doesn't count) your goals will follow.

The hardest part is holding yourself accountable and staying committed, but visualizing and writing down a goal for your self will get you there much faster than complaining to your friends you need to lose 10 pounds for beach season (it's already mid-June).

Any questions or comments email me or post below!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Less shoe support=More foot support

Ankle braces, ankle taping, and expensive shoes that are specifically designed to protect your foot from injuries are actually doing the opposite. These protective barriers are limiting your foot that has 26 bones and 20 muscles in each foot. That is over 1/4 of the bones in your body and a very high number of muscles for such a small area. That probably means it's pretty important.

The goal of these contraptions is to limit injuries, right? Putting a brace on is similar to putting on a flimsy cast. If you've ever had a cast removed after 6-8 weeks, that area it covers is often very weak and immobile. Why would you put a light cast on all year long unless there is an injury? It makes no sense to give your 10 year old daughter ankle braces and high tops for her first volleyball practice when she's never had an injury. Let your feet move and strengthen and there will be less injuries throughout one's career.

Lets look at some of the most elite athletes in the world, NBA players. NBA statistician Harvey Pollack found out that players missed 64% more games due to ankle and foot injuries than 20 years ago! The main difference between now and then has to be the stuff they put on their feet. Shoes today come out with more and more technology more for marketing reasons than functional purpose. Adidas claims to have a computer chip that conforms to the ground and your foot for $250 a pair. If you like wasting $250, give it to me and I'll gamble it in Vegas, chances are it's gone in 10 minutes. Why do these companies keep coming out with more technology? If Nike came out and said they were wrong and you actual need less technology and support to increase foot strength and support, how much money would they lose and what would it do to their rep?

This past year Kobe Bryant asked Nike to design a low top shoe because he felt he could have more stability and strength in his foot to get through the long season. People were shocked about this but it makes sense if you just think about how the body works and gets stronger, the more you ask the body to do by itself, the more it will adapt and get stronger.

Last I will give you a statistic comparing the number of injuries from soccer to basketball players. The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System said in 2006 that there were an estimated 529,837 injuries in basketball with a majority being in the ankle and foot area. Soccer only had 186,544 injuries. Soccer players will often refuse braces and tape, and wear cleats that are as light and thin as possible. Yeah they might not jump as much but your telling me slide tackles don't cause ankle injuries? Their feet and ankles area strong because they actually use those muscles when they cut and move.

Now if you get injured (which does happen no matter how strong your feet and ankles are), wear a brace or tape to get you through games. What i'm saying is that if you are healthy please wear low top training shoes and no braces. I personally wear Nike Free's and some nuts like to go as far as wearing the Vibram 5 Fingers. If you can sneak some barefoot training in your warm-up or while squatting or lunging even better. The overall message I want to imprint in your brain is to set your foot free and allow it to do what it's made to do!