You’ve probably heard some sort of fitness guidelines or recommendations from various media sources at some point in your life. These insights were no doubt put forth with the best intentions, but as time has passed and our understanding of health and fitness have evolved, so have these recommendations.
But a few of these recommendations and guidelines need some… adjusting. While they still might hold some merit in a general sense, you’ll need to update your approach if you’re looking to optimize your health and fitness.
1) 10k steps per day.
With the recent boom in wearable fitness trackers, the recommendation of ten thousand steps per day has seemingly become the gold standard for physical activity for the general population.
And while this is absolutely a solid recommendation for everyone, there’s more to optimizing your health and joint health. Walking is a movement that takes place solely in the sagittal plane of motion, meaning your limbs move forward and backwards… no side to side or rotational movement.
But there are numerous joints in your body capable of moving laterally and rotating in various planes of motion, not just front to back. The human body is meant to move in all sorts of directions, and its happiest and healthiest when you do just that. Consistently taking your joints through their full ranges of motion is the only way to ensure that you’ll keep those ranges of motion down the road.
When it comes to joint health and range of motion, if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Now we’re not bashing 10k steps at all. Some of its wonderful benefits include:
- low impact, low intensity cardiovascular exercise
- stimulates/enhances recovery efforts
- can help take you out of a sympathetic dominant state (your body relaxes)
- helps decrease stress
- contributes heavily to non-exercise daily activity (which is VITAL for burning fat)
We actually recommend that everyone take a daily walk. But do yourself (and your joints) a favor by introducing some movement in the frontal and transverse planes of motion. Take a look at this example.
It doesn’t take much, but you’ll thank yourself when you can still move like a supple jungle cat well into your 50’s, 60’s and beyond.
2) Multivitamins can make up for bad diet.
Now this might not have been recommended by anyone other than terrible trainers and health professionals, but it’s no doubt been done before by numerous individuals looking to improve health.
Taking a multivitamin can absolutely help provide you with some essential vitamins and minerals that you might be missing in your diet alone, but it can not compensate for shoveling crap into your gullet on a daily basis.
Vitamins and minerals are MICROnutrients, with the key part being micro. These micronutrients are essential to help your body perform normal cellular functions that keep you running like a well oiled machine. But if your MACROnutrient intake is way out of whack, the fact that you’re hitting your micronutrient goals gets overshadowed big time.
If your current diet has you overeating 300 calories per day, you’re going to inevitably gain some weight. No amount of multivitamin is going to change or prevent that. Thinking that taking a multivitamin will somehow ‘save the day’ is like ordering a diet coke with your triple bacon cheeseburger and loaded fries and thinking that you’re doing a good job on a diet.
Micronutrients are important, don’t forget that. But don’t focus on pennies on the dollar and think you’re gonna get rich, you know what we mean?
3) Strength training is dangerous.
Oh sweet mama, we really hope people don’t still believe this, but we’ll address it anyway.
Some folks out there are still under the impression that lifting weights is dangerous. This is only true if you’re doing so with god awful form and weights far beyond your capabilities.
When done correctly, strength training is far from dangerous. As a matter of fact, compared to most recreational activities and sports, strength training has some of the lowest injury rates out there. You are more likely to get injured in your pickup game of basketball than you are strength training… we can almost guarantee that.
Now the common argument against strength training is that people might not know how to do it properly. However, we live in a day and age where you can literally pull up a tutorial video for any exercise in seconds. Your phone has access to more information than you could ever know what to do with. Saying you don’t know how anymore is simply a cop out.
Even so, there are tons of affordable options out there where you can train and learn the basics from qualified professionals… like at, oh, let’s say… Grit Fitness and Performance? Was that a shameless plug? You’ll never know!
Plus strength training brings about an insane amount of health benefits ranging from increased bone strength, increased metabolism, increased muscle mass, increased strength, and a major boost in fat loss…. just to name a few.
You are, without a doubt, doing yourself and your health a MAJOR disservice if you neglect strength training. We’re not saying you should train with the goal of being the strongest person on the planet, but you should challenge your muscles appropriately in order to elicit some sort of gains in strength or muscle mass.
At the end of the day, some fitness advice you hear or read isn’t quite accurate.
But we’ll do our best to help set the record straight!