Hidden Health and Fitness Saboteurs
We are exposed to many things each day that obstruct our efforts to achieve optimal health and fitness, and we may not even realise that some of them are a problem. In the western world, where modern society appears to be designed to make us fat, millions of people find it very easy to fall victim to an unhealthy lifestyle – and the unhealthy lifestyle takes no prisoners regardless of our age, gender or background.
Let’s take a look at some hidden health and fitness saboteurs so we can try to avoid them in the future:
Home is the one place we are supposed to feel safe, relaxed and content. Despite this, it can be reaping havoc on your health and fitness each and every minute you spend there. Let’s consider the things we may be lucky enough to posses in our homes: Laptop or desktop computers, HD/3D television sets, a variety of games consoles and much more. We are so advanced with technology that our homes have become a place where we can enjoy being inactive, and if we have something active to do in our home we probably have a convenient way of doing it – TV remote? Lighting remote? Dishwasher? In my opinion, technology in the home is not the reason for the potential sacrifice of an individual’s health and fitness, I believe it is down to the way we use it and the information we can receive from it.
It is well documented that we spend too much time being inactive in front of the TV. However, we can instantly do something about this if we like – we can simply watch less TV and move around more. The hidden danger comes from information that can be forced upon us, advertisement after advertisement encouraging you to adopt the modern western culture and buy products that will happily increase your body fat and damage your internal organs – all in the name of profit. We cannot control what we see on the TV if we choose to watch, it is essential to be wise to the ways we are trying to be encouraged – try to keep it a conscious thought and you will notice it much more, avoid letting it sink into your subconscious mind and you will hopefully be able to make better choices when away from home due to your increased awareness.
In addition to entertaining ourselves with the TV, surfing the World Wide Web on a computer or a similar device has pretty much become a daily need for most people, especially with the explosion of social media i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google plus, etc.
Browsing the internet for prolonged periods of time can be consciously interesting and stimulating but subconsciously boring and before we know it many people find themselves rooting in the refrigerator looking for a pleasurable snack to boost the feel good factor. Be aware that you are not hungry, you are bored! Drink water, hot fruit tea or chew gum instead. If this doesn’t help try taking a small break and take a walk or do some form of cleaning – ok, maybe not cleaning! But you get the idea.
Finally, games consoles – I’m a big fan, but need I say more? If you have used them you will know how quickly time passes when you initially told yourself you would play for just one hour. The problem is they keep you very inactive! Even the activity based games consoles have inconclusive evidence of their effectiveness on health and fitness – but I guess this is a whole other story.
As we walk up and down the aisles at the supermarket we are greeted with a sea of colour on either side of us. These colours belong to the thousands of different products and their packaging, which are screaming out for your attention: “please buy me!” one product begs, “no, buy me I look better!” claims its competitor. Many people fall for it and buy food based on the attractiveness of the packaging with no real thought given to the actual contents and ingredients – mission accomplished by the manufacturer! For a truly successful shopping experience in terms of obtaining the most healthful foods, it’s always a good idea to focus on the products around the outside of the supermarket – this is where the fresh foods are located i.e. fruit, vegetables, fresh meat and fresh fish.
A very common problem encountered with a loved one is their efforts to stop you reaching your health and fitness goals. There could be many reasons why this is happening. You may be putting so much effort into maintaining a healthy diet and working out consistently to find that when you get home you are faced with lots of junk food, and probably your favourite stuff too! Your partner bought it, especially for you – they are sabotaging your efforts.
Your partner may be scared that you will leave them if you become fit, healthy and more attractive, they may not want to change their own lifestyle just because you are changing yours, and they may not want to give up indulging often on their favourite unhealthy foods. More often than not, a partner can sabotage your efforts due to a lack of understanding. It’s important to share your reasons for wanting to improve your health and fitness and try to get them on board – either to do it with you or at least offer you some much-needed support.
Make clear to them the benefits of your ambitions – increased confidence, improved sex life with partner, improved performance at work, etc. If you already have your partner on board then you can consider yourself very lucky! If you do not have a partner these problems can still exist – maybe it’s your close friend or family member who is sabotaging your efforts.
Your place of work
Working long hours has become the norm, but there is a fine line between working long hours and becoming overworked. Of course, this seems very trivial when considering the working conditions of some people in less fortunate parts of the world, but nonetheless your place of work can be a hidden saboteur of your health and fitness. Being overworked will negatively affect your mood and motivation; you will not feel like heading to the gym – you will feel more like heading home to enjoy being inactive! Maintaining a healthy diet can also become a struggle. Low energy levels and fatigue may prevent you from making the effort to prepare and cook your own meals, quick fixes can easily become a permanent habit every day i.e. microwave meals, fast food, etc.
There are more and more jobs being created that require us to be inactive, office based work is a prime example as the online business world expands rapidly. This means large amounts of hours in the day are sat inactive at the computer. Mix this kind of inactive job role with being overworked and it will provide you with a cocktail of poor health and fitness factors: poor posture, back problems, poor circulation, increased body fat, cardiovascular and heart conditions, increased cholesterol levels, low energy and fatigue, poor sleep patterns, reduced concentration, stress, depression, and unfortunately much more.
[box type="important"]So there we have it, some hidden health and fitness saboteurs we can try to avoid. I would love to hear about anymore you guys are aware of – please share your thoughts.[/box]