With increasing pressure from the media for both men and women to achieve the ‘perfect’ physique is it easy to lose sight of the most important benefits we can get from physical training and nutritional changes.
Before setting your eyes on getting a 6 pack or super slim waist your first goal should be ensuring you are healthy before striving for so called ‘perfection’. An obese person with no experience in health/fitness striving for the perfect physique before aiming for a healthy body that functions properly is like someone who has never played football deciding that they must get into the next world cup team before joining their local club and anything short of achieving a position the world cup squad would be deemed a failure.
Exercising on a regular basis massively reduces the risk of an incredibly long list of diseases and health problems. This list ranges from heart disease and stroke, right through to cancer and Alzheimer’s. Nutritional changes such as cutting down the amount of sugar you consume will reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Having enough protein in your diet helps you maintain your muscle tissue, especially during periods of weight loss. A reduction in muscle tissue results in a reduction in your metabolic rate. I won’t even get started on the problems caused by largely processed/artificial food and will cover that in a separate article.
I am not saying it is wrong to work towards achieving a 6 pack or a very lean physique, but if you are currently in an unhealthy physical state both internally and/or externally you should first set your sights on resolving that. This means developing a good base cardiovascular fitness, a reasonable amount of muscle tissue that gives you a good metabolic rate and a high insulin sensitivity allowing you to properly digest and utilise dietary carbohydrates. It is also important to achieve a healthy body fat % and waist circumference as these are highly correlated to an increased risk of developing serious health problems. If your training and nutritional changes manage to get yourself closer these points or keep yourself there, then they have been a success and you should be happy with your results, even if you still do not resemble the airbrushed, often drug fuelled bodies of the magazine covers.
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