I read a great article in the CrossFit Journal the other day.  It talked about gun crime, statistics and and death rates in the USA.  Gun and gang related crime / deaths are heavily reported.  We see a similar trend in the UK, with knife crime on the rise in London.  The world is becoming a very scary place – the message is ‘Be Careful Out There’.  Children aren’t playing outside as much anymore.  One factor is that as parents, we aren’t letting them out as much.  Outside the front door or the garden is potentially dangerous!  These fears are fuelled by what we see and read in the media.  Gun crime, gang related activity and nasty people get the attention of the masses – they’re news worthy.  If it’s new worthy then it’s good for ratings!  But are we missing the point?  What are the real threats to our individual existence?


Boring but true, what’s killing us?

If you look at causes of death in any major city around the world, gun and gang related crime account for a very small percentage of deaths.  In fact they fall way outside of the top 10 killers!  Similarly, child killers aren’t featuring in the top 10 reasons for premature death in children.  Cardiovascular disease and cancer are by far the biggest killer of adults in the developed world – hands down.  Low birth weights, cancer, diseases of the nervous system and socio-economic status contribute way more to premature death in young people.  None of these get the proportional air time and column inches of the sensational stories.  Why?  Because, they’re boring.  We’ve heard it all before.  They’re not great for ratings – bottom line.

However,  the sad fact of the matter is that many of these causes of death are preventable through nutrition and physical activity.  Our health and longevity is very much in our own hands.  To ignore this as an individual, a community and a population is simply ludicrous.


Health and Fitness sensationalism

There is a very similar trend when it comes to fitness.  We can all be superstars via our social media profiles.  The problem is getting noticed, getting the attention of our friends.  Followers don’t want to see video’s of you sleeping, prepping food, and stretching.  They don’t even want to see you doing your squats and planks.  Why not?  Because it’s very dull.  The public want to see one fingered pull ups with a hungry lion dangling underneath your arse for good measure!  They want to see your boobs bulging out of your swimming costume as you perform 10 somersaults through a ring of fire into an infinity pool at the top of a skyscraper!  The fact is, super fit people do the basics right.  They sleep plenty, they recover fully, they eat well and they perform basic exercises consistently.  It is these habits that provide them with a foundation to do the impressive feats that we ogle on Instagram.

A tanned body comprised of rock hard abs and muscles etched from granite may look aesthetically pleasing.  However, it must be built around a healthy base of cardiovascular health, sound nutrition.  Similarly, what appears to be healthy on the outside my not be healthy on the inside.  Don’t miss the point when it comes to your health and fitness – take care of the must do’s, the things that genuinely make a difference.

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