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Making Fitness or Martial Arts Part of Your Life

Jul 25, 2008
Pick up a newspaper or turn on the local news on any given day and you are liable to hear a report on how Americans are getting fatter. Government statistics tell us that approximately 60 percent of Americans (127 million people) are overweight. Many women who enroll in martial arts or fitness clubs have a primary goal of losing weight. Unfortunately, some expect instant results. If they don't see immediate weight loss they become discouraged and inpatient. Some even drop out altogether.

In my 20 plus years of training men, women and children of all shapes and sizes, I have learned that diets just don't work. If they did, we wouldn't have an obesity epidemic. The diet industry continually makes promises that they can't deliver and is fleecing the public at the tune of $40 billion dollars a year. The diet industry doesn't want to tell you the truth. And why should they with the kind of money they're taking out of people's misery? The truth is that weight loss is difficult for many people to achieve. Weight loss is a personal struggle, complicated by an individual's upbringing, eating habits, metabolism, genetics and psychology. Yo-yo dieting and subjecting the body to strange eating regimes is much more detrimental to one's physical and mental health than maintaining a steady weight.

I'm not here to sell you the same bill of goods as the diet industry. What I will do is encourage you to develop a healthy lifestyle and feel better about yourself. When you train, go with the attitude that you want to move, breathe and stretch. What's important is that you focus on wellness. According to Steven Blair, director of research at the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, Texas, "There is a misdirected obsession with weight and weight loss. The focus is wrong. It's fitness that is the key."

Fitness is also a word that has been presented to the public at large. Go to any gym in America, what do you see? Weights and cardio machines, not much more. The only thing you can do is train strength and endurance; that's not enough for true fitness! And how about the gyms with Yoga classes? Great, add flexibility to the list, if your lucky. You see Yoga teachers are a dime a dozen in America, especially in fitness gyms. Finding a good teacher is like finding a needle in a haystack, and they're not at your local "Fitness" Center! Truth is many of the "Yoga" instructors in gyms don't know a great deal and could actually end up hurting you.

Fitness is far more in-depth then most people are looking at. If your not improving in all areas of human performance: strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination, balance, body unity, grace, speed, hand eye coordination, reactions (and the list goes on) you are not completely improving your fitness.

You will notice that with a good well rounded system of exercise, you will start having more strength, more endurance, and more flexibility, and all the other benefits mentioned above. If you want to lose weight, it will take patience, exercise, sensible diet changes, and sacrifice. There is no way around it. Focus on fitness, moving, breathing, stretching, feeling strong and enjoying your martial arts or fitness routine.
About the Author
Calasanz is the creator of a system of exercise called Physical Arts. Movements based on his understanding of the martial arts that improve strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination, balance, body unity, weight loss, and tone. Physical Arts exercises are available at http://www.interdojo.com
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