Health is a marathon not a sprint – Part 1

By Stefan Bratu

The health and wellbeing industry is big business nowadays, the overwhelming number of gyms, nutritional products, equipment and not to mention methods of exercising keep flying at us at a million miles an hour, from a multitude of sources.

The media has of course reacted to this phenomenon and is now busy filling column inches with all kinds of suggestions.  These range from high protein meal ideas or how to exercise at home, all the way to miracle advice that will get you as ripped as Vin Diesel in under six weeks, or assist you with losing four stones whilst gorging on chocolate and cake.

As with all forms of information a healthy sense of scepticism and curiosity will assist one in weeding out the genuinely good and useful advice, from the inadequate (the latter often being the product of pseudo-science or cowboy journalism).

“We are affected in the manner in which we set our expectations”

As a lifelong sportsman and gym aficionado for the past 10 years I have watched all this popularity boom with a sense of excitement and positivity. Sport and exercise has always been a source of pride and motivation for me, as well as occasionally a source of escapism.

When I’m exercising at the gym, or playing tennis, or kicking a rugby ball my mind is clear. My daily worries are left behind and are instantly replaced by a genuine experience of the present moment – a temporary oasis from the stress of everyday life.

Great health takes time

A rise in the popularity of exercising and eating well is a good thing, there’s no denying that!

However on the flipside I also do worry.  I worry since much of the available advice, many of these hopeful promises of miraculous results are often a source of disappointment and frustration.

Losing noticeable amounts of weight, putting on stones of lean muscle or getting fit enough to run marathons does not happen overnight.  I know most people innately know all this – yet I maintain that despite that awareness, we are still affected by misinformed literature selling us pie in the sky.  Specifically we are affected in the manner in which we set our expectations, and the ways in which we hope to achieve those.

Great changes do take great levels of commitment, time and perseverance – the latter being imperative in achieving those goals.

Stay tuned for Part two and we will hear from Stefan how a change in attitude and realistic expectation setting is the key to lasting changes.

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