The Fitness Expert
Has society failed us?
In this week's column, fitness expert Bogdan Merkes tells us how to get the most from your health and fitness, you must first wake up and smell the coffee.
You’ve had enough! There you are standing in front of the mirror, low on self-esteem, feeling unsexy, undesirable, unwanted. Your smoking and drinking habits flourish on wild nights out, putting your body and mind under serious and unnecessary strain and fatigue. High medical expenses suggest your health isn't in great nick either. The lack of appeal to your partner finally becomes obvious. You’re in desperate need of help!
But who can help? Will you join a gym? Start a diet? Cut back and finally do what you haven’t managed to do for decades, change your lifestyle? Where are your mates now? Sure, they’re always there when a pint is on call, but what about when your having a life crisis?
In Ireland, we are privy to a society where obesity levels are rapidly soaring to over 40 per cent, placing Ireland second to the United Kingdom in the race for the fatest fatties in Europe. According to a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), one in four Irish adults are now obese.
Who’s to blame for this mess? Can we place the blame on personality traits or do we simply accept this and refuse to change? In Ireland, we seem to have this laid back attitude when it comes to health and fitness. If it isn’t broken don’t fix it, right? Wrong.
I make my sensible choices, not because I want to live a little, but because I want to live a lot!
The majority of us don't identify a problem until it is too late. For instance, you never really go to a doctor for regular check-ups until you’re sick, but what if it were possible to take measures to prevent the sickness in the first place? You might be suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes and in seek of a pill, any remedy, to help you get better or sometimes help you nurse yourself back to life.
Don't risk your health
There appears to be a lack of willingness to make any alterations to nutrition and lifestyle habits unless, of course, it's for the sake of the mirror. Even then, more often than not, too many people expose themselves to even greater health risks because they pursue a path of yoyo dieting, restricting calories and going like a bat out of hell in the gym, not allowing sufficient time for the body to adapt to these changes. It won't be long before the body begins to rebel. Fatigue sets in and eventually you wear yourself down to the point that you're back to a state of immune deficiency, putting you right back in the doctor's office.
Is it that you want to preserve your heavy-boozing, out-all-night reputation? You're with the lads on a well-deserved night out, you want to improve your lifestyle habits and cut back alcohol and junk food, but your mates wouldn’t dream of entertaining an alcohol-free or alcohol restricted night so, you’re under pressure to flip to the dark side.
You don’t want to be singled out and take stick from the boys so what do you do? Have you encountered similar situations? I know I have, many times, and every time I get the “…ahh go on would ya, live a little!” Don’t get me wrong, I like a good night out as much as anyone and generally I try to be polite, although every so often I get edgy and tell the lads, “I make my sensible choices, not because I want to live a little, but because I want to live a lot!”
Better choices, better living
Enough! Cop on and grow up! Stop putting your health at risk for nothing! Here’s food for thought, wouldn’t your life be superior if you had a more youthful, energetic, virile, sexy physique and made others jealous of your fountain of youth? Better choices leads to a better living so don't let anything get in the way of a good life. Embrace regular medical checks, get active, eat better and finally change your attitude. Your body will thank you for it!
Bogdan Merkes is writing a column every Wednesday until the end of September. If you want to learn more about his services check out ultimatefitcrew.com or like his page on Facebook. Check out more articles from Bogdan on his blog atbogdanmerkes.com, and you can also follow him on Twitter. All comments/questions/suggestions gratefully accepted.