Fitness: It’s not about burning calories or being sore

Please don't ever try this!!!!

In just about every fitness program out there today they focus on the physical aspects of calorie burning and neglect the sole purpose of exercise which is to gain competency, efficiency, motor control and improve the quality of your movement. We have these very attractive fitness models with sculpted bodies pitching the newest fitness gimmick when most are unable to perform a proper squat in a relaxed resting position with their heels resting flat on the ground or even lack the ability to touch their toes. So many forms of exercise have been stripped down from their initial purpose and have been converted to some circus like calorie guzzling workout program.

Yoga is a perfect example of our backward fitness approach. Yoga is not about trendy flexibility exercises/poses used for weight loss but for many Americans this is what yoga represents. We fail to see the true benefits of Yoga which is not an intense workout at all but rather a moving meditation where breathing and movement become one. Instead I hear people say that their instructor really picked it up in my yoga class, or they are extremely sore after their yoga boot camp the other day. So when did we start combining yoga and boot camps? How does this increased intensity help the remaining part of their day and why do we need to get our butt kicked in the first place to feel like we had an effective workout? Kettle bell training is another form of exercise that has lost its sole purpose. It requires expert instruction and patience from a qualified instructor that understands functional anatomy and how the body operates in certain positions. Instead we have unqualified fitness instructors who push these programs on people who have no business doing them in the first place.

We put this huge spotlight on calorie burning in our workouts but we need to accept the fact that  1) We burn surprising few calories when we workout, even intensely 2) There is no guarantee that you will not eat those calories that you expended in your workout  somewhere later in the day or that night. Remember the saying “ I worked up an appetite today that is why I am so hungry” being hungry is not something that is in your head but rather your body telling you I want those calories back you just expended. Some of the fittest people in the world don’t obsess about their exercise time slot, or how many calories they burn but rather focus on movement knowing full well they will never master it. Yoga is a wonderful form of exercise that requires mindful movements with complete focus and is the extreme opposites of mindless cardio circuits or the five minute abs mentality. Kettle Bell training is also a great form of exercise but it is not for everyone and needs to be taught by an experienced and educated/certified instructor.

Jordan Nichols