Don Roberts, owner of Fitness Solutions 24/7 in Bodo Park and Durangoan of 34 years, has been a personal trainer since 1991. His 28 years of experience as a fitness instructor and weight loss consultant has resulted in a wealth of information on health and nutrition. Roberts distills all that knowledge into digestible bites that debunk myths in his new book “Wellness Toolbox.”
“I cover 80 topics – roughly half is fitness; the other half is nutrition – in 380 pages, but it’s an easy read because each subject is only a couple pages long,” Roberts said.
About two years ago, Roberts started jotting down chapters by hand in his office between meetings and personal training sessions. Part of the impetus to do so was the amount of misinformation that exists.
“There is so much crap and so much information that people get inundated,” Roberts said. “A lot of times people put all their eggs in one basket. They think one diet is the truth to all their problems, but the truth is there are a lot of things that work.”
Roberts said fads like low-carb diets don’t last long term. People may lose some weight initially, but it’s only a matter of time before they become cranky and find themselves with low libidos. He said carb cycling – consuming few carbs for part of the week then moderate to high amounts of carbs the other – is a more effective way of losing weight.
Other key takeaways include the benefits of resistance or functional training (exercises that support daily activities) opposed to long, boring cardiovascular workouts on the treadmill. Roberts offers simple exercises people can do from home that will increase metabolism for a longer period of time than cardio does. He dives into the benefits of fat and the dangers of sugars, which he said is the cause of most ills.
“We were designed to eat real food – not this Frankenfood,” Roberts said. “We treat our pets better than ourselves. We treat our cars better than ourselves.”
Roberts also discusses the value of sleep, which he said is more important than diet and exercise.
“We overlook sleep and it is so powerful. It helps to reset the clock so to speak,” Roberts said. “Think about how much older you look when you haven’t slept well. There have been studies that lack of sleep is just as bad (cognitively) as being drunk.”
The reason Roberts emphasizes sleep is because when humans are tired, it is nearly impossible to make a healthy diet choice or feel motivated to go to the gym at all. And a lack of sleep destroys metabolism among other harmful effects.
“Wellness Toolbox” also suggests grocery items, offers tips on food consumption and dispels other health myths such as “sunshine at all levels is harmful” or “supplements are not really beneficial.”
“I want people to realize it’s within their grasp to be healthy,” Roberts said. “People overcomplicate it. They keep looking for that magic pill when it is right in front of them.”