Fit Happens: Strategies for Living a Healthier, Happier, Fitter Life

Fit Happens: Strategies for Living a Healthier, Happier, Fitter Life

Hardcover(1 ED)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375500367
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/28/1999
Edition description: 1 ED
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.52(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Joanie Greggains is the host of the television show Morning Stretch, which reaches over 70 percent of the United States, and Health and Fitness with Joanie Greg-gains, the number-one-rated Saturday-morning radio program in northern California. Her thirteen exercise videos have sold over ten million copies. She lives and works in California.

Patricia Romanowski is the coauthor of eighteen books, including three national bestsellers. She lives on Long Island with her husband, author Philip Bashe, and their son, Justin.

Read an Excerpt

How Fit Happens

If you're like most people I know and work with, you see yourself falling into one of two clearly defined camps: those who are fit, healthy, and energetic and those who are out of shape, never quite feeling their best, and perpetually tired. You may have picked up this book because you fall within that second group. Whether this is your first attempt to change how you look and feel or your fifty-first, you may well be thinking, "This time, I'm going to do it"-until you remind yourself-"unless, of course, I give up, like I always seem to do."

Why do we think like this? Why is it that we can run a business, manage a household, and raise a family, yet find ourselves bewildered when it comes to learning how our bodies work and what we can do to stay healthy through our lives? Chances are, you're interested in health and fitness, yet everything you hear-from the latest academic studies to the newest exercise or diet fad-seems to contradict everything else. One hundred people may have one hundred different ideas about the "best" way to eat, the "best" way to exercise, but the one thing I'll bet you all have in common is the idea that fitness is easier for some of us than for others. We tend to believe there's some mystical, unknowable secret that explains how some people keep their weight in a healthy range, exercise regularly and happily, and have the upper hand in their relationship with food. The more we struggle with these problems, the more elusive the solution seems to be.

But here's the secret: There is no secret. When you follow just a few basic principles, fit happens. In the years I've been teaching health and fitness, I've foundthat people stick to a healthy lifestyle because they've found ways to do it and enjoy it. They have kept or-more likely if they're older-rediscovered the fun in movement, the joy of feeling energetic and alive. Chances are, if you're a veteran of yo-yo dieting, food fads, and exercise gimmicks, you've lost that joy Because without knowing it, you've been fighting a battle that was lost before it began. Why? Because barring being faced with a question of life or death, human beings simply are not wired to do what they do not enjoy. At first, we can energize and motivate ourselves with the hope of change or the threat of consequences if we do not. And that can carry us through a new diet or a new exercise regimen, but only for so long. Maybe when you were younger, you could be convinced that carob was "as satisfying as chocolate," and that a boring daily workout was "fun." But you know better now.

You'd think we'd all get the message by now. And judging from the number of us who've lost the will to fight and just succumbed to chronic exhaustion, a sedentary lifestyle-and the extra pounds that come with it-and a sense of personal failure, we get it, all right. Fewer people diet now than ever. What do we learn except how to fail? But here's the best-kept secret in the world: The diets, the fat-erasing supplements, the equipment and paraphernalia fail because they were never meant to work to begin with. If you took the profit motive out of the health- and fitness-related industries, you'd never have heard the words SnackWell, NutraSweet, Thighmaster, or Beverly Hills Diet. Have you ever known anyone who "lost 20 pounds in one week" or got "thin thighs in four days"? Unfortunately, the misguided quest for the elusive quick fix dogs most of us from our teens. Binge eating-which is surprisingly common-is now officially recognized as a serious eating disorder, along with anorexia and bulimia. Now even kindergartners are obsessing about their "weight." And it gets even worse. Across the country, school districts are reducing or eliminating physical education from our children's curriculums, and in some places, even canceling recess.

It's time to stop believing and start really knowing, time to start incorporating new health habits that really work and to understand why they do. Every suggestion in this book is geared to teaching you how to eat better, move better, and feel better. Weight loss and a great-looking body-not to mention feeling calmer, less stressed, and more energetic-naturally follow.

I have been teaching people about health and fitness since 1972, when I became a junior high school physical education teacher in the San Francisco public school system. Whether I am hosting my own radio talk show, speaking at a seminar, producing fitness videos, teaching classes, or working with private students at my gym, my goal has never changed. I want to teach you how to understand and respect your body In doing that, I've developed a very good idea of not only what people want to know but also what confuses them and exactly what they need to know. This book does not claim to offer everything there is to know. But it is a carefully chosen distillation of all the information you need to know to move toward better health.

Fitness isn't a job or an obligation, it's the natural result of making good, positive lifestyle choices every day. Whether you start with something as simple as making sure you drink enough water or embark on a major daily exercise program, every step counts. Don't wait to reward yourself after you've lost 20 pounds. Give yourself the thumbs up each time you choose to ride your bike instead of taking the car, each time you bypass the candy machine for the water cooler. Remember, it wasn't one thing you did that got you to where you are today-it was a chain of decisions and events that made it impossible for fit to happen in your life. Substitute smart choices for bad habits and you'll be clearing the way for fit to happen. And, most important, keep it fun. Instead of just exercising, actively pursue the joy in movement you knew as a child. Create a healthy lifestyle from the things you love, and it will last a lifetime.

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