The Top Story on Your Wellness

Fads in Fitness

We all understand that fads come and go, but some are just too funny to not review here, if for no others reason than to help us not make that mistake again.

For example, the best equipment to exercise your muscles is the one you will consistently use, and not the latest – “Thighmaster”. It is no joke, that equipment was a fad that will never go away and was…still is, a master marketing success. Of course the thigh is not the only trouble spot for fitness, just consider the “Shake-weight”, the “Bow-flex” and “Ab Roller” to name just a few.

Another example in this funny fitness phenomena is our attraction to the  “fitness Guru“. You know, like Jane Fonda, Suzanne Somers, Ty Bo, Richard Simmons and “Body-by-Jake“. I know these are all names from the past, but even today, you can find an even longer list of today’s fitness gurus. Just google the term FITNESS. The point I am trying to make is fitness is a personal journey. And you can follow, use, and create your own system, as long as it works for you. That is what I meant when I said “the best system or equipment, or instructor is the one that you will consistently use“. The primary goal of every fitness, or wellness plan must be to assist people who desire to achieve a level of improved health. That level not only depends on where you start, but also on where you want to end.

A Final Fitness Thought

Don’t join any program, gym, diet plan, etc, because of anybody else. This is an entirely personal development journey. It does not matter whether you are part of an employee wellness program, or neighborhood community wellness group. Do it for yourself! It is important to learn how to be open to new thinking, or new products, so you learn from others who know more than you about the journey. But, beware of the marketing hype and learn how to find high value – opportunities for development.

Even so called non-profit organizations, such as the YMCA, are selling services. Sales and profit, does not automatically make the product bad, useless, a scam or something that will not work. Even the thighmaster works, if you need to exercise that region of your body. I just think there are better values on the market.

Do you Play “Follow the Leader” in Your Wellness Program?

Of course every kid knows the game “follow the leader” but when is enough… enough in your wellness plan?

Yes, follow the leader is a children’s game, but for some reason, many people get caught up on following others their entire life. The game goes like this, first a leader is chose to be the “head of the line“, then the rest all line up behind that leader. The leader then moves around and all the others have to mimic the leader’s actions. Any player who fails to follow, or do, what the leader does, are out of the game.

Kids love to play games. Playing follow-the-leader games helps children understand how to listen and obey directions the first time given. It’s a fun way to connect with your children while teaching them a valuable lesson. Follow-the-leader games will help sharpen your child’s ability to hear your voice, listen to your instructions and obey your requests. There are a few follow the leader games that are both fun and purposeful.” -Joey Papa.

All too often in the health & wellness field I see people simply following others without thinking about where the leader is taking them, and whether that is actually where they want to go. So why do most followers like this game? Because it is simple and they like to fit in with the rest of their friends. I believe we “all stay in the game because nobody wants to be a quitter.” Every day we are faced with making a choice of which leader we will follow. We must be sure to choose a leader that will lead us in the right direction.

Why do we follow Leaders?

Some believe we are programmed to follow others who we perceive as bigger, faster, stronger, smarter, etc. We have evolved as social beings who have learned that interdependence in society is good. The programming is a process of biological evolution. As humans, we all have the same chemical system operating within our bodies that work to get us to do things that are in our interest to survive.

Here are the Top 4 Bio-chemicals impacting our behavior:

Endorphin – the feel good chemical released from physical effort
Dopamine – the addictive feel good chemical released in response to other drugs, or achievement activities
Serotonin – the leadership chemical from pride, recognition, etc.
Oxytocin – the social bonding chemical

Like I said, these are believed to be the top 4 bio-available chemicals found within our bodies that impact our behavior, and even our state of well-being, but they are for sure, not the only chemicals you should learn more about that are found within your “internal pharmacy”.

The first two are solely dependent on our own actions. While the other two require the possible interactions with other people to help us utilize them.

These chemicals have evolved for our use during man’s experience during primitive times. A central theme relating all of them is our natural fight or flight response to fear. Even today, we feel we live in a world of danger. We all seek to feel safe. Leaders help us feel safe in our world, business, home and or community. Understanding the “follow the leader” response is a good lesson to learn. The key is to determine, if that leader can be trusted to deliver the safety you seek in your life.

Here is a good example of following the leader. Great teams don’t want to win for the trophy, they want to win for the coach, the captain, team, school and or country. Serotonin is at work within the whole team’s system. However, serotonin is a tricky chemical in western culture.

As Simon Senek says, “The problem is, you can trick serotonin. We live in a materialistic society,so we often judge status in our country, based on how much money you make. So displays of wealth, raises your status.

This can become a problem when no real relationship is created such as a “money centered” process which gets out-of-balance. If you game your internal pharmacy system, you keep trying to get more and more, without any real positive feelings. This can push us to excesses causing us to live in “a never good enough set of feelings” about ourselves and others around us.

Why is Serotonin called the Leadership Chemical?

Because we have used status as a determining factor in much of our hierarchy society. Therefore we are always judging who is the alpha (the guru) in the group and we voluntarily step back and allow the guru to go first. Before you jump up and volunteer for this job, understand this “guru status” comes at a cost. And that cost is… the group expects the guru (leader or alpha) to protect the rest of group. (To keep us safe.) This is the cost of leadership in all circumstances. Leadership is not about doing less work, it is all about doing more work and putting yourself at risk to help others.

Trust is Earned – The key test of our willingness to follow the leader. If we believe the leader would not sacrifice themselves for us, we don’t trust them.

The best chemical of them all…Oxytocin.

It is the chemical of love, trust, friendship and all forms of social bonding. It creates the most intense feeling of safety. It helps us connect and can be created by simple physical contact (hugging, shaking hands, sexual relations & childbirth) even small “acts of generosity” such as giving up your time to others. Not money! Time is more valuable because it is limited, non-refundable and requires a personal connection. Learn how to tap into this powerful internal pharmacy chemical and your life will be more enjoyable, healthier and longer.

The bottom line

Understanding the human condition, systems, nature and how our internal chemistry works to our advantage and disadvantage, helps me be a better leader, coach, educator and to some their guru. Because I must often do this from a distance, it is sometime challenging to build our relationship. For example, if we cannot touch, shake, hug, how can we feel more connected? By using messages, voice (calls, phone & podcasts), the posting of pictures, and recorded videos and webinars I hope to improve our connection.

This is why I am always reaching out to you. My leadership why is to share what I know, and believe so you can benefit from our relationship. I am fully aware, that I must earn that trust from you, but offering more value to you, than the price I ask you to pay. That sacrifice creates the value exchange you deserve and is all I want and need at this point in my life. I am blessed and truly rewarded most, when I am followed because my community believes I am a worthy leader of their wellness & health journey.

How can I help you? I truly want to know. Comment below.

Source and Inspiration

The 19 Funniest Fitness Fads…”-Joe Donatelli,

Follow the Leader Children’s Games” -Joey Papa.

21 Life Lessons Kids Learn Through Youth Sports” -Coach Mac.

Simon Sinek: Why Leaders Eat Last” -Simon Sinek at 99u.

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This article is was originally published on and is intended for information, education and motivational purposes only.

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