Do The Puyallup

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Well, last night I did the Puyallup, and it was an absolute blast. In all honesty, I wasn't expecting much from the Fair because I hadn't been since elementary school, so I was almost sure that it would be a little underwhelming. That said, there's just something about a carnival ride at sunset that makes it hard to wipe the smile off your face.

But enough about my evening. The real reason that I'm bringing up the Fair is that, as a fitness professional, what I saw while I was walking around worried me a little.

It may be a politically incorrect, and some might even say rude, thing to notice, but there were so many people at the Fair with weight issues. I couldn't help but wonder what, if anything, these people were doing to ensure that they would be, at the very least, setting a good example for their kids.

I think everyone knows that food you get at any fair is just about as unhealthy as food can be. That said, the Fair is an annual event, and if you want to go to there and eat greasy food, go for it - you can still be perfectly healthy because hopefully you're not eating that crap all year 'round. No, what concerns me most is that these people are clearly not exercising regularly.

I hear it from so many people when I start to talk with them about exercise.

"Yeah, I had a pretty busy weekend but it got me some good exercise. I did a lot of yard work and went for a walk."

Sorry to be so blunt, but are you kidding me?

I'll add the qualifier before I go on - getting outside and being active is great. It does wonders for your mind, especially. But it's not exercise.

Your body only changes when it is challenged to such a degree that it has to. And doing a lot of walking on your vacation, while healthy, won't change your body composition one iota.

We live in a society where huge portions of fast food and sedentary lives are the norm. But even though both need fixing, I feel exercise is the place to start. You can eat as healthy as you want, but if you go months on end without real exercise, you will still end up with aches, pains and an unhealthy heart.

When you challenge your body (and I mean really challenge your body - it'll involve some sweating, panting and having your muscles burn), you increase your metabolism.

When you don't, your metabolism follows the age old dictum - if you don't use it, you lose it.

Most of the people I saw at the Fair had lost their metabolism because they haven't challenged it. Call that statement presumptuous if you must, but the smart money says it's true.

The positive is that it's never too late to start exercising. At the risk of sounding cliché, there's no time like the present. Why not exercise tonight?


Dawn Robnett said...

Hi Again,

So let me ask you long does it take to wake up a sedintary metabolism? How long before it's working at optimum?

Mark Haner said...

Hey again to you too, Dawn! :)

The answer unfortunately isn't a scientific one, because in truth it will vary from person to person. Typically I like to say that, as a rule of thumb, after six weeks of consistent exercise (bare minimum 3 times a week), you will be experiencing all its benefits, including an increase in resting metabolism. Lapses in exercise will cause lapses in results, especially if you've been sedentary for some time, so persistence is key.

Thanks, Dawn!