In July, I’ll enter my thirteenth year of dedication to exercise and healthy eating. When I started exercising, I trained three days a week. I now exercise every day. And each day, I make eating healthy a priority. Thirteen years might seem like a long time, but, as the saying goes, time flies. In my opinion, that is more reason to not waste any time being uncomfortable in your body, and ultimately feeling disappointed in yourself.
Surprisingly enough, the human body does not require a lot of work to maintain a lean physique and good health. The more you know about your body and nutrition, the easier it is to maintain healthy habits.
In my late teens, when I had anorexia, I thought achieving a lean body meant torturing myself. I also thought as many people do, that I had to severely restrict my food intake and do exhaustive workouts. Once I hit eighteen years old, I got the idea of purchasing a personal training course. I wanted to know what fitness experts know. I cleared my mind of any previous information I had floating in my head, regarding health and fitness, and fully followed the principles in the personal training course book. I did so because I knew that the authors of the book knew more than me. That was the single best thing I did to get started down a healthy path. The course was more insightful and valuable than any fitness magazine or workout DVD series out there. I learned about kinesiology, the human metabolism, energy pathways, the muscular system, training adaption, and training volume and intensity. I also learned how to get started with a diet and exercise program, and how to adapt with my progress.
I went from starving myself, and binging and purging, to eating 5 small meals per day (this keeps the metabolism working throughout the day, thusly, raising the metabolic rate). I went from working out three times per day on an empty stomach to a split schedule, and I started to enjoy exercising. My new routine and way of eating, was much easier to manage than starving myself, and spending hours working out.
When looking for new health and fitness related information, I seek out authorities on the subject. Not TV or YouTube personalities — certainly not celebrities, but top trainers in the fitness categories I’m interested in; bodybuilding, gymnastics, functional training, and even football off-season training. I also read material from Olympic-level coaches and nutritionist.
Over the years, I have changed gears from creating merely a visibly pleasing physique, to building a functional, agile body. In my pursuit, I have turned to information from various specialist in different sports who build bodies similar to what I prefer. These institutions and experts have a lot of money invested in them to produce specific results. Olympic coaches have the entire country relying on their expertise. By following experts, I not only get results, but I always get the back story; explanations on why certain exercises should be done, how much of it to do, exercise order, and seasonal training.
In all, the road to fitness longevity begins with knowledge and understanding of how your body works. Another key is to know how to adapt as your body changes. Confusion disappears where there is knowledge, and sticking to a healthy lifestyle is not as difficult as many believe.
MEET SYLVIA PETRO — THE BROKE, FIT SINGLE MOM: As an athlete of over 15 years, and a broke single mom for most of that time, I created this site to aid not only broke single parents to a life of fitness, but anyone who believes the road to fitness requires a lot of cash or time. In reality, the road to fitness is paved with knowledge and firm principles; informing readers about mastering both of those building blocks is my goal.