The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) reported that there are 26,830 health clubs, fitness centers and gyms in America. That means there are 1.5 fitness facilities for every single city, town, village, municipality, comunidad, and urbana in America (2000 US Census). As a professional in the fitness industry, I think that’s pretty damn cool. Plenty of places to get your sweat on.
But, while that ratio sounds good initially, it isn’t all that great considering there are over 3 billion people in the US. This means there is only 1 fitness facility for every 11,500 people. That many sweaty people under one roof can make things smell like a wet shoe.
Of course, not everyone cares enough about his or her body, so we don’t have to worry about 100 sweaty bozos occupying one squat rack for biceps curls. But more and more people are learning the importance of exercise and the rate of participation has been climbing. Unfortunately many believe that effective, well-rounded exercise is only possible through a gym membership. Well, a gym makes things easier, no doubt; and relative to what most people can accomplish on their own, a trainer can speed fitness along. But a gym or a trainer is not a prerequisite to health and fitness. The industrious can engage in an effective exercise program simply by keeping the following in mind:
- Pick something up from the ground
- Put something over your head
- Throw something in different directions
- Get on the ground
- Get up from the ground
Do one, two or any combination of these things, and do them vigorously. Make them challenging by doing them progressively faster, or use more weight, or both. It isn’t that technical, really. Do them with sound biomechanics, because they should be done regularly.
And, fitness is also about fueling the body properly, so eat a lot of the foods that Mother Nature gives us:
- fresh fruits
- some raw nuts and seeds
- quality natural meats
- (though some won’t agree with me here) fermented fruits in the form of liquid, like good wine.
OK, the last one can be debated, but the others cannot. Almost everyone benefits significantly by eating primarily vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and natural meats. Eat when hungry, don’t when not. It’s not that technical, really. Just make sure to eat as close to nature as possible—and I don’t mean eating pizza and garlic bread while sitting in the woods and singing Kumbaya.