Driving into work this morning I stumbled across a conversation on the radio which (as a die-hard fitness professional who eats, sleeps, and breathes work) scared the life out of me!!
Recommended guidelines state that in order to reduce the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer and depression we should undertake just 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
This doesn’t mean you have to be breaking records with each and every CrossFit WOD. It could be walking. Hoovering. Gardening. Playing in the garden with children etc. But we are failing to do it. More and more people are struggling to do just 30 minutes of activity per day and not only is it costing us financially, but it is costing us physically, and mentally.
We should all be aware of the dangers of inactivity by now. A growing number of the population are undertaking sedentary work, and with the technological developments all around us there are far too many excuses NOT to move a muscle.
Don’t get me wrong, the fact that I can click a button on my mouse and my shopping arrives at my door is pretty cool, and convenient. But isn’t it just a bit…lazy??
No matter what gadget we invent, nothing can compete with the miraculous and innovative brilliance of the human body. As incredible as our bodies are – you have to use it or lose it.
Back to the radio conversation and it turns out that because people are struggling to do 30 minutes of activity per day we are moving the guidelines (rather than educate people and persuade them to do more activity, we reduce the amount of activity to make it look like more people are achieving it – then pat ourselves on the back for making a difference). It was proposed that sedentary workers should begin by standing up from their desks once every 20 minutes throughout the day.
Based on an 8 hour day that would loosely be 24 squats – this is not much more than 30 seconds of activity per day rather than 30 minutes. Surely even the laziest among us can manage that???
I don’t have a problem with this recommendation, indeed Rome was not built in a day. From the greatest of athletes to the most talented couch potatoes, everyone has to start somewhere – but it needs an element of progress.
As fitness professionals we really have got our work cut out. Firstly we have to practise what we preach - nobody will take advice from a lazy out-of-shape person telling them NOT to be lazy and out-of-shape. Most importantly we need to be ‘educated educators’. There are ‘geeks’ that know everything but cannot explain their views to others, and there are ‘smart alecs’ who know little yet hoodwink people into falling for the gift of their gab.
The real talent lies in knowing enough to be able to make a difference, and having the ability to share this on all levels.
I have a recommendation for fitness professionals – in order to live a long and fruitful career, you should strive to achieve at least 30 minutes of educational activity per day.
WARNING – these guidelines will NOT be adjusted to make bone idol members of the profession feel like they are achieving something.
Make an excuse to DO it, rather than an excuse NOT to do it.
Then teach your clients how to exceed their activity targets. Then get more clients.
Eat, Learn, Teach, Repeat. Eat, Learn, Teach, Repeat. Then the world will be a better place.