HEALTHY FITNESS - 5 SIMPLE RULES

The ultimate life-time goal of any long term exerciser is to keep their body in peak condition for as long as possible, not just five or ten good years. Life is not the NFL, no mater what the latest fitness gurus are screaming at you on an infomercial at 3 in the morning. The definition of the word fit includes health, not just jumping on top of a 3 foot box forty times, whether it's healthy for your knees or not.

As a firefighter fitness expert and master kettlebell coach, I know about intensity, but when working within both of my areas of expertise, do no harm is always the first rule. If you break a probie (rookie), you end his or her career, and any champion kettlebell lifter knows that injuries come with huge set backs that prevent even the best athletes from reaching their true potential. Cortisone injections and ice packs will only work for so long, and unless you're making a few million dollars a year, do you want to spend half your life with an ice pack strapped to your knee? At 55, I know I don't.

HEALTHY FITNESS - 5 SIMPLE RULES

1: GET GOOD INFORMATION
Find a trusted source of information, and follow it closely. Seek out experts in the field that have been around for a while, no matter what skill you're trying to master.

2. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Pay attention to your body and what is telling you over anything else. Self-awareness is a powerful tool that will be your greatest protector against injury, and allow you to master any skill, whether that be kettlebells or another form of exercise.
 
3: LEARN FROM "FAILURES"
Focus on  the positive, and use every "failure" as a something to learn from.  Set realistic goals, but don't be afraid to challenge yourself, but only within proper form. Sloppy reps of anything will eventually destroy your body.

4: DO THE WORK
Put in the time, the magic is in the details. Work hard at improving your abilities, but never rush your progress.  Proficiency is the key to high intensity (and associated results) without injury.

5: HAVE PATIENCE
If you're 50 pounds overweight and severely de-conditioned, I'm sure it didn't happen overnight, and neither will bringing your body back to where it should be. Be consistent, master technique, work hard, back it up with sensible eating, and your body will eventually snap to - every time.

Mike Stefano
kbgym.com