Monday, October 12, 2015

The Best Fitness Articles (Dick Talens Edition)

1. The Other Side of Strength by Dick Talens

Most folks probably think that the secret to getting ripped is sheer determination and a love of pain. In this article, Talens highlights the somewhat surprising characteristics of people he’s worked with who have successfully transformed their bodies — characteristics like humility, self-compassion, and mindfulness. If you’ve tried countless times to make a change but haven’t succeeded, this is a must-read.

Think your general practitioner is the best person to listen to for weight loss advice? Think again. According to Talens, doctors’ best tips are generally to “eat less” and “move more” — hardly a prescription for real world weight loss success. Instead of trying to follow the doctor’s terse guidelines, Talens recommends hitting the Internet, where online fitness communities (like the fitness Subreddit) that share actionable information abound.

In order to lose weight, the majority of people turn to running, even if they despise it. This choice makes sense from an accessibility standpoint, says Talens. Unfortunately, it’s actually not the best form of exercise for weight loss — especially for heavier folks for whom it causes pain. The better weight loss solution, Talens proposes, is to find an activity that you can stick to (be it walking, strength training, yoga, whatever) and strive to improve at it through what Talens describes as the principle of “activation.”

More isn’t always better, especially in the context of exercise. In this article, Talens argues that humans have finite resources in terms of time, energy, and willpower. The key to fitness success, he explains, is to maximize the return on investment of these resources. And simply doing more, more, more isn’t the right way to go about it.

5. The Word “Healthy” Sucks by Dick Talens

Nothing is inherently healthy or unhealthy, says Talens. Instead, every fitness decision must be considered in the greater context of a person’s overall lifestyle. Talens gives the near and dear to my heart example of Oreos. In isolation, most people wouldn’t consider Oreos to be a healthy food. But if a few Oreos help a person stay on track with the rest of their diet, then perhaps they aren’t so unhealthy after all.

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