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Athletes And Models Shouldn’t Be Your Benchmark for Health

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Fitness model showing off her shoulder and back muscles

Photo: Jacob Lund (Shutterstock)

Most of us ordinary folks know what will make us healthier: a little strength training, eating vegetables, maybe losing some fat, doing some cardio sometimes. But it doesn’t follow that somebody who does these things to an extreme is healthy. Even if they look good as a result.

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This goes for influencers who show off their bodies on social media, but it also applies to athletes. Even good, successful ones. Olympic medals don’t go to whoever leads the healthiest life while being pretty good at sports, they go to whoever lifts the most weight or runs the fastest or puts the ball in the thing the most times.

Pro bodybuilder Chris Bumstead recently agreed with this in an interview, noting the injuries that hockey players sustain, and then added the following about his own sport:

You’re training so hard, putting so much stress on your joints, bringing your body fat down to unhealthy levels for competitions multiple times a year. It’s kind of what makes it impressive that we’re doing it, makes people interested to watch it and makes us elite athletes…no, it’s not healthy. We’re pushing ourselves to limits.

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Bodybuilders not only lift heavy, they also diet so hard that they have to worry about their hormone levels and their metabolism. They lose strength in the final stages of sculpting that physique that looks so strong on stage. Then, they often dehydrate themselves as a finishing touch, before doing their shows and maybe a few photo shoots and then reversing the process. Steroid use is common; so are mental health issues relating to food and body image.

And while both male and female pro bodybuilders take all of this to an extreme, the same strategies are often responsible for the jacked, ripped, or “toned” bodies you see on social media. Or in movies—we see a lot of actors being applauded for rapid body transformations, but it’s not like acting is a drug-tested sport.

Bottom line, just because somebody has a lot of muscle, very little body fat, or both, doesn’t mean they’re healthy. It also doesn’t mean that buying their workout plan or their supplements will get you their body. Besides the techniques mentioned above, there’s also photoshop and surgery. Butt implants are a thing, and it’s very likely that at least a few of the influencers selling “booty workout” plans have had them.

The conflict between health and performance goes beyond aesthetics. The people at the top level in any sport have often sacrificed everything else in life to be good at the specific thing that earns points. It’s not unusual for the pursuit of greatness (or YouTube glory) to ultimately result in eating disorders, or complications from the side effects of performance-enhancing drugs, or injuries.

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Who do you really think is going to be healthier at age 50, a retired NFL athlete with countless past injuries and concussions, or a guy who played football in high school and then moved on to other things? A model who has abs and ridiculously low body fat—for the moment, anyway—or a woman who’s 20 pounds heavier but eats normally and hits the gym a few times a week? For that matter, who’s likely to be mentally healthier: an Olympic athlete whose life revolves around training and whose career depends on how they do in a few high stakes competitions, or a recreational athlete who can take rest days whenever they want?

If you are an athlete or model, or if you aspire to be one, you may decide to make some of these tradeoffs. Even at the recreational level, I know a lot of us do things for our sport that maybe aren’t great choices for our overall health. But let’s not conflate success in a sport or likes on Instagram with keeping your body in good working order.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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