Don’t believe the hype: Physical fitness requires commitment, determination

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tiffany Orr
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
"Lose weight, feel great."

"Perfect abs in eight minutes a day."

We've all seen the commercials and been tempted to run credit card-in-hand to the nearest phone to buy the latest pill or piece of equipment promising to make us instantly thin and beautiful.

However, according to base physiologist, Patrick Conway, 62nd Medical Operations Squadron, all these advertisements are bogus.

"If it sounds too good to be true, it is," said Mr. Conway.

"There is no way to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, and 12 minutes a day is not enough time to do a good physical conditioning program. It takes consistency, a commitment of time and doing things that are sensible to get in shape," he said.

One of the reasons people fall for these bogus ads is that it is often hard to make the necessary changes physical fitness mandates, said personal trainer Staff Sgt. Noah Grayson, 62nd Services Squadron.
"People want to get in shape so they'll sweat for a little while; but what they don't realize is that getting in shape is about a lifestyle change, and fast food is not going to do it," he said.

This lifestyle change involves eating a sensible diet as well as focusing on the organ system that meets your specific fitness needs.

"When you think about the human body [and working out], there are two different systems you are looking at," said Mr. Conway.

Those two systems are the cardiovascular system, which you would use for running, biking and walking and the musculoskeletal system, which you would use for core body strength, back support and shoulder strength, he said.

"It's very difficult to train both [systems]," Mr. Conway said.

That's why someone training for a marathon will do mostly cardio and very little strength training, while body builders would do the opposite, he said.

Along with focusing specifically on the cardiovascular or musculoskeletal system, people should set goals and do exercises that interest them -- especially if the old mantra of diet and exercise sounds like a broken record, said Sergeant Grayson.

"People think it's harder than it really is to get in shape," he said.

All people have to do is set small, achievable fitness milestones and work at them, Sergeant Grayson said.

"Working out for hours a day is not appropriate," he said. "People overdo it in the beginning and don't reach their goals."

However, if you take the plunge and commit to a balanced workout routine, your body will thank you forever, said Sergeant Grayson.

"One of the biggest reasons people don't like to work out is because they can't see the benefits," he said.
"If you worked out and lost just 10 pounds, the energy alone that you would gain is tremendous, not to mention a more toned body."

The experts agree. Physical fitness is for everyone. So the next time we are about to give in to the salacious claims of clever advertisers and join the fitness fad bandwagon, we'll do well to remember that there's really only one slogan we can apply to physical fitness, "no pain, no gain," and change the channel.