News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 27, 2014

CHRIS DAVIES: Important cornerstones to fitness and longevity

Chris Davies
Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — Weight loss secrets they don’t want you to know about: genius marketing. Fraudulent? Yes. Genius, nonetheless. Look at the droves of people who were betting their weight loss hopes on a quick fix. It happens all the time.

I have plenty weight loss science-based tips I want you to know about. While not trying to rehash the tired old “exercise and eat right” motto, it’s tough to find anything that works better. Granted, it is tougher to lose weight and get fit as you age, but hope should not be lost.

Age can be a hindrance, as is excessive weight, bone and joint issues, and other health issues. Learning to exercise safely is a way to accelerate your progress. This can be done through qualified instructors with experience. The following are a few areas to key into when beginning an exercise program.

Health risk assessments are beneficial to establishing a baseline for your program. Additionally, they can help uncover some unknown health problems. Though exercise professionals are not physicians, some do have vast experience in areas similar to medicine beyond fitness. A fitness professional cannot diagnose disease, but they can suggest you see your physician for issues they may find. Additionally, they can work with your physician on any limitations you may be facing. This results in a more safe exercise program that can become a lifestyle.

Flexibility is another issue that limits exercise ability. Not using muscles and joints to their full ability further shortens or tightens muscles, resulting in unsafe modifications in movement patterns. For example, if you wrench your back, most people head to the recliner for comfort. The issue may be more of a muscle imbalance and or tightness of opposing muscles. Learning to stretch, increase and maintain flexibility is a key to good health.

Muscular strength and endurance are other important cornerstones to fitness and longevity. Both can be obtained during the same workout if structured correctly. A balance of strength and endurance is what keeps you healthy. You can have great endurance but still be weak, or one can be very strong but have no endurance. The best athletes have a good mix of muscular strength and endurance. Of course, there are exceptions, such as athletes who specialize. Football players do not require much endurance. Marathoners do not require much strength. But if you look at both, the athletes who stand out have endurance and strength.

All the items above are some of what constitutes a solid training program. What may seem like a lot of information, really is not. After being cleared by your medical professional, you can simply walk out the door. Walk a few blocks and walk back home. The next day you can add another block, and so on.

If you are training for an athletic event, know who to go to for proper training. If you are just wanting to feel good and age gracefully, — notice I didn’t say grow old —  know where to go for safe and effective training. If you have read this and are still looking for the magical, easy cure for laziness and poor health, you won’t find it. Buying into the quick fixes and supplements may take some weight off initially, but you will put it back on when you incorporate real food back into your eating.

These, my friends, are some of the health and fitness secrets that I want you to know about and apply to your lives. Get busy living!

Chris Davies, MS, owns Fitness Solutions Inc., 1101 Walnut St. He can be reached at or