Rooney, wearing an alien mask and speaking in an "alien dialect" that sounded like Matthew McConaughey's Texas drawl, gave his talk from the perspective of an advanced being studying our planet.
It wasn't just a gimmick. By shifting our perspective to that of an outsider, we can make a more honest assessment of the facts, says Rooney, whose book Warrior Cardio will be released in April.
The aliens' conclusion, according to Rooney? "Humans are the only species that doesn't sleep or wake when they are supposed to, and eats what it knows is not good for them. The human species is currently physically lazy and mentally bored. Species outlook: Not promising."
One reason for our bulging waistlines is that "the hunt has become too easy," Rooney says. We don't even have to get out of our cars to inhale 1,500 calories or more.
This convenience is killing us. Eating only one meal away from home per week leads to an extra 2 pounds per year on average, U.S. Department of Agriculture research shows. However, that's a low estimate of the true impact of fast food, since Americans eat more than half of our meals outside of our homes. (Follow these 5 Lean Belly Restaurant Rules to dine out without pigging out.)
The real problem, though, is that we know what we need to do, we just don't do it -- a fact aliens would find baffling. "It's not a knowledge thing, it's a behavior thing," Rooney says. "We lack discipline and the ability to live with delayed gratification."
Of course, no healthy behavior is hated more on our planet than exercise. If aliens observed a typical gym, they'd probably be confused why so many people are running and biking in place. (Aren't those supposed to be transportation?) Another puzzle: Why these incredibly advanced exercise machines are in our homes being used as clothes hangers.
Humans think exercise is boring, and yet we're the ones who have made it this way. "Exercise doesn't have to be the mindless 40 minutes on a bike or treadmill, but that's what most people have been told," Rooney says. (For fast and fun cardio, strength, and fat-loss plans, check out The Men's Health Big Book of 15-Minute Workouts and The Women's Health Big Book of 15-Minute Workouts.)
We've also set unreasonable standards -- pencil-thin fashion models, broad-shouldered and burly action figures -- so we give up before we even start. Humans are intelligent enough to build advanced machinery, but we don't have the logic to realize these flaws in our thinking.
Most disheartening, the aliens would find, is the state of our young. More than one third of children and adolescents in the U.S. are overweight or obese -- and the rate has more than tripled in the past 30 years.
But it doesn’t take an advanced race to help us out of these problems. We know how to do it -- we just need to make it a priority, Rooney urges. "When you're busy, the first things to go are sleep, diet and exercise. You don’t give up the Internet or your cell phone."
His advice: Set a sleep schedule and stick to it. Cook healthy meals for the entire week so you have something to grab in a pinch. Find a goal to work toward with your fitness and tell everyone about it so you can't slack. (Here's one for you: Follow our Ultimate Boot Camp Workout for 30 days. You’ll work ALL of your muscles, burn fat, and reveal your six-pack in time for summer.)
"People make excuses that working out and eating well are too hard. I disagree," Rooney says. "Three to four hours of working out a week and simply putting the right food in the hole under your nose is all it takes."
The future of our species depends on it -- and that's not science fiction.
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