Let's examine the many levels upon which you can build your body and how you can combine them to really start cooking.
I have just come from a million Easter egg hunts and have had just about enough of jelly beans, Hershey's kisses and chocolate bunnies.
My daughters look like princesses, have enough candy to sink a battleship, and they've deposited dear old dad in front of the computer before hopping off into the sunset.
Trainer X does not consider fitness to be a bowling ball: one-layered and landing with a thud when dropped. Rather, I have referred to it time and again as an onion; multilayered and delicate, with many fragile parts that need to fit together to form a greater whole. Let's examine the many levels upon which you can build your body and how you can combine them to really start cooking (my last egg pun, I promise!).
You've got to have heart to start. If you told me 15 years ago that I would be running the Boston Marathon, I would have asked you what you were smoking. Now, I'm running like mental and my heart has never been in better shape, and it is having exponential effects on all facets of my fitness. I finally get it: your heart is the most important muscle in your body. It will take your body to its limit, but only if you keep it strong and take care of it every day.
If a relationship doesn't bend it will break. Ah, flexibility -- the classic practice of the past that everyone "used to do." I can attest to that; I'm one of them. Throughout my career I have performed the same stretching program for 15 minutes before each workout. Stretch and warm up before, during and after your workouts, and you'll stay in the game longer.
Build and support your progress with a solid foundation. No big explanation here; resistance training is for everyone. Your body is designed to lose muscle and gain fat, and if you want to be fit and lean, you must lift like your life depends on it. In fact, it does.
If you're not on a diet, you're off a diet. And when you go "off a diet," what happens? You gain weight. I know one thing to be undeniably true when it comes to fitness: When you strip your nutrition down to exactly what you need to eat, you will be "as fit as a butcher's dog," as my mate Lee says. Diet is everything, people, so stop fighting it and shut your mouth.
Let's call all things equal and say that each of these items play an identical part in your fitness. Combine all four and you're working on all cylinders. If you put all four of these eggs in your basket, you will have one tasty egg-white omelet (oops!).
Darin St. George is a personal fitness coach at Gold's Gym in Natick, Mass. Visit his Web site at www.myspace.com/darinstgeorge.