Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The W.I.N. Syndrome

The summer is coming to an end and my local gym was busier than usual this year.  I was glad to see a large number of youth, both females and males motivated and highly engaged in achieving fitness.  The sooner they get started the better, within reason of course.  I also noticed a large number of youth walking around with shaker bottles filled with, red drinks, blue drinks, vanilla drinks, orange drinks, etc… I was a little concerned and disappointed as they walked around texting, talking on the phone and sipping their concoction.  But then I realized they must be suffering from what I call the "Want It Now" (WIN) syndrome.  There seems to be a growing trend in society these days where people just don't have the patients to work for something they truly want.   It's bad enough that technology has made us "Tools of our Tools", don't let your body and health suffer the same fate.

We all suffer from a little WIN syndrome once in a while when it comes to material things or careers, but for now I will focus more on the physical fitness impact of the WIN syndrome. The desire to succeed and achieve certain goals faster and better than the next person drives us all, not just the youth.  The high expectation society and we place on each other drives many of us to take short cuts when it comes to achieving our fitness goals.  We want to be stronger, faster, skinnier, and sexier than others and the less effort we have to put into it the better right?

In my opinion, the human body is amazing, very intelligent and capable.  At the same time it’s innocent and looks to you for direction and assistance.  The human body depends on you and trusts you like a child and at times it can be as forgiving as your favorite pet (dog), so be careful what you feed it and how you treat it.  In my opinion feeding the body chemicals before and after a workout can offset the body’s natural processing balance and functions.  You may not notice it right away and you may even feel like you're making progress, but there will be a price to pay in the long run. 

The body adapts very quickly, if you train it to perform on a good natural diet, after several years you will have a very efficient body capable of dealing with stressful and emergency situations better than a body dependent on chemicals.  At the same time if you accustomed your body to chemicals that provide a short cut to its normal processing routine, it will let you down when you need it the most.  The body will become lazy, weak and totally confused, potentially causing serious injury when you stress it or force it to perform without its chemicals.  Read my earlier posting Fitness for "The Battle" for another take.

In my opinion, if you must take supplements, stick to a good multi-vitamin and limit your intake of supplements that claim to improve physical gains.  It is better to take the pain now than later, I realize we all have our demons; it just depends how strong our cage is.  As always, remember the “Tortoise and the Hare” story, take your time and do it right!

   "Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor".  ~Dr. Alexis Carrel

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