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Ask the Trainer: Do Skinny People Need Workouts?

By Billy Locke
Published: Friday, March 27, 2009, at 04:01PM
19/365...Workouts do a body good [Flickr]

There are 86 days and counting till summer. This is a friendly reminder for you to get it in gear and shape up before it is officially here. If you are already hot and in shape, then set a new goal for June 21. Run a faster mile than you could before. Lift heavier weights for more reps. Bike your usual course faster. Sprint to the top of a steep hill without stopping. Add additional laps during your pool workouts. Whatever it is, use this time to push yourself to do something that you would love to be able to accomplish but were reluctant to try.

This leads me to today’s Ask the Trainer question from Jodi, who asked me point blank, “Why do I have to work out if I am skinny?” Good question Jodi. If only looks were the answer...

I think the Earl of Derby summed it up the best when he said, “Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.” Let’s discuss a few of the reasons why.

Exercise has been talked about for ages. Marcus Cicero was recorded around 65 BC as saying, “It is exercise alone that supports the spirits and keeps the mind in vigor.” Jack LaLanne was credited with opening the first health club in the United States in 1936. Dr. Kenneth Cooper and Col. Pauline Potts coined the term aerobic exercise in the 1960’s. We have known of the benefits of exercise for a long time.

Regular exercise is essential to everyone because of its many and varied benefits to the body, as listed below:

  • Improves mental performance - memory, mental alertness, problem-solving skills and attention span
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Helps prevent diseases like heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity
  • Strengthens muscles and connective tissue like ligaments and joints
  • Combats depression
  • Improves sleep
  • Increases energy levels
  • Aids in weight loss

My response to Jodi and everyone reading this blog is that no one is exempt from exercise, skinny or not. Skinny people can suffer from what I like to call Skinny Fat Syndrome. A situation, which is characterized by a person who is deceptively slender to the observer but in fact has an unhealthy ratio of fat to muscle. Additionally, a skinny person can be saddled with a number of debilitating health conditions including high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, ulcers, etc.

This means that whatever fitness level you find yourself at, you should set a goal to improve from this point. The human mind when directed toward a goal is unstoppable. Unfocused, it generally results in chaos or unsatisfactory outcomes. Establishing fitness goals, whether you are in shape or not and skinny or not is critically important. Besides, it is much more exciting to pursue a goal and achieve it than to have no goal and meander aimlessly. Achieving a goal in and of itself is a huge reward that builds character and motivates you toward taking the next big step in your life.

Hey, life is a one-act show folks. Either you do it now and commit to a goal this second or you continue to prolong the dissatisfaction with life that you are feeling as a result of not living up to your mental and physical potential.

Downtown Exercise Spots

I am looking for more Downtown exercise spots to post. If anyone would like me to give their exercise studio a shout out, please write into askthetrainer@blogdowntown.com.

Check back next Friday as we answer another email from askthetrainer@blogdowntown.com and we continue to highlight more workout spots.

Til next time—Exercise More, Play Hard, Work Smart.

Billy Locke


Extreme Natural Fitness Trainer

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Ask the Trainer

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