Fitness: more than meets the eye
As an avid promoter of all things health and fitness, I have been excited to bring my perspective and experience to yet another new audience. Who am I? My name is Samuel Maxey and I am a junior Exercise and Sports Science major at Temple University. I grew up in Limerick, Pennsylvania and graduated from Spring-Ford High School. Since I was young, my parents introduced me to physical activity in the form of swimming, biking and soccer. My love of physical activity transformed into basketball, karate, flag football, and finally weight training. I started weight training at the age of thirteen and gradually advanced my knowledge of training, nutrition, and supplementation to the point that I decided to jump into the realm of competitive bodybuilding last year, at the age of nineteen years old.
Since I was in eighth or ninth grade, I had ambitions of entering the field of physical therapy, to open up my own practice, and start improving the health of hundreds of people. Of course my ambitions have changed, but the end goal of improving the health of others has maintained strong. Currently, I am an online coach who directs clients on the proper way to workout, supplement, and control their nutrition in order to reach their goals. A lot of the time, the goals clients have are based around achieving a certain look. In today’s age of social media, especially Instagram, lots of people want their body fat lower, their waist tighter, and muscles larger. Now, there is nothing wrong with this, as long as your goals are realistic, but for many people, they are so far from their end goal that they eventually lose the motivation to continue. For this reason, I tell everyone I communicate with that long term health should be their main motivation.
Now, chances are you are in the college age, or millennial, demographic so you are most likely already in your best health. Unfortunately, your current health status won’t last forever if you don’t learn to treat your body right and that is why it is so important to take care of your body now and maintain, or even improve, your health while you’re young. This is about deciding to make lifestyle changes now rather after any particular health marker has started to decline.
When it comes to utilizing the gym in order to improve your health, I am a firm believer that weight training needs to be at the forefront. Cardiovascular activity and body weight activities, such as calisthenics and yoga, have their own benefits and should also be involved in any workout regime, but many gym goers tend to avoid weight training due to various stigmas, intimidation, or just feeling uncomfortable. Due to the stereotypes of lifting weights, that have been thrown out by the media, the average American does not view weight training as something that should be a part of everyone’s weekly routine. Many women, for example, fear weight lifting for risk of becoming “bulky.” However, you should find it in yourself to ignore the media’s portrayal of weight training and make it a part of your workout regime for these benefits, which have all been researched and backed up by their own independent studies:
- Improved metabolism
- Euphoria, feeling of accomplishment, reduced depression
- Improved bone density, reduce risk of osteoporosis
- Lowered risk of diabetes
- Improved blood sugar/insulin sensitivity
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased resting heart rate
- Improved balance and coordination
- Improved ability to perform “Activities of Daily Living”
- Improved strength of joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles
- Improved flexibility
- Improved mental strength and confidence
- Improved sleep quality
- LONGER LIFE
Need I say more? Lastly, of course your looks/appearance will change and improve but set realistic goals and have realistic changes in mind. If you focus on improving yourself mentally and committing to the training you’re doing, the mirror will reflect that with time. Don’t strive to look like a professional athlete, that gal/guy you see on a magazine cover, or your favorite social media celebrity because you don’t know the photo enhancements that have made, the surgeries that have been done, or the drugs that have been taken to look the way they do. In the end, diet is the main controller of how you look, and that is another discussion for another time. Strive to use weight training to establish a better, healthier version of you, and if you don’t like the results you are seeing on the surface, remember the results that are occurring beneath the surface.
Like what you read and want to see more of Sam’s journey? Follow his fitness page on Facebook! Don’t forget to check back next Friday for part 2 of Sam’s healthy lifestyle feature!
The personal experiences and viewpoints provided above are those of Samuel Maxey and do not reflect the perspective of medicallyblondesite.wordpress.com.