What Do We "Need"
To Stimulate Positive Physical Change?
by Phil Kaplan
The word "need"
can be interpreted many ways.
I would think it
means necessity, as in a "need to eat" or a
"need for shelter."
wife, apparently, has her own definition.
She goes from mall to mall because she "needs"
shoes. I wouldn't attempt to count the shoes in
her closet. I can
count her feet. She
has two. Why she "needs" more shoes is
beyond me, but here's how it's been explained.
wouldn't understand. It's a woman thing." She's
But We're Not
Talking About Shoes . . . We're Talking About Health & Fitness
Let's agree that
when it comes to being healthy, we do have needs,
and just as South Florida female shoe-shoppers in any mall at
any time may disagree with my definition of necessity, I disagree
with many of the claims I hear related to those "fitness
things" that people apparently "need."
access to a "circuit of machines."
to buy organic food.
to buy expensive walking shoes.
creatine, you "need" a
hormonal precursor, and you "need" a protein supplement.
get down to reality. My wife doesn't "need" more shoes.
She "wants" more shoes (a trait I believe she
gets from her mother), and if you want access
to a circuit of machines, a health club membership, organic
foods, or supplements, then great. They're all accessible. They are NOT, however solutions, nor are
What do you really
need to begin a result-oriented program of positive physical
you need to understand what I call the Fitness Truth.
The power to change comes from understanding how to facilitate
that change, so you do "need," at least at first,
someone or something who can share a true technology of change.
to eat supportively, getting nutrient dense meals low in or
free from simple sugars, refined carbohydrates, and excessive
fats or hydrogenated fats.
Challenge me all
you want, tell me about supplements that "suck fat out
of your digestive system," and give me the hour long sermon
about the network marketing product that allows you to eat anything
you want without fear of consequence. I've heard all of the "you don't have
to eat right" come-ons. It's all smoke. It's all hype. It's all misrepresentation of reality.
is an ABSOLUTE NEED if you're seeking physical improvement.
Then . . .
there's the pump . . .
"need" some modality for elevating the heart rate
don't need a fancy treadmill, you don't need an elliptical climber
or glider, and you don't even need a heart rate monitor. Do these items have value? Sure, but they aren't needs. Without some means of moderately elevating
heart rate, and maintaining that heart rate elevation, your
ability to improve health and will-being is crippled. Conversely,
if you perform some exercise integrating rythmic movement of
the large muscle groups to moderately elevate heart rate, you
stimulate the body's ability to increase the efficiency with
which the heart and lungs operate.
People get so caught
up in believing they "need" special machines or devices
excuses are simple to find.
workout because I "need" to renew my membership."
If you want an aerobic
training effect, do twenty laps around your house, put on a
CD and dance the dance you love to dance when nobody's watching,
or if you have a decent set of bedsprings, jump up and down
on your bed.
up and down a ladder, skip in circles, do jumping jacks, or
pretend you have springs on your feet and bounce in place.
Swim, walk a bit faster than you usually do for fifteen
or twenty minutes, or crawl up and down the steps of your house.
Sure some of these suggestions sound the least bit insane,
and I'm not suggesting a mature adult should dance, crawl, or
jump on the bed . . . but conceptually I want you to recognize
. . . anything you do that elevates the heart rate moderately
can serve as the aerobic exercise modality. The treadmill, the bike, the stairclimber, and the elliptical glider are all simply options.
"need" water, but then again, that applies for anyone
who has the simplest and most primitive goal. Survival.
I'd say if you seek
optimal health, you need to remain hydrated, to drink a good
amount of water. The old rule of 8 glasses a day isn't scientific,
it isn't a "need," but it is a pretty good guideline.
one more need.
absolutely must ask your body to do more than it's used to.
This serves to maintain muscle and prevent the metabolic
slowdown we've come to mistakenly associate with aging.
stimulates increases in bone density and makes the fear of osteo-disease
a non-entity. Resistance exercise shapes muscle and stokes
the body's ability to release and metabolize fat. Does that mean you "need"
the selectorized machine you saw advertised
in the Sunday newspaper?
it mean you need Nautilus machines?
No. Does it mean you have to join a ladies'
health club where they have special hydraulic resistance machines?
No. It just means you have to challenge muscle.
Exercise doesn't equate to "machines."
Exercise equates to movement.
You can do pushups,
pull-ups, and squats and stimulate muscle increase.
You can lift a pair of dumbbells performing 8 exercises
for repetitions and stimulate muscle. You can use a medicine ball, a rock, water
resistance, elastic tubing, or a bit of creativity. You can hold a towel and your spouse can
hold the ends performing pulling, pushing, rotating, and . .
. well . . . beyond that the creativity comes
in to play. You
can lift a side of beef over your head for repetitions, you
can pull the trash can back and forth across your driveway,
you can fill the trash can with rocks and pull it down the street,
or you can try to topple a tree.
You don't "need"
now that we've shared reality, let's turn to common sense, as
the two make for powerful partners.
Before hordes of
my customers, clients, listeners, and seminar attendees start
crawling up and down steps and attempting to topple trees, I
want to clarify, my message has little to do with jumping on
This article is intended
to ground you, to allow you to apply sensibility, to protect
you from "need-sellers," and to empower you to move
toward physical excellence. In the real world, a health club is certainly
a viable option, as is a home exercise investment. Just make certain if you opt to invest,
you understand the value of your investment and you decide to
make the purchase because you "want" something, not
because you believe you "need" it.
My newest program,
the 21-Day Journey to Excellence,
has people of all levels finding optimal fitness using the following
program provides all
of the necessities:
clarity, and a proven technology
of Supportive Nutrition
to elevate the heart rate moderately
to challenge muscle and stimulate positive change
OK, wait a minute,
there are a few more necessities . . . the necessities you HAVE
TO wear. You can certainly spend lots and lots of money on hot
trendy exercise clothes, or you can get the essentials at great
prices by selecting brands from the drop down menus below .
By implementing simple
tools into an exercise program, and by recognizing that human
movement has absolutely nothing to do with machines, you can
turn a short jog around your dining room table into a triathlon
over time, or you can lift a pair of soup cans for repetitions
today and find yourself moving toward a physical strength that
remains yet untapped, or you can commit 20-30 minutes 4 days
per week to exercise movements and find that every task, from
carrying groceries to lifting children gets easier and easier.
I won't argue with
the apparent "need" women have for sixteen pair of
black shoes, nine pair of beige shoes, and purses to match each
pair. I know better
than to enter that argument. I don’t understand it, but
who am I to argue a woman thing. I just know I think a bit more sensibly.
I know what I "need."
I need food, resistance, aerobic movement, water, sleep,
some physical affection (that's the polite way of addressing
a need), and some chicken nachos, a TV with satellite, and a
comfortable recliner to watch the Jets play during football
Hmmm. Well, I guess it's a guy thing.
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