Friday, March 17, 2017

The "Third Pillar" of Fitness

I came across this article from Business Insider this week. Ironically, I read it in the middle of a blizzard.

The short version is that fitness is made up of more than a healthy diet and exercise - the two assumptions we've long held. The third pillar, according to journalist and anthropologist, Scott Carney, is environmental stress: cold, altitude, heat, humidity, etc.

This makes total sense to me. 

It is a recent thing that humans have the technology to counteract or avoid these environmental factors (ex. air conditioning.)  Our ancestors had to adapt and cope with the natural elements in order to survive. And the amazing part is that our bodies are incredibly adaptable with practice and exposure.

So wouldn't it be totally logical that when we expose ourselves to these elements, we are strengthening and stretching our capabilities? And wouldn't we seem weaker and less capable if we cannot handle the variations of the environment?

The trick is to reframe our thinking about fitness. Instead of thinking "you're a real runner" because you choose to run in the rain - consider yourself fulfilling a bare minimum requirement if the goal is your fittest state. You are not doing something exceptional; you are doing what you were designed to do, possibly what your body needs to do.

It all seems so simple. And it makes running in the blizzard a little more appealing. 

Disclaimer: It goes without saying that you should still be smart and prepared if you decide to run in less-than-ideal conditions; I take no responsibility if you get lost in a snowstorm.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Motivation Monday: Dress to Improve

We've all heard, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." That is excellent advice when it comes to your work life, but it is pretty sound when it comes to your training goals, too.

I was thinking about this today, because my funds are limited since I've decided to stay home with the kiddos. But I still wanted to refresh my wardrobe a bit. Without question, I know that I will be "refreshing" my wardrobe with workout gear. Part of this is practicality; I chase a toddler and get puked on, so its important to be able to move freely and wipe easily.

The other part is that I really believe that if you dress like you're a serious athlete, you'll work harder to be one. And the inverse is true. If you put on something that doesn't make you feel good - feel fast - feel strong - then you're not going to believe those things about yourself. 

I'm sorry. No one feels good in loose sweat pants and the dumpy t-shirt they got in a swag bag.

You. Just. Don't.

So I am here to say: put your money where your motivation is. 

As far as athletic attire (a lot of people will disagree with me here) Nike is still my jam. Sleek. Fitted. Fast. I looove Nike clothes to an unhealthy degree (not shoes - New Balance all the way.) I will also suggest Oiselle gear for runners. BUT DO YOU.

And, no, it is not superficial to care about your appearance. You are your own brand manager. Represent the you that you want to be and you're much more likely to meet your goals.