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James Hilton

DON’T BELIEVE IN MYTHS & MIRACLES: THE PROMISES THAT WON’T KEEP YOU FIT IN 2024!

Getting fitter and healthier is one of those new year resolutions that most of us have made and then quickly broken at some stage in life — maybe even on an annual basis!

However, with rising levels of obesity and lifestyle-related illness, it’s more important than ever to keep in good shape and put your body in the best possible position to deal with whatever life throws at you. 

It can feel like a real struggle at first and, unfortunately, some unscrupulous businesses take advantage of people’s best intentions with big promises that sound fantastic but cannot possibly be delivered. 

Here are my top ten tips for avoiding those apparent “quick wins” (and the disappointment that comes with them)!

1. Quick Fixes and Miracle Cures. Any program or product promising rapid results with little effort doesn’t support sustainable health changes. It can be tempting to sign up for this kind of “quick win” but, ultimately, it’s likely to damage your confidence in the long run when the big results you’ve been promised don’t materialise.

2. Restrictive Diets. Plans that eliminate entire food groups or require extreme calorie restriction can be harmful and difficult to maintain. The human brain quite naturally associates deprivation with punishment. Thought about in this way, it becomes obvious that attempting to associate the pursuit of good health with something that feels like punishment is not a good habit to get into and is also not likely to bring satisfactory long-term results. Restricting what you eat in this way is also likely to impact your nutrition which can negatively impact your overall health and wellbeing and won’t make you feel good. 

3. Detoxes and Cleanses. The reality is there’s no such thing as a “detox.” The body is perfectly made to naturally detoxify itself: it’s why we have a liver and kidneys and why our various systems work in the way they do. Any products claiming to “detoxify” are likely to be unnecessary and ineffective.

4. One-Size-Fits-All Approach. Everyone is different and, especially as we get older, we’re all likely to have a very particular set of circumstances and health history that needs to be taken into consideration. We’re also all bound to have different goals. Beware of programmes that don’t consider individual differences in health status, preferences, and lifestyles.

5. Hard-selling January fitness programmes. There are no short cuts to good health, fitness and wellbeing. Consistency and habit are what make the difference and bring results over time. Any “new year, new you” sales pitch is likely making promises for short term “wins” at the cost of long term, incremental changes that are better for you and don’t bring the “boom and bust” experience of health and wellbeing. Any time of year is a good time to improve your fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and outlook is a lifelong journey.

6. Overemphasis on Physical Appearance. We all want to look our best but health is not solely about aesthetics or vanity. Be wary of tactics such as “before and after” photos that focus only on appearance rather than overall health, wellbeing and long-term impact.

7. Promotion by Non-Experts. Celebrity endorsement is nothing new and influencers are now making a regular appearance in the promotion of health and wellbeing products and programmes, too. It’s important to remember, though, that their willingness to lend their names to what you’re being sold does not mean they have the qualifications, experience or expertise to give health advice. It’s best to trust certified health professionals instead.

8. No Recovery. Heading into a fitness regimen with all guns blazing is not good for your body and could play a factor in injury. Recovery is crucial in progressively  building fitness over time and the ability to maintain a programme and habit without ‘burning out’. Ensure that any programmes include rest days and recovery strategies, and, importantly, always listen to your body.

9. Unsubstantiated Health Claims. If a new fad or piece of equipment makes health claims that seem too good to be true, they usually are. Again, it’s best to trust healthcare and fitness professionals when it comes to understanding what is really best for your health and fitness. 

10. You Can’t “Earn” Food. Don't for one second think you need to earn your Christmas dinner through exercise. This goes back to the deprivation mindset that I mentioned in point 2, and the risk is you’ll start to think of food as something you can “trade off” at different times and in different situations. It’s Christmas, so enjoy your celebrations guilt-free!

Finally, as unglamorous as it is, a balanced diet, regular physical activity and good rest will go a long way to getting you feeling your best. 

As a concept, this doesn’t help sell new-fangled products, “special” dietary supplements or expensive programmes. However, it’s actually much easier to integrate into your everyday life than any special programme or diet and, once you start, will become “normal” much quicker than you’d expect. 

Consistency is key and you’ll probably surprise yourself at how soon you’ll start to miss your exercise if you fall out of routine and how quickly you’ll naturally avoid unhealthy foods because you won’t want to compromise what you’ve achieved or how you’re feeling. 

 

For more information about James and Jim’s Gym visit https://www.jameshilton.fitness/jims-gym-virtual-fitness-community

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy Swindon

Scott Media

Scott Media is run by a UK-based journalist with more than 20 years' experience in the media - print, radio and television.

6 Gold View, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 8GZ

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy
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