STOP LETTING THE DOCTOR AND THE STATE TELL YOU YOU’RE HEALTHY

State davao
Country Philippines
6 Views
Becuase you\’re probably not. And it\’s their fault.

 

We as a people need to start thinking outside the box.

I feel I’m in a decent place to talk about this, since my client list for the last 4 to 5 years hasn’t comprised dominantly of 19 or 20 year old athletes. If you’ve read my blog articles or seen or heard my interviews, chances are you’ve heard me mention I enjoy going after clients who “need” training a bit more than they may “want” it. At this point, working with these folk has now made up more than half the time I’ve spent in this line of work. https://handleylab.com

See, I speculate that once you get older, you also develop the tendency get stuck in your ways. This tendency must become less and less reversible as time passes.  The trite responses and remarks you make to hackneyed tips and rules of thumb, have become a reality to you.  It’s really a matter of social influences, when you think about it. It’s the same reason to this day, that people grow up believing that if you crack your knuckles you’ll get arthritis, that swallowing your chewing gum takes 7 years to leave your system, and that squatting deep is bad for your knees.

Now we bring the focus to fitness, health, and nutrition.  I think fitness and health experts are as equally to blame as those who are out of shape when things like obesity rates are examined in western society.  The reason why, is because on large platforms, we’re forced to keep things as general as possible to make the masses understand their import.  But things get lost in translation.  When the human body is the subject in question, the sad truth is that 9 times out of 10 it does more harm than good to drop the specificity.  “Breaking stuff down” for the masses often results in oversimplifying important information, in which case the message gets lost.

That’s why I cringe every time I see public health ads that preach that 2.5 hours of “moderate to vigorous” aerobic activity is a recommended amount for an adult between 18 and 64 years old. Included under that category would be brisk walking, jogging, running, and cross country skiing. Also recommended is 2 days that include muscle and bone strengthening activities that could include running, lifting weights, yoga, and digging in the garden.

The key is that we’re promoting a healthier lifestyle to the masses, right?

Well that should come with a disclaimer. But that disclaimer’s too long to type out.

Without making this sound like some kind of a holier-than-thou dissertation, here’s the problem – as a whole, our society isn’t in the greatest physical condition because of the garbage we eat, and the low levels of physical activity we opt to do. I’m sure that the initiatives for public health don’t necessarily take the population’s fitness levels into consideration when creating these guidelines – at least not closely enough. Much rather, they model it after something else.

So what’s the prototype?

I’d assume a relatively healthy adult male or female (think of the classic 5’11”, 185lb ‘national average’ dude), who’s in line to maintain (or ever so slowly improve) those levels of fitness mediocrity. Nothing wrong with that – you know, other than the fact that the reality is far from it. The prototype should be a guy with a percentage of body fat higher than ideal, and a body weight that needs to change.

So for a guy like that, what would the above training parameters do for his health and fitness?

Not much.

For his ego?

Everything.

And I see it every waking hour.

I see it in the form of new clients who come to me and say that I need not include lower body training as part of their strength programming because they “walk to work”.

I see it in the form of clients relaying their doctor’s cue to stop resistance training, in order to avoid an injury.

I see it in the form of a feeling of accomplishment for being able to fit into a chart that supposedly passes the law on what you should weigh for your height.

Listen, if you can pass a sit-and-reach test, and have blood pressure and cholesterol readings that don’t straddle the lines of fatal, then I don’t consider you “in good shape”. I consider you alive. That’s about it.

You know, docs hold a lot more power than they may realize. Civilians treat anything that comes out of a doctor’s mouth as gospel (as they should, really), so when they hear they’ve passed their annual physical and they have no life-threatening ailments after they’ve had their rectums prodded, they take that to mean the lifestyle they’re leading is as good as gold for an in-shape individual. It’s reinforced when they hear national public health guides recommending the things I mentioned earlier for adequate exercise.  It’s good for something, but not good for much.

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