The year 2013 is almost done, and before we look forward to 2014 it's a good time for a quick look backwards. Richard Wilkins will do the movies, Molly will do the music and Laurie Oakes will canvas Canberra.
How does one review the year in health and fitness? Let's give it a whirl. As we toast Christmas and get ready to light the fireworks, here are some of the things I'll take away from 2013.
I don't like the Lingerie (aka "Legends") Football League
Let's take a group of fit, strong women that are damn good athletes and create a women's gridiron league. Sure, why not? But before they take the field, they have to get semi-naked before the cameras roll for one of the big three networks.
What a shame.
Despite being a guy who loves both women and gridiron, I do not like this sport. There, I said it. I'll admit I enjoy scantily clad women, and I know a few websites where they can be viewed by consenting adults in privacy. I just don't think our playing fields need them. LFL should not be viewed by our children. If you want to cheer for female athletes, there are plenty of other appropriately-clad sports that need all the support you can give.
CrossFit - do it properly or not at all
I love CrossFit, and it continues to grow around the globe. The intensity, camaraderie and simple yet varied workouts – it's superb. It's changing fitness and the way we exercise more than many understand. Thousands of gyms are sprouting and loyal followers that pledge to the CrossFit gods commit to a healthier way of life.
The problem is when a less-than-properly-trained personal trainer at a random gym prescribes the same WOD (Crossfit jargon for 'workout of the day') for every client he/she sees for that day. My motto is “everybody and every body is different” … and a regime that's perfect for one person may be dangerous for another.
If you're tackling CrossFit WODs, seek out a quality CrossFit trainer and know your limits. Or you'll soon be getting to know your doctor well.
Functional fitness is simple but so important
Throughout 2013, I hear more and more folks understanding the benefits of being functionally fit. Let's be honest – neither I nor you are going to be on the next cover of a magazine, so Hollywood body ideals are slowly taking a back seat in goal setting. Isolation training is becoming a thing of the past for the masses when functional fitness teaches all your muscles to work together. People just don't want to look better; they want to feel better as the ageing process occurs, and that comes via functional training.
Squats and push-ups. Building strength and engaging your core; moving your body with correct posture for proper breathing. Functional fitness is so simple, and it's all so important for a healthy life.
Pills, powders, potions and promises. Yawn
Snake oil salesmen still lurk in the industry. Every other week I get a call from someone telling me Fairfax's readers would benefit from some drug that's legal in Russia that can cure some types of cancer (that was last week).
I chuckle and put down the phone. Then my Facebook page is littered with Dr Oz, and Magda Szubanski's weight loss cure called 'garcinia cambogia'. Yawn. Then I go shopping for necessities and find rapid, magical weight loss pills still filling supermarkets and chemists. Yawn again.
The potion names and Dial 1800 numbers might change in 2014. The exotic weight loss fruits in pills will come from even-farther-flung jungles. But the powders and bullshit promises will continue to litter the industry in 2014 and beyond.
Raw, real and Paleo are here to stay
'Real' food with less sugar is in demand. Folks are rightfully looking at how their protein is being farmed and delivered. 'Paleo' is as popular as ever, and the trend will continue in 2014. That doesn't mean I want to go out to Friday night dinner with these folks…but the 'real food, fewer chemicals' message is something we can all take on board.
Revolution, not resolution
How many people made a 2013 resolution to exercise more and lose weight? And how many failed on that promise by January 10?
In 2014, do something different. Obesity stats already tell us resolution-based diets don't work. Make 2014 your year for a health and fitness revolution. Find a real plan that works for you and your body, then make it happen.
Have a safe, healthy, and happy festive season. See you for a run and read next year.
Regarding health and fitness, what will you do differently in 2014?
Over the holidays, I'll be doing some Sydney hikes north and south of the bridge. Get in touch if you'd like to meet and chat about health and fitness while burning a few calories. The cost? Show a receipt for a $5 donation to Variety – The Children's Charity, and the hike is free.
Michael Jarosky is a (former) chubby strategy consultant from the US. He now works as a personal trainer in Sydney CBD.