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Put down that pizza and poutine and peruse

Richard Tardif bings his skill as a fitness guru and a journalist to the pages of a new self-published book. (Daniel J. Rowe, The Eastern Door)


You’re watching your steps. You’re not eating bread because the staple food since the beginning of time is bad for you. You’re not drinking milk, soda, coffee, tea, slupries or milkshakes, and you’ve attached a vibrating band around your waist because you, you fitness hero, are going to lose that inner tube and be on track to running the next Ironman competition within the year.

Insert sound of record scratching, brakes screeching and a tire blowing.

Well, my friend, as former Eastern Door reporter and fitness trainer Richard Tardif would say, “stop the denial.”

Wait a second. He wrote it.

Stop the Denial; A case for Embracing the Truth About Fitness (Smiling Eye Press, $16.28) is Tardif’s newly self-published book all about fitness, myth, diet, nutrition, and the cons, paradoxes, mysteries and straight up lies of the industry that has a million plus people with watches that are more about counting steps and tracking blood pressure than telling time.

Do watches even function as calculators anymore?

Tardif takes dead aim at every myth perpetuated by shameless and careless promoters of fads in the fitness industry and carefully, but succinctly breaks down arguments more bent on quick fixes or making a buck than truly improving one’s heath.

“It took a presidential election to highlight fake news, but the Fitness Industry sets the gold standard when it comes to the King of fake news,” Tardif writes.

There are so many fads in fitness, and so much money to be made by those earnestly and honestly seeking to shift their lives to a more healthy one, and Tardif is adept at showing how these trends often don’t work, and, at worse, can cause real harm to a person.

Readers of The Eastern Door will know Tardif’s flair for fitness writing from his Man in a Gym column, and his quality reporting in Kahnawake up to 2012 when he left the publication.

Pairing his passion for quality reporting with his embrace of healthy living and fitness results in a book that is both a quality read and useful.

Consider this simple tip of the day from the industry: standing at work will make you more healthy right?

Perfect. Out to buy a standing desk I go.

“Just standing up every 20 minutes may not be enough,” Tardif writes. “You’re doing the same thing at your desk, now you’re just standing while you do it. A solid body of evidence suggests it can take 60-75 minutes or moderate intensity physical activity per day to eliminate the increased risk of death associated with prolonged sitting, or 420-525 minutes a week. Most of us don’t come close to those minutes.”

The book, much like Tardif’s column, works in this simple way: take a theory, break it down and come up with a solution.

It’s actually very good reading even if at times there is some pulling of the collar moments of guilt knowing you the reader are guilty of espousing some of the myths Tardif is disproving.

Mental note: cancel order of standing desk.

The book can be read in spats and starts or at length, as the sections are short and each come with helpful tips or anecdotes.

This is what makes it an enjoyable read.

Read a couple of pages, put it down, go for a walk or run, and eat a proper meal. Simple right?

The health and fitness industry has a lot to answer for. It dupes people who just want their aches, pains, bellies, double chins, sagging (insert body part you obsess about), thighs or kankles to go away, and the ones who are making money off these honest folk care far less about your life than they do about telling you how to live it.

Put down that magazine at the grocery store with the latest diet tip on the cover, go to amazon, and order Tardif’s book.

The Kindle version is just $3.74, and it could help you on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks… oh shut up!” wrote Tardif in 2015. “Get out of my way.”

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