4 Lies the Fitness Industry Loves to Tell You (By Guest Blogger, Mathews McGarry)

It’s a vicious circle, one of the average consumer attracted to the oily abs on those magazine covers, and that of the marketing frenzy to always give their clients an edge over their competitors. Everyone is looking to invent/sell/discover the “-est” formula of fitness success. Hence the titles “the fastest way to get cut”, “the best workout for fat loss”, all neatly packed with “experts”, gurus” and “incredible transformations”.

Getting out of this Wayward Pines of fitness can be a long and windy road, simply because your subconscious desperately wants to believe these lovely lies, and wouldn’t our lives be so much simpler if they were only true?

Diet or die

Wherever you look, there seems to be another last solution you’ll ever need. Intermittent fasting, chrono, raw, paleo, juicing, keto, low-fat, Mediterranean, gluten-free, Atkins, you name it, it’s there to salvage your soul. Followed, of course, by lists of crazy-expensive dishes with ingredients you can barely pronounce, let alone prepare.

And with the help of the rights Instagram babes and bods, it’s no wonder we all want to believe them, despite their photoshopped, filtered, altered images selectively posted to tease our minds into thinking we could or should ever look like that. The low self-esteem card is their absolute favorite, and the simple truth hiding behind all those diets is painfully obvious: every one of us is different, and whatever you prefer and choose to eat, should be in moderation.

No pain, no gain

The supposition that you should be in pain is not only dangerous, but also inconsistent with their oversimplified gimmicks to reach your fitness goal. What was designed to aim at your motivation and make you feel less than worthy unless your exercise is riddled with “blood, sweat and tears”, is in fact the quickest road to injury and failure.

Not that your routine should be a breezy session as it can seem in certain videos online, when the instructors leisurely explain their exercises without losing their breath. Putting in a reasonable amount of effort as opposed to taking part in a grueling training session will yield results without making you feel miserable or forcing you through the fitness equivalent of a military boot-camp.

You need it all, and you need it now

How do all those fitness magazines, blogs and online experts even survive in this overpopulated industry, you wonder? Adverts, of course! The sole purpose of the majority of these outlets is to sell you something, so they aim to make you believe you need all of it to reach your goals.

But just like no fancy shin-pads, elevation masks, or gravity boots can keep you harm-proof if your form is poor, mindlessly buying everything labeled fitness doesn’t guarantee you any advantage over the guy who trains with actual knowledge in his hands. Don’t buy into the hype and stick to your bare essentials such as trusty belts, sturdy weightlifting shoes and your long-lasting gloves.

Fitness miracles

Just look at Thor’s pecks, and the Rock’s rock-hard abs! They MUST be the result of that one-week makeover routine or that magical supplement! Sure, unless you have some basic knowledge of human biology – muscles cannot sprout over-night, nor can you shed pounds with that fat-burner mix from your favorite fitness store shelf.

Anything that offers fast results (not counting steroids) is, in a nutshell, a load of BS. No five-minute-a-day routine can bring out your abs unless you lower your body-fat percentage to an unhealthy level, nor can you become Hulk-esque with a ten-minute strength-building routine. Living in a fast-paced world requires fast-selling solutions, and since you cannot train six hours five times per week and have a hoard of trainers and nutritionists tailoring your every move, of course you prefer the illusion.

With clarity of vision and a handful of useful information, you’ll get much further than you ever will with a heap of mindless tips and tricks not even their inventors believe. As comforting the world behind the blue pill may be, for the sake of your health, I’d strongly advise you to take the red one.



The Endangered Tradition of Taking a Walk

You can walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, or you can actually walk with them instead.

To “go take a walk” used to mean something.  On the surface, it could seem that walking without a necessary destination may seem pointless.  But when you’re physically moving, the gears in your head tend to move as well.  (I get most of my ideas to write about while moving in some way, not sitting still and just trying to think stuff up: The ideas just appear in my head as long as I’m moving somehow.)  When walking alone, you will more likely be able to think more clearly and creatively.  When walking with another person, you’re more likely to engage in clear and creative conversations.  But in a culture where we do a lot of scurrying around, then we get home, and we are often so exhausted from the day’s stress that we just want to chill out on the couch, the tradition of taking a walk has become endangered.  And therefore; less thinking, less talking.

Taking walks is a tradition I am making a point to bring back in my own life.  Every day at work, my friend Chris and I take a fifteen minute walk around the buildings near us.  He’s nearly Asperger’s when it comes to World History and Geography, so I learn a lot from him.  And I’m able to bounce ideas off of him as I am in the midst of writing about them, like about capital punishment.  If it weren’t for our daily tradition of walking together, he would just be another guy I work with.  But instead, he is a friend to me, not simply a “work friend”- because there’s definitely a difference.

And if you’ve live in a townhouse development or newer apartment complex in a decent sized city, you’re aware of your Korean neighbor ladies who walk around the neighborhood every evening after dinner.  They are always an inspiration to me.  But of course it’s not just about necessary daily exercise; it’s about putting yourself in a position to where you can simply think (if you’re alone) or to strengthen relationships with people in your life.