Hi Again Everyone,
I’m in the process of writing a book, the title of which will be “Drink Beer and Get Fit”. I can sense fitness professionals around the world throwing their hands up in horror at that title and castigating me for setting a bad example. If you’ve followed my blog you will know that I am approaching Health and Fitness from the perspective of an ordinary person and the truth is that most ordinary people will not live the life of a fitness model or a monk and WILL sometimes indulge in a beer or three or bottle of wine. Below is an extract from the first chapter of the book. I hope you like it and it strikes a chord with you. If it does then please let me know in the comments section.
Chapter 1. The First Step-Knowing what you Want.
So I’m guessing that if you’ve bought, borrowed or possibly even stolen this book you must have a reason. Maybe you just love Beer, saw the word in the title and couldn’t resist. Maybe it made you curious “can I really drink Beer and get fit? How does that work?”
More likely however you are unhappy with some aspect of your health, weight, shape or fitness and want to do something about it? Right? It must be or why else would you be here.
It’s important though that you really think about what it actually is that you want to achieve. You can change your lifestyle and change or improve your health, fitness, size, shape and weight in many different ways. What you actually want to achieve is important because it will to some extent dictate what you need to do and how to go about it.
So let’s break down some of the most basic needs and desires that might be driving you.
Most people are slightly overweight to some degree but the changes you need to make to your lifestyle will be to a large extent dictated by just how much weight you want to lose. It is possible to become much fitter without actually losing much weight. You will still be healthier, stronger, fitter, but may still be carrying some extra blub around your middle, chest, arms and backside. You may be happy with that. Losing weight may not be that necessary, either because you are already close to where you want to be, or because you are comfortable the way you are. That’s fine, be true to yourself and certainly don’t be led by the images you see in magazines and the media.
However there are a few points to bear in mind. Carrying an extra stone around won’t do you too much long term harm but two, three stones or more, anything bordering on or straying into the territory of obesity will definitely have long term health effects as you get older. Diabetes, Heart problems, knee and joint issues and just general length of life are all directly linked to being heavily overweight and without wishing to lecture you, you really should think about doing something about it.
If weight loss is your key aim then the food and dietary parts of this book are the bits you should pay attention to and actively try to incorporate into your lifestyle. That is not to say that you should ignore the fitness chapters completely, in fact they go hand in hand. Following the tips and tricks around food and diet will 100% help you lose weight, however if you incorporate that alongside the fitness advice in other chapters two things will happen.
Firstly it will be easier to lose the weight and you will lose it faster. Not only that but it will be easier to keep it off. Why is that? It’s very simple really. Exercising burns calories, the more calories you burn the more weight you’ll lose. It really isn’t a Stephen Hawkingesque concept. Not only that, but the exercise will help to fire up your metabolism. Certain types of exercise which I’ll explain later not only burn up calories whilst you exercise but light a forest fire under your metabolism which mean that your body will continue to burn calories at an increased rate for many hours after you stop exercising. How cool is that? You can be sitting on the sofa watching Masterchef and lusting after all the food you can’t eat (only kidding) and still have a firing metabolism that is eating calories and weight hours after you left the Gym or got off the bike.
Secondly and more importantly the exercise itself will start to repair, improve and counteract the adverse health effects that we already discussed. Your heart and lungs will become healthier and work more efficiently, your joints and muscles will become stronger thus improving your mobility and the likelihood of Diabetes and other similar diseases will decrease.
Again this is an area where you really need to give some thought to what it is that you are seeking to achieve. Are you trying to get fit for a specific reason or event such as doing a 5/10k charity run, playing for a 5-a-side football team or climbing Everest? Or are you, as most people are, just seeking to be a fitter, stronger, leaner version of your current self. It’s also very important to be honest with yourself. We may all have grand dreams (I still cling to the hope of becoming world Middleweight boxing champion) but the reality is that was never ever a possibility let alone now that I’m 47.
That is not to say you should set your sights too low or not too dream, but do be aware of your initial limitations and set yourself some goals that for an initial period at least are achievable. What do I mean by that? Well you know yourself far better than I possibly can. If you currently get out of breath walking to the bus stop a little too fast then quite clearly your initial aims need to focus around improving your general fitness and aerobic capacity so that you can walk and do some decent exercise without getting out of breath or collapsing at the bus stop. In fact if you are very unfit, have had health problems or are very overweight it’s always sensible to have a quick chat to your doctor before starting any exercise regime.
Alternatively if you are already reasonably capable and can run, or possibly already play some sport then absolutely set your eyes on the horizon and have some ambitious goals. I have a friend who is a fantastic Personal Trainer and he has achieved some amazing things with some of his clients. Taking them from injuries and disabilities or extreme obesity, to running marathons, losing half their body weight, transforming their body shape. It can be done, anything is possible, but you need to have a plan and be realistic at the outset. In a later chapter I will cover the subject of your mindset, mentality and how one of the most critical things you can do is alter how you think about challenges and your attitude to your life, your health, your diet etc…..but that’s for later. All good things come to those (that read the chapters in order).
If you eat better over a period of time and also exercise then inevitably your shape will change, and for the better. So why am I giving this a separate category? Well because when I refer to shape and people who want to change their shape I guess I am talking more about the people who have some sort of a goal in mind. We may not be talking Arnold Schwarzenegger type ambitions but certainly you’d like to add some muscle, possible reveal some abdominal muscles, even achieve that wide shoulder , v tapered look that athletes and superhero’s have.
So can that be done? You bet. Of course it depends to a degree on your starting point but you CAN get there. To lose weight and become fitter as outlined in the two sections above you need to work hard and be reasonably dedicated. To dramatically change your shape and become muscular and/or lean and sleek you need to do exactly the same thing but just work a bit harder and change how you exercise slightly.
Again a degree of realism is the key here. If you are 55 years old and carrying an extra four or five stone around with you then sculpting a six pack and arms that Hercules would be proud of is a big ambition that is going to take a great deal of work and some serious dedication. However I am not here to put you off, in fact I’d positively encourage you to think positively, set goals and work your butt off to achieve them.
That’s it, that’s part of the first chapter. I hope you enjoyed it. There is much more to come and I hope to have the book done and published by the end of the year. As i said earlier I’d welcome your comments. If you like the sound of it then please subscribe to my emailing list on the website. That way you won’t miss any more posts and all subscribers will get the first notification of availability as well as fantastic chances to get freebies of the book and other offers to follow. Once again, thanks for reading.