Have you ever read something that totally resonated with you? Almost like the author was relaying your own thoughts?
Sometimes it’s a story in a book. At other times it’s a statement someone makes in passing.
This happened to me last week.
In fact, it wasn’t even in a book or a blog, I was browsing Pinterest, and one of the pins immediately stood out when I saw it. I suppose it solidified my own thoughts on the matter, and put them in a more succinct, eloquently way.
I believe if you take hold of this simple concept yourself, it will change the way you think about getting healthier, getting leaner, or whatever you want to call it.
So, what is this principle?
I’ll admit, it is extremely basic, but don’t let that put you off. Here it is:
Strong Is The New Skinny…
So, what do I mean by that?
Well, a bit like my article a couple of weeks, when I gave you my best diet tip, this is all about focus.
Think about it, when you focus on losing inches, or cutting calories, it can be totally demoralizing.
But, a simple shift in your focus can make a massive different to the results you see. I think this is mainly because your mindset it much more positive, and that allows you to reach the same goals you have always had, but you do so more easily.
Focus On Strong
Our culture and media place way too much importance on being thin.
Of course, it feels great to look in the mirror and realize you’ve met your goal by losing a few pounds. But, a much more motivating goal to focus on, is getting a strong body.
Don’t get me wrong, it can be helpful to know what weight you are. But, if that’s the only thing you are checking, you are way off track.
See my article on why the body mass index is inaccurate, for more information on what measurements you should be making a record of instead.
Muscle Increases Metabolic Rate
Whether your ultimate goal is to burn fat, or not, having an efficient body will mean you function optimally. That means you can carry out whatever tasks you need to do each day, with the energy and vitality you need to do them.
So, if you want to lose weight, instead of counting calories to do that, shift your focus to becoming leaner and stronger.
This works because muscle is what we call “metabolically active tissue.” That means it requires more energy to maintain, in comparison to fat tissue. So, the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn, even at rest.
The goal of getting strong is so much more positive than losing pounds. And, that’s why I think this is so powerful.
What can you do to get stronger?
Just like dieting, there is no magic formula for what you should do to get the best results.
However, some of the best workouts use “functional exercises.” These are exercises that work multiple muscles and joints at the same time, to improve endurance, overall strength, coordination, balance, posture and agility.
Standard resistance training machines in a gym, for example, are of limited use for functional training. This is because their fixed patterns rarely mimic natural movements. Also, the effort is on a single muscle group, rather than engaging groups of muscles at the same time.
Some of the best exercises, therefore, include body weight training and kettlebells.
These exercises will help you to develop lean muscle tissue, without bulking up. This will boost your metabolism, and allow you to burn more calories.
I have found that exercising consistently gives the best results. For that reason, it is essential you find an exercise program which you enjoy, and one that fits into your daily schedule easily, otherwise it won’t get done, and you won’t see results. Try high intensity interval training, if you’re stuck for time.
I go through phases of exercising, like anyone else. But, in the last few weeks I’ve really been focused on getting stronger, and I’ve noticed I feel much more motivated to workout, as a result of this change in my mindset.
What about you? What are your fitness goals?
Saucony: What Is Strong?
Remember, strong is the new skinny. It’s time we all made that collective shift, and quit worrying about counting calories, points, or pounds lost.
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