Even in large part of northern Europe, the summer season is here and mass media tabloids and their readers are thus prepared for another round of tons of exercise and nutritional shortcuts that will help people to get in decent shape as fast as possible. Tips that are related to exercise and weight loss are indeed present both online and offline throughout the whole year, but become sort of omnipresent in, let’s say, early May.
The training/diet programs – which of course can be of varying degrees of quality, but seldom completely worthless in terms of underlying logic and expedience – do often cover a number of consecutive weeks but rarely more than a month or two. Many of the arrangements promise a lot of benefits too, such as that one can eat quite a lot of tasty food and still lose body fat. And that training should always be fun, because otherwise people are bound to quit, sooner or later.
In general, the selling argument seems to be that one should change as little as possible of one’s current hedonistic and undemanding lifestyle, and/or just work hard for about 10-15 per cent of the whole year.
I will not dwell more on this, since most of us already know what the whole thing essentially is about. Instead I just want to give some brief fitness perspectives on the largely commercialized phenomenon that can be referred to as summer’s season shape.
Firstly, for us it is a little bit ‘easier’ in this respect, since we only have to do slight modifications in order to improve the shape of our bodies, such as a small increase in cardio level and/or a small decrease of the daily amount of calories, while still having the same overall exercise routine pattern and nutritional pattern.
Secondly, I think one good way to actually know whether you are in rather good shape or not, hence ready to hit the beach with a big self-indulgent smile (if that is the motivation behind the procedure), is to simply look at your own waistline – or navel – while sitting in an upright or slightly leaning forward position. Because in that position there are few lies that can go unnoticed. Thus, you don’t need to go through costly and complicated procedures, such as measure your percentage of body fat, or – which is the more simple option – your waistline with measuring tape. Just sit tight and upright and watch what you see below.
And once you have collected the proper evidence in order to answer the basic question, gaze in some other and more fruitful direction – at a present girl or the quality novel that you have brought with you (I generally do both, alternately). Or realize that eight disciplined weeks out of 52 are perhaps not enough.
Hugo, like a priest, always has his head bowed – bowed so low that he can see nothing except his own navel.
– Charles Baudelaire