Torres column: Pay the price, but maintain a balance
I have heard many stories about women who were anorexic or overweight and men who used to drink or do drugs who have changed their habits to exercise. Even though exercise is a good habit, it can become negative.
After some of these people found a better way to cope with their negative behavior, they start going to the extreme. Now they do almost anything to get a perfect body. They take steroids, they start doing unhealthy dieting, and they spend an unhealthy amount of time exercising. Now, if you research, you will find many testimonials from these people and how they got lost on the other end. When they find out that their lives are not sustainable and realistic, they start looking for a balance.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a nice body, to lose weight and tone your body.
My fat levels are 11 percent, and I am happy how my body looks and how I feel. In the past I wanted to be like the guys on the magazines. Then I found out that they are not natural, and their health is at risk. Also, I am not willing to be a fit only in season. Many of these magazine models are fit only for the season and when they are in off-season usually are out of shape.
I am not against their decisions and desires, and I don’t think what they do is wrong. However, I don’t know how someone can sustain that lifestyle and stay healthy.
This is what I teach my clients: Be healthy, look great, have a balance and have a happy lifestyle.
Everything has a price. The more you want the more you need to pay.
What would you like to do? Lose 5, 10 or 20 pounds? Or tone your body? Anything is fair, but you need to make sure what it is that you want because your program depends on this. Just like I am not willing to diet or take supplements, you are not willing to lift weights.
I know I am not going to look like Arnold looked at his best because I am not taking the extra help with steroids. But that is OK, because I am happy the way I look. I keep a balance.
You should take this into consideration. Before starting your weight loss routine, it’s important for you and your trainer to know how far you want to go.
If you want to increase some strength and lose 5, 10 or 20 pounds, almost any exercise and eating healthily can do it. You can do zumba, you can run, hike, swim, bike or light weight lifting. However, if you are planning to tone your body, you need more than just any exercise. You need a structured weight lifting program that allows you track your progress with periodization.
The body accustoms to the resistance you subject it to. For example, according to NASA, if astronauts don’t exercise, their bodies start losing bone and muscle. Bone and muscle loss mean decreased size and strength. Once they land on Earth, weakened muscles and bones would make walking difficult.
This is because the body is adapting to the gravity in space, which is much less than on earth. In other words, if you give minimum resistance to your body, your body will become accustomed to it. If you want your muscles to tone you must increase your weight lifting as you progress.
One more factor: We are fighting against aging. As we age we lose muscle mass, and the only way to regain muscle is by strength training.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently.”