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by DARREN CLARK

By DARREN CLARK

FITNESS

APRIL

sunny days are here again.

The Skies above are clear again!

Those lyrics are never more true than for those of us that live in Texas. With the return of the balmy spring season and the sweltering days of summer on the way, chances are we’ll all be dressing in less really soon. Short shorts, tank tops, sleeveless dresses, crop tops and of course the much anticipated swim suit, will all become a part of our normal seasonal attire.

As the long days of sunshine begin to take over the forecasts, our minds can’t help but to consider the condition of which our bodies are in. If you’re like most, this consideration will likely motivate you to get lean, get it together, and get your body in shape the sunny days.

So now you’re thinking, how can I get in shape fast. Everyone wants the magic pill. Everyone wants to to be in shape right now. The sad thing is that with our desire to get fit quick, often times we fall victim to the array of fitness myths out there. The possible result being that we do more harm than good.

Do you want to look good, feel good and enjoy the sunny days? Then, no matter what do not fall victim to these 5 following myths!

Myth #1: “I can lose weight if I starve myself and just not eat.”

Though it may seem like a logical idea, attempting to get lean by starving yourself is not only ineffective, it can be dangerous as well. It may seem that extreme calorie restriction would be the path to the quickest weight loss, but by doing so you may slow down your metabolism and actually retain more body fat than when you started

74 APRIL 2010

Myth #2: “I’ll just take diet pills to help me reach my goals.”

If you pay attention to the commercials, they all make inviting claims about the effectiveness of diet pills. Don’t fall for it! The magic pill hasn’t been created yet. Buyer beware, some of the these advertised diet pills are more likely to be harmful. Not to mention the hole burning they do to your wallet.

Myth #3: “ If I want flat abs, I’ll just do more crunches & sit ups.”

We all want our midsection to look tight and ripped as we enjoy the spring and summer but doing more sit ups isn’t the complete answer. Yes, working the abdominal muscles is necessary to increase their strength but if you still have layers of fat covering them, you’ll never see the result of your work. In order to get that rock hard midsection, you’d achieve better results by engaging in a solid nutritional plan and focusing on burning off the excess body fat.

Myth #4: “ I’ll have a better nutritional plan if I just stick with eating packaged diet foods.”

More often than not, these products are packed with simple sugars and a bunch of artificial ingredients that you don’t need and your body doesn’t like. It’s still amazing to

see how many people purchase this stuff just because it’s marked “diet.” Don’t be fooled! Don’t buy into this myth! Instead stick with nutritious and healthy whole foods.

Myth #5: “ If I never eat another carbohydrate again, I’ll have my dream body.”

The truth is, your body needs carbohydrates in order to function properly. Somewhere along the way, carbs have been given a bad reputation. The key is to understand how your body uses carbohydrates as well as limiting those carbs to natural as opposed to processed carbs. Whole grains, oatmeal, yams, brown rice are all a good source of carbohydrates.

Don’t be fooled by the nonsense. Embark on a consistent regime of exercise which includes resistance training and cardiovascular conditioning. Maintain a healthy practice of good nutritional awareness and consumption. Eliminate or at least limit the practice of eating processed foods. By all means, don’t succumb to those advertised products that guarantee you a lot for a little.

The bottom line: There is no quick fix. But your body will respond to what you do to it. So now go out, get in shape and do whatever is necessary to enjoy these sunny days

Darren Clark has been a fitness professional since 1988. He is the owner of Partners In Training and the creator of Darren’s Down & Dirty Fitness Boot Camp. Contact Darren at

Darren@TripleDFitness.com 214.478.0765.

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