"7 Deadly Sins" (Blog #7)

Hopefully the title of this blog sparks your interest rather than making you run in the other direction. The 7 deadly sins that we're going to cover will be sins that a lot of us make when it comes to our overall health. Even us trainers are guilty of these sins, so by bringing awareness to some of these "sins" it will allow us to make the appropriate changes to ensure a healthier life.

* These sins are in no particular order.

Sin #1: Not spending enough time outdoors! A recent study I've read showed that the average American spends less than 2 hours outside per day. Countered by the average person is in front of an electronic device for 7 hours a day. Being outside is good for us for hundreds of reasons but here are just a few: Being outdoors decreases depression levels, increases vitamin D levels which will help fight future obesity, bone density and body fat issues later in life. It's also your bodies chance to enjoy sun light, fresh air and time away from all the BS that life throws at us. Children unfortunately are the most at risk! Spending time outside (green areas) was shown to decrease ADHD, obesity and stress levels in children...

Sin #2: Not spending enough time reading books! Until recently, humans read to find out information on different subjects. Now everything is a click away! This may be part of the reason we are becoming so impatient and want everything NOW. Reading allows your brain to be stimulated without the interruptions of Facebook, Twitter and "Did you hear about that famous couple who broke up?!" Reading is shown to expand a persons vocabulary, decreases stress levels, improves memory, allows for stronger analytical thinking skills, improves focus & concentration and its free entertainment.

Sin #3: Not sleeping enough! We are all quick to beat our bodies into the ground but aren't so quick to give it the proper rest it needs. I am guilty of this one big time :) ! Sleep is when your body heals and recovers form the days beating. Without it, our hormones, mood, physical and mental state are thrown out of whack. Every sleep study I read gives slightly different numbers to how many hours is ideal but my best hypothesis is: Everyones Different! Some people are fully rested and can run off of 6 hours of sleep a night others need as much as 10+. Bottom line, get your Zzzzzzz's! By turning off ALL electronic devices and breaking sin #2 you will increase the quality of your sleep and life.

Sin #4: Not flossing! Yes, you read that right! I was also guilty of this until I came across dozens of studies showing a direct link between gum disease and heart disease. Gum disease is basically inflammation in the body which is a sign of bigger problems to come. Flossing can help you rid yourself of gum disease and decrease the risk of future heart disease problems. In my readings I noticed that most people who floss daily are also more aware of what they eat and drink and make healthier choices....

Sin #5: Not doing the Big Lifts enough or at all! The big lifts will vary depending on what trainer/strength coach you speak to but here is my list of the big lifts: Dead Lifts, Squats, Over Head Press & Pull Ups...Trust me I could name many more but these are the heavy hitters I think everyone needs to be doing. Now the variation, intensity, amount of sets, reps and rest will vary in us all but these are all essential lifts to be doing weekly to ensure a strong, lean, healthy body! Stop pussyfooting around in the gym, learn proper technique and hit the big lifts with decent weight and then go home.

Sin #6: Not eating enough Real Food! Eating clean is so easy, ON PAPER! Actually doing it is the tough part. Its very easy to go eat out or go get processed junk at the local convenience store. Your food needs to grow mold or die eventually, if its packaged and on a shelf you can be pretty sure its junk. Keep it simple and make sure you're cooking most of your meals at home and avoid boxed junk...

Sin #7: Not Sprinting! Jogging is not Sprinting...Sprinting is the ultimate muscle building, fat burning exercise! Real sprinting cant be sustained longer than 5 to 15 seconds for most average people, you will burn your atp/phosphagen stores out quickly and start to slow down. Sprints force your strong type 2 muscle fibers to kick in and help propel your body forward. The more you can fire up these big, strong type 2 muscle fibers the harder your body has to work which in-turn, the more fat your body will burn. Sprinting also puts your body in strong positions that its designed to be in (full hip flexion/extension, shoulder flexion/extension, ankle dorsi/plantar flexion, etc) Jogging doesn't allow this, in fact jogging reiterates faulty movement patterns and can force your body to atrophy (shrink) its type 2 muscle fibers. Now if you haven't done sprints since you were a child please don't go out and sprint 100%. I promise you that you will end up blowing your hamstring off of your femur/hip. But I do suggest that you go to the park and walk fast for about 10 minutes and than sprint at 50% intensity for about 10 seconds, walk for 1 minute and repeat this for about 15 minutes. Every week increase the intensity of your sprints and decrease the amount of time you have to fully recover. You will thank me later!

Please always remember that this is my blog and these are my opinions on things. You may not agree and to be honest thats great, having healthy debates are how we all learn and progress....

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