Saturday, May 28, 2016

Could Getting in Shape be Hazardous to Your Health?

by Dana Gore

If you watch television, flip through glossy magazines and pay attention to billboards, perhaps you’ve noticed what I’ve seen over the years.

We are being spoon fed the idea of what it means to be beautiful.

Beauty advertised this way revolves around attaining a lean and toned body chock full of rippling muscles and virtually no imperfections.

Everyone wants to feel admired, loved and accepted. It also hurts like hell to have others criticize our looks. Whether they don’t want to date us or hire us – or if they spew out some hurtful comments and looks that give us the impression that we’re ugly and don’t fit into society…it isn’t uncommon to take measures into our own hands to try to fix our weight and image problems as quickly as possible. While some opt to go under the plastic surgeon’s knife, others turn to diets and exercise to shed the ponds and tone the body.

Image courtesy of
Every day, we see television shows that promote diets and exercise regimens that promise to help you shed vast amounts of weight in a short period of time. Many of use stay up until the wee hours of the morning viewing infomercials that promise us a new body in only 60 days if we whip out our credit cards, order their program and engage in high-intensity exercise programs that aren’t designed for beginners.

But when emotional turmoil is present - when you’re in such intense pain because you hate your body (and yourself), you’ll try any means necessary to fix your problems as quickly as possible because you can’t stand your life as it is for one more minute.  The reason this matters is because when this state of mind prevails, all caution, critical thinking and discernment go out the window.
No one stops to think about how to go about their diet/exercise regimen in a safe and structured way. This is a problem because when it comes to health and fitness, injuries can and DO happen. Most of them are preventable. But it takes awareness and a different approach to making sure your fitness program geared toward wellness.

Exercise Safety – Why It Matters

The reason I painted this picture for you is to help you to understand how our emotions dictate our decisions. When we approach something while we’re engaging in internal conflict, we’re immediately on the defensive. We feel we’re being attacked by society in addition to our own thoughts. Coming from this place, we don’t approach a solution from a sound mental standpoint.  We overlook important details that could render our diet and exercise practices either rewarding or detrimental. A rewarding program offers numerous benefits that can last a lifetime. A detrimental one, however, can ruin our lives and jeopardize our health and possibly even our lives.  How many times have you read about an unfortunate soul who dropped dead while either dieting or exercising?  It happens more often that you’d think.

I followed several popular diet and exercise programs on the market for quite some time until I enrolled at Fitness Institute International, Inc. School for Personal Training in Boca Raton, Fl. As I sat through 360 hours of academic and practical hands-on education, I quickly learned there was more to the fitness industry than I had realized. The truth is, there are several things to take into consideration before engaging in a weight loss program.   Far from being a simple one-size-fits-all environment, the science of fitness includes a number of different disciplines including:

     1.       Fitness Testing
     2.       Strength and Conditioning
     3.       Nutrition and Weight Management
     4.       Functional Training
     5.       Pre-existing health conditions

People want results, and they want them quickly.

The idea that you can get “six pack abs” becomes less important than whether you should be screened medically before taking a boot camp class; or if exercising with gum in your mouth could be deadly.
·         Do you know how to tell a well-qualified personal trainer from a quack?

·         Are you aware that your family’s medical history matters regarding your own exercise program?
·         Do you know why warming up and cooling down are a must?

·         Have you thought about how dangerous it is to enter into an extreme fitness program if you’re a beginner – or if you’ve taken a hiatus from exercise for a while?

·         Do you know the difference between “good and bad” exercise pain?
·         Do you know whose nutrition advice you should follow (if any)?
·         Do you fit into the “special populations” category? Do you even know what that means?

These are important questions – but almost no one asks them. I didn’t either. It took going through the curriculum at Fitness Institute to realize they deserved attention.

Dr. Anthony Abbott, the president and chief educator at Fitness Institute, would tell us some of the stories about how people died from things such as skipping a proper cool down or choking on their chewing gum while exercising.

I sat there and thought:“How on Earth will anyone know about this? How can I let them know?”
I soon started writing about health and fitness.  At first I focused on popular topics such as how to eat healthy, why strength training is an essential part of a fitness program and why healthy weight loss takes time.  I then decided it was time to write a book (a lifelong desire of mine) and got started.

