Concerning health and fitness, do you have some short term goals?

If so, have you ever wondered what is most important to you when putting together an exercise program?

I would bet that the majority of America would say; “an exercise program that helps me achieve my goal in the shortest time possible”.

And, that would be truly unfortunate.

Let me explain why.

All exercise programs should be highly effective (beneficial) and carry little, to no risk over the short and long term. Here are a couple programs that will be effective over the short-term but can be risky short-term and will be highly risky (detrimental) in the long run:

Extreme caloric restriction diet combined with a jogging exercise program.

The caloric restriction puts the body in a starvation mode where the human body stores fat and burns muscle.

Jogging will create repetitive stress issues plus create havoc on the adrenals, plus it adds no muscle to your frame.

This combination of poor diet and a jogging program will leave the body broken down with not only decreased muscle mass and increased body-fat but a severely damaged metabolism.

A low-fat diet combined with a “Boot Camp” exercise program.

There are some people because of their genetic make-up are meant to eat a low-fat diet. But, a nutritional regimen low in fat does not mean consuming low-fat foods. Foods that are labeled “low-fat” are foods that have been altered from their original state and are not beneficial to your long-term health. A proper low-fat diet would include proteins that are low in fat, combined with a variety of saturated/mono- unsaturated fats, grains, vegetables and fruits. A low-fat diet that lacks the proper intake of essential fatty and amino acids will leave you not only in a malnourished state, but will also challenge your ability to balance your blood sugar levels meal to meal.

I view Boot Camps and other sports conditioning classes to be in the high-impact aerobics class category. I believe these classes/courses to carry a great amount of risk for a number of reasons.

Once again, the stress put upon the joints in these classes can create acute issues, but it most certainly will lead to chronic connective tissue issues in the future.

The extended elevated heart rates in these classes will create cortisol issues which will lead to your inability to drop body fat, thus a damaged metabolism.

There are numerous ways to reach your short term goals, but can you honestly answer “yes” to these questions?

Am I putting on muscle safely and effectively?

Can I realistically eat like this 80-90% of the time?

Can I really see myself training this often?

Am I comfortable with the length of my workouts?

Am I happy with the difficulty level of the workouts?

All proper nutrition and exercise programs should be highly effective and completely safe. If you try to cut corners so you can reach your short term goals in the shortest period of time, you must understand that this approach WILL come with a cost.

If your short term goal is to lose twenty pounds in the next month you cannot sacrifice your muscle tissue, joints and even more importantly your metabolism to reach that goal.

So, if you have some specific health and fitness goals, please honestly determine if your course of action is beneficial or detrimental to your health. And then, take the safe and effective action!