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A common statement I hear in the clinic is “I have lost the same 40 pounds year after year for years”. Much to my lack of understanding it still remains the standard that no one will ever tell you that you are over weight (for lack of offense or otherwise), but they will most certainly tell you that you are too thin.

It is easy to hand someone a cookie for comfort but not as easy to console them by offering to go for a walk or buying them a 30 minute massage or a session with a personal trainer.

Why are we caught in such a mode of creating and maintaining our current health crisis?

Losing weight/staying healthy is the number one resolution made by Americans. Over a third of the population wishes to “exercise” and “staying fit and healthy”. It’s easy enough to start an exercise and diet program, but the trick is to find what works that gives you steady results and will be easy to stick to in the long run.

If you know what does not work, why would you ever return to the habits that bring negative results?

It is our passion to teach each and every person that they are in charge of their health. With proper education and lifestyle management we do not have to be victims of chronic sickness and disease that are set in motion with sloppy living. We all know diets don’t work. We have to get on board with an ongoing healthy lifestyle.

6 Tools for Staying in Shape

1. Control your body composition.

This means to know your percent body fat and percent lean mass and to keep them in the appropriate range for optimal health and well being. We use body composition as a vital sign in the clinic.

It is one thing to lose weight entirely from yellow fat stores and a whole different picture if we are losing weight right from our muscle bellies. The first example means loss of inflammation while the later means loss of strength and vitality.

BMI is a tool commonly used, but honestly it holds no weight other than to tell you that you are normal, under, or over weight. It carries with it several flaws.

For more tips on body composition see: The Key to Body Composition Success

2. Say “NO” to sugar with confidence!

You don’t have to feel like you must say “YES” to sweet treats in order to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. Also, say “NO” to trans fats and hydrogenated oils. This often means we have to stay away from the fried foods.

Also, we must become adept at label reading in the market and being wise when buying food from a restaurant menu. I know it seems like a lot of work, but it is worth the effort.

It is said that food is medicine. When it is not medicine in the form of fresh and raw fruits, vegetables, good clean meat, fresh and raw nuts and seeds, it can be poison. We poison ourselves a little every day if we are oblivious of the action.

Think before you sink what is on the end of that fork down your hatch. The stomach has no voice to talk back to you other than with bloating, gas, GERD and indigestion.

3. Say “YES” to being held accountable for your health and wellness.

Do this with at least one person. If you have a handful of people (EX: spouse, physician, trainer, minister, accountability group) you’re more likely to be successful for the long term.

4. Realize that everything that you put in your mouth matters.

What we eat has an effect that may not be just temporary. It may take years to show up but it will show up with either health or illness. It is your choice.

Know the effects of the additives and preservatives that you are consuming. Have you ever considered the amount of hormones that you consume from market meat sources? What about the amount of BPA’s that are in the canned foods you eat, water bottles, soda and beer cans, as well as fast foods.

Think about all of the added dyes in foods to make them pretty and colorful. Mother nature did not make these. If you look into the effects they have on the body, there are a multitude of toxic effects.

5. Think long term.

Remember how many years you have to live on the planet. This is not a short term thing, unless of course something tragic occurs. We often think and feel invincible, and of course we are when we are 20. We would also like to think so at age 80, however things change.

Treat your body with respect. It’s does not forget the injuries it has suffered or the assaults it has been dealt. The memories may be suppressed but they are still there. Tendons and ligaments need activity but not chronic exercise.

Your heart has life span of beats. To condition it is important to keep it strong, but to push it beyond measure may shorten its life span. Thinking long term with your daily health decisions will help your body stay healthy for longer.

6. Exercise in moderation.

We all know that exercise is important for long term health of the heart and the bones. We also know that it maintains lean mass and helps to control fat mass. What we oftentimes don’t know is that chronic exercise is inflammatory and increases the amount of inflammatory mediators that are produced. This can be harmful to your long term (note I said “LONG TERM”) health.

It feels good to get that work out on, gut it out and leave everything on the floor, however, we forget to think about the feeling of the joints 10 years from now when hormones change and our fluidity starts to decline.

It may be of great benefit to have your genetic profile tested to see exactly what type of exercise does your body best respond to, what is your inflammatory profile, and what are your injury risk profiles. Use this in order to set the right life long exercise goals for the life span you have been given.

For a look at our workout routine: The Sherwood Workout Routine

Staying in shape ensures a high quality of life.

Remember that things look different at 30 than at 20, different at 40 than 30 and most certainly at 80. Lets be smart from the start and enable our lifespan with power to the punch by setting in motion a few simple tips that render the golden years truly golden.

Staying in shape is the BEST way to ensure a high quality of life. Even though we do not control the quantity, we have a huge role in the type of life we live.

We hear too many folks say, “If I had only known that I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” Let these NOT be your words. Instead, think and act in a way that leads you to live 120 years, which, by the way, was God’s original intent.