What was originally slated to be a weight loss book turned into a guidebook on exercise safety, because once I realized how long the chapter on safety was going to be, I understood there was nobody out there bringing attention to this subject. So it just made sense to dedicate an entire book on how to stay safe in a program designed to inspire well-being.

Image courtesy of Dana Gore.
“A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety” was born out of this concept. The term “simple” in my case means that you won’t find any technical language in its 101 pages.  There are also no diets to follow or exercise programs to engage in. To learn more about Dana's book, click here.

What the book presents are easy to follow tips on how to go about improving your wellbeing while keeping you safe. You’ll discover life-saving tips you’ve probably given little (if any) thought to. If nothing else, you’ll be in a position to prevent unnecessary injury.

The chapter on “assuming personal responsibility for our role in society” is a particularly important one because it talks about how to own yourself, stare your emotions in the face and deliberately decide to take charge of your well-being in a clear and well-thought out manner.

Doing Things the Right Way

The idea behind creating a lifestyle based on healthy living is to combine all aspects of wellness into your life instead of just focusing on the physical.  Emotional, spiritual and mental well-being is as important as physical health. All 3 of these components need to support one another to enable you to live a happy, healthy life. 

When you are no longer running away from a problem, but instead seek to become the solution in and of itself, your actions become intentional and are geared toward doing things in a clear and concise manner. By making healthy living your overall goal, you’ll end up losing the weight because it’ll be a natural by-product of a way of life.

~ You’ll choose foods designed to provide optimal health.
~ You’ll work with health and fitness professionals who care about your safety.
~ You’ll engage in a fitness program that is suited for your level of fitness, but will encourage you to work harder at the right time, for the right reasons and using the appropriate levels of progression.
You'll also approach the entire process from a place that encourages mindfulness and research.

You’ll do this because you’re no longer desperate. You’ll find activities you’ll stick with for a lifetime because it’ll become your truth.  You’ll no longer compare yourself with unrealistic images and stereotypes because you’ll create your best body by simply being a healthy individual.

This is how you do things “the right way.”

I’m currently writing a new book that will elaborate on this very subject matter, entitled “Weight Loss and Well-Being Done Right.”

It’s about shifting to a new paradigm. If we want to experience different results in life, we have to be willing to create them from a place of balance and awareness.

For more information about A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety, visit


  1. I spoke with my chiropractor the other day and he told me that with the exception of auto accidents, half the patients he deals with are suffering from injuries sustained from trying to get back in shape. Reading Dana's book gave me a whole new appreciation on the right and wrong way to go about staying in shape.

    1. Hi Carl,

      I'm not surprised. I've heard this too from chiropractors I've spoken to.
      Exercise doesn't have to be an extreme activity, especially if someone isn't conditioned for a high intensity program.

      Injuries do happen - and most of them are avoidable. It just takes some awareness.
      Glad you enjoyed the book.

  2. Society has been sucked into a "me, me, me... now, now, now..." mentality, that has crippled us. There is no magic cure - for anything! The sooner we realize that, the better. Whatever we are trying to accomplish, we must be willing to work hard and deal with setbacks. Whether we're talking about our weight, our job or our kids being part of the "everybody gets a trophy" mindset... we have lost our way. To your point, people need to understand that it's a process and as such, it's important to have a solid game plan. If done correctly, success is at the end of the tunnel. Great post! Very well done and thought out. Good luck on your book and I will definitely check it out! Have a great day and be extraordinary!

    1. You're right about the "me, me,, now, now" mentality. People want a quick fix to something that took years to create.
      I'm glad you liked the post. It's meant to raise awareness about how to achieve genuine healthy living the right way. That's one of the key messages in the book.

      I appreciate your insight. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. A little strenuous exercise can lead to a serious injury! That's why I prefer sitting around most of the day. Just kidding. This looks like an interesting book.

    1. Hi Danny,
      It is an interesting book. Not a popular topic though. Unfortunately people don't give exercise safety a lot of thought (if any) until the damage has been done.

      Thanks for checking out the post.