Another 10 years of fitness

Was it really 10 years ago that I found myself in a power yoga class?

The teacher, Susan Powter, called it Trailer Park Yoga because it didn’t require a special studio or any equipment (except a mat).

Susan has strong ideas about fitness, and she repeated them, as mantras of a sort, throughout the classes.

I’m embarking on a challenging, interesting, but highly fragmented and demanding 2016. It’s going to demand that I’m fit. So I’m revisiting Susan’s worldview. (Your mileage may vary, but this approach worked for me in 2006, and I think it will work again.):

  • We won’t change the world or get much accomplished if we feel weak and sick.
  • We won’t be healthy and strong unless we get fit.
  • Fitness is a state of having lean muscle instead of fat on our bodies.
  • The best way to lose fat is to build lean muscles that burn fat efficiently.
  • Low-calorie diets, independent of exercise, are futile because our bodies compensate by lowering our metabolisms (burning less food) when we eat less.
  • The best path to fitness is to exercise vigorously 5 or more hours a week. It helps if we eat a diet that emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables (but it doesn’t have to exclude meat).
  • Breathe. Most people don’t get enough oxygen to their muscles.

I remember thinking at the time that this sort of approach to fitness (requiring 5 hours of serious exercise a week) wasn’t something the American public was going to latch onto. But now, perhaps, with our FitBits and Apple Watches keeping us honest about how long, and how hard, we work out…

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