Would you like to make this the year you started exercising regularly? At DietDoctor, we’ve invited an expert to guide you through the plethora of exercise advice and workout suggestions out there.
Jonas Bergqvist is a licensed physiotherapist who’s worked with dietary, exercise and lifestyle coaching for many years. He currently runs a combined health and education centre with courses in, among other things, LCHF and paleo dietary advice. He’s also a popular diet guru and has written several diet and exercise books, including (in Swedish) “LCHF and Exercise”.
Right here at DietDoctor, he’ll be publishing a series of guest posts to inspire you to get in better shape, better health… And perhaps even get that future dream body!
It’s the beginning of the year and papers are full of headlines with speedy get-started-now-tips: This is how you start exercising! How to get a flat stomach! Build muscle! Lose weight!”
Both the media and fitness industries certainly make money on people’s inability to establish manageable routines. They make money on the public’s lack of knowledge, on the resistance to significant change, and on the fact that post-holiday season, many people race into a healthier lifestyle with huge amounts of energy and the illusion of determination, both of which invariably run out two months later. This cycle means that information, services and products can then be sold to the same person several times. In complete analogy to the disastrous dieting industry, this becomes profitable for the companies, and costly for the customers.
I’ve coached people on diet, exercise and lifestyle for over ten years. My past decade has been at the “MF Group” (MF-Gruppen in Swedish) in Stockholm. This, of course, makes me part of the fitness industry too, and also means that I make my living partly on the abovementioned shortcomings of the average person. January in particular has always brought a big spike in demand on health and exercise services. This demand is, regrettably, never sustained past March and April.
Myself and those with me who spend a large amount of time and energy on exploring diet and exercise-related literature and science; we who spend money on further education in these fields — we feel we have a knowledge base and a professional methodology that stretches far beyond the sensationalist headlines and the shallowness of public media platforms. This makes quick fixes and sweeping statements or questions sometimes tiring to address. Is a certain gym exercise good or bad? Is stretching good or bad? Are potatoes OK to eat? Is one potato OK to eat? — these are questions that can only be definitively answered on an individual level, not a general one. “It depends” becomes the standard, bland answer, and not rarely is the question in fact largely rhetorical: the person asking it is just looking for positive confirmation of his or her behaviour.
In reality, moulding quick fixes and generic plans into an individually designed lifestyle change takes deep knowledge, as well as an understanding of the individual. It also takes empathy and an ability to understand another person’s thoughts and feelings. Then, the result becomes a lifestyle plan which is completely designed for that person, and not anybody else. It doesn’t make the headlines, can’t be mass-produced and copy-pasted, and no grand be-all end-all concepts are coined.
Having coached beginners, enthusiastic amateurs and elite athletes on diet, exercise and lifestyle; having conducted health tests, fitness tests; having collaborated with many competent colleagues at the MF Group has given me much experience and taught me many a lesson. A few of the insights I’ve gained I’m going to share in three exercise-related guest posts here at DietDoctor. The goal is to give you, as a low carber and a reader, the knowledge, inspiration and outlook on how you, as a curious beginner — or tentative amateur — can get started with exercise, include it in your low carb lifestyle, and make fitness part of you.
The keys to success are to exercise with the right mindset, with an effective and goal-oriented approach and in an injury-preventive way. You’re going to need some basic knowledge in order to find these keys, but once you have them, the chances of exercise becoming an enduring part of you increase greatly. This will greatly help you to achieve your health and fitness goals. But remember: the advice I give here will nevertheless be limited to a set of more or less generic principles. The uniquely individual problems and questions can only be addressed properly eye-to-eye. I’m happy to answer your questions in the comment field below, providing I find the time.
My three guest posts on exercise will be:
1. The Best Way to Exercise for Beginners
2. How to Tailor Your Fitness Routine if You’re Overweight or Suffer from Metabolic Syndrome
3. How to Beat Your Unwillingness to Exercise, a Few Months In
The next part is coming soon!
Many thanks for the introduction Jonas! The first of the three posts in the series is coming soon.
The MF Group has many things to offer: educational courses, rehab, personal trainer services, health and exercise-related books and fitness tests. However, their website is currently available only in Swedish. If you’re interested in just taking a look, here’s their site translated by Google: