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These days, it seems that everyone is stressed. We all have too much to do and too little time to do it. Times are tough, money is tight, and deadlines are imminent.

What happens when you're stressed? You tend to eat more, sleep less, skip the gym and feel rundown. Additionally, stress is linked to a number of illnesses, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and an increased risk for cancer.

Read more: Beat Stress and Weigh Less

Experts caution that controversial findings aren't a license to ramp up your consumption of saturated fat.

Somewhere, Julia Child is smiling. A new review published in Annals of Internal Medicine has given ammunition to those, like the famous French chef, fond of cooking with butter and other sources of saturated fat. The meta-analysis looked at 27 prior clinical trials and 49 observational studies, totaling more than 600,000 participants. It concluded that "current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats."

The report led even Mark Bittman, the ordinarily health-conscious food writer for the New York Times, to comment, "Butter is back, and when you're looking for a few chunks of pork for a stew, you can resume searching for the best pieces—the ones with the most fat."


Apparently people like Erin Simmons, who hate CrossFit didn't read my article on how CrossFit saved my health, nor have they considered the broader implications of how this fitness program may be helping tens of thousands (and maybe more) of people get healthy and happy.

Erin is just one among many who have made headway bashing CrossFit as being a sport that causes too many injuries, is overwhelmed by poor coaching or thoughtless programming, and, oh yes, for being a cult. And though there is some validity to some of what I have read, and I am happy to stand corrected on any point, it seems to me that these opinions are personal, ego-based vendettas written by people who feel the need to shout out warnings on subjects that are not completely substantiated by research or fact.

Read more: CrossFit Bashers, Can You Be More Constructive?

Exercising for Chronic Health Issues

For many people these days, exercise is first and foremost a preventative habit: we don't want to develop heart disease or diabetes, we want to maintain mobility and joint health, so we dedicate ourselves to a fitness regimen and healthy diet.

Those people who are exercising in an effort to restore health, rather than maintain it, have often been diagnosed with one of the 'unholy trinity' of lifestyle diseases – that is, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. However, there is a huge variety of chronic health conditions that can be alleviated or cured by regular physical activity, and some of them can be quite counter-intuitive.

Read more: Exercising for Chronic Health Issues

The Importance of Setting Realistic Fitness Goals

So you've finally decided to get off the couch and drag your out-of-shape body into a local gym. That's a great first step, and undoubtedly the hardest part of many journeys is the beginning and actually getting it started.

There is a danger involved in the gung-ho attitudes of many virgin fitness buffs or those newly awakened from a bout of fitness hibernation though, and that is that their goals are often too lofty and they expect to achieve them too soon.

It's not a surprise really; people are usually bursting at the seams with motivation when they make that decision to engage in fitness, and that is often fuelled by a very specific desire or because they've finally reached the breaking point and said "enough is enough".

While in general it's probably preferable to be overly ambitious rather than the alternative, having unrealistic goals and expectations in fitness is often extremely detrimental. When people don't immediately reach their goals or see the changes they expected, they inevitably get discouraged, and that can lead to them giving up on fitness.

Avoiding the fitness shortcut

Read more: The Importance of Setting Realistic Fitness Goals

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