Fitness column: You don’t need to make a complete ‘lifestyle change’ |

Fitness column: You don’t need to make a complete ‘lifestyle change’

Steve Wells
Staff Photo |

Health and fitness wackos always have great advice for us all. They love to boast about their awesome healthy lifestyle and how we should all change our lifestyles in order to be as healthy as they are. As a personal trainer, I often find myself giving the lifestyle speech and boring the heck out of everyone. A complete change in lifestyle is both commendable and tragically impractical.

“You have to change your entire lifestyle” is something we have all heard enough to get annoyed and drop out. Besides, what if you are OK with your lifestyle and you just want to work out a little? There is hope.

Don’t let the billion dollar fitness-diet industry get you down with their incessant lifestyle change dogma. The fitness-diet industry writhes in joy as average Joes scramble to buy and do the latest and greatest fitness “thing.” A healthy lifestyle is a noble pursuit, but for the majority of Americans it is very difficult to attain. So difficult that many of us drop out due to the annoying lifestyle change speech. An actual load of responsibilities often pushes a healthy lifestyle to the wayside as we pursue other goals, since life has more to offer than cool running shoes and calorie counting phone apps.

You can benefit from exercise without the dreaded lifestyle overhaul.

A little exercise is beneficial to any lifestyle, and you don’t have to eat kale chips or own a shaker bottle to do it. OK, sometimes you have to change your lifestyle to get healthy, but perhaps health is not your goal. Maybe you just want to get some exercise and go right back to being unhealthy. Some of the most enjoyable things in the world are extremely unhealthy.

I’m just saying that a little sweat, stress management, strength and self-respect helps everyone. Don’t let fitness-diet industry meatheads keep you from getting your grrrrr on just because they won’t shut up about the best protein powder and plant-based diets — even though employing these habits will actually improve your health dramatically and help to reduce health care costs.

The fact is, there is no easy way to get in shape, and most of us are not willing to make working out and putting together the perfect fitness wardrobe their part-time job.

However, it’s good to lift stuff, hit stuff or simply zone out to your favorite tunes while you walk without having to become a fitness perfectionist. The point is this: Don’t let “lifestyle pushers” keep you from getting some exercise that your body so desperately needs. In the midst of an unhealthy but fun lifestyle, make a way to get some exercise any way that you can.

Steve Wells is a personal trainer and co-owner of Midland Fitness. His column appears on Tuesdays.

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