Nature’s way: Sensible fitness and nutrition

Modern lifestyle not conducive to staying physically fit


 Traditional physical culturist and certified personal trainer Bob Horzepa blends physical fitness, nutrition and self-defense training to help his students achieve their goals. Traditional physical culturist and certified personal trainer Bob Horzepa blends physical fitness, nutrition and self-defense training to help his students achieve their goals. We all want to look good and feel great, no matter who we are, and whatever our age.

To accomplish our goals, we join health clubs, go on diets, consume “miracle” weight-loss supplements, consider performance enhancing drugs, purchase 90- day DVD workouts, and even resort to surgery.

In the end, the results are usually less than expected, and we experience disappointment and a loss of motivation.

This can be avoided by viewing your fitness and nutrition needs from nature’s perspective and not the perspectives of Madison Avenue and the national media.

Although we often don’t care to admit it, we are all simply mammals, genetically programmed by nature.

Human beings began as hunter/gatherers, progressed into agriculture, then on to the Industrial Revolution, and to the hightechnology age in which we now live.

These changes have taken place over a very short period of time from an evolutionary standpoint, and genetically, we remain the same hunter/gatherers that we started out as a few million years ago.

Man no longer hunts mastodons and giant elk, and women no longer dig roots and gather berries, but our genes keep signaling us to do so, and our bodies are equipped to meet those challenges on a daily basis.

The problem is that “labor-saving devices” have made it unnecessary for us to challenge our bodies daily. Many of us can now feed and protect our families with little or no physical effort.

Consider our penchant for fast foods and microwaves, riding lawn mowers, or even worse yet, lawn services. We now use washers and dryers, vs. beating our laundry on rocks down by the river.

All of these modern conveniences are diametrically opposed to our genetic programming and physical needs.

Nature designed us to be physically active during each and every day of our lives. Our bodies are capable of doing just that, but we have been sold a bill of goods to travel down the path of minimal resistance and maximum conspicuous consumption. After 72 hours of inactivity, our muscles begin to break down. That means that a spring-season effort to get fit does us little good unless expanded to a sensible yearround fitness and nutrition program.

It has been proven that humans can build muscle through progressive weight training well into their 80s. Flexibility, balance and speed can also be developed and maintained through sensible exercise and nutrition.

Karl Wallenda, the patriarch of the famous Flying Wallendas, was walking tight ropes between skyscrapers at age 70. Fitness guru Jack LaLanne lived to be 96 and remained physically active until the end.

As humans, our brains are our own biggest obstacle to being fit. We create artificial barriers and then attempt to live within those confines.

Don’t be fooled — exercise is good, and a necessary component of a quality life.

Perspiration is not something to be avoided, or something by which to be embarrassed. It is nature’s way of air conditioning our bodies and ridding us of toxins. It is the “nectar of the gods,” and we should strive to produce it on a regular basis. Bob Horzepa is a traditional physical culturist and certified personal trainer. He is the owner of Horzepa Farms, a nationally recognized equestrian facility in Millstone Township.