Your habits are with you for a lifetime. The good and the bad. Making changes and developing new behaviours takes time. If you love wine and are told you can NEVER have wine again, you will probably hit the bottle hard out of resentment. If you have never exercised and you try to exercise 6 days a week for 60 minutes a day, you are going to give it up. The good news is that small, easy changes over time can make a HUGE difference in your health, your fitness and your body. They say it takes 21 days to break a bad habit. So, combine breaking a bad habit with starting a good one, one day at a time.
In January, people tend to hit the gym…Hard. Motivation is high at this point as is optimism. Unfortunately, the programs and plans that people take on are usually not sustainable. Soreness, lack of progress, injury and loss of motivation lead to missed workouts and then abandonment of the effort all together. Bad training refers to the people who are motivated and excited, (with all the best of good intentions), to “REALLY change this year”, and they are determined to do it with the latest gimmick, potion, lotion or trick.
The good news; the basics work. ALWAYS. All you need to do is to challenge your body in ways that it isn’t used to so that it adapts by getting stronger and fitter.
February is here. Where are you with your goals and resolutions? Establishing a fitness routine doesn’t have to be complicated. Easy steps to get you into a routine. Add exercise to your daily “to-do” list. Schedule it in. Make it a priority. Your health is a priority and I think we all seem to forget that.
You don’t need an expensive membership that you won’t use either to do it! A pair of hand weights is enough. I put together a 6-minute bedroom boot camp that everyone can do before bed or once they wake up.
If you have a membership at a gym, use it, make gym dates with your friends. Try new classes. Don’t just get on the treadmill. Speaking of which, if you have one collecting dust; use it! You can combine treadmill training and an at home routine with a few weights to create a fantastic workout!!
Set up Support. When you decide to begin your weight loss plan, health and fitness improvement or changing how you look and feel, you could get discouraged doing it alone. Find support in what you are doing. Share your plan with a TRUSTED person. Someone who will support you through it all, hold you accountable to your plan and pick you up when you get discouraged. AVOID negative people or people who will try to bring you down or talk you out of it. Chances are those people are intimidated by the prospect of you succeeding.
Turn off the TV. Spend your TV time moving, exercising, making healthy meals for the next day. If you have a fav show, make that a reward for working towards your fitness goals.
Keep a Journal. This is one of the first things I tell my clients to do; write it down! It’s one of the most overlooked but simple tips in shedding fat. People who record what they eat, meal by meal, day by day, not only make better choices, but cheat less and eat fewer total calories. Writing it down “keeps you honest”. Its a tool for reminding you that attaining goals is a day by day process. TIP Write your health and fitness goal at the top of each journal page. Track your workouts, make notes of how you are doing/feeling and improve on that the next workout. Set up mini challenges.
You need to be active everyday. I know it’s tough. As a working mom of 3, I know first hand it is hard to schedule time in, but you have to. We need to be healthy for our own well being and for that of our families. I have seen far too many people in pain and agony because of their weight. This is something that you have control over. You make the ultimate decision if you want to be fit. You are a role model for your family. Walk the walk (literally).
Some will look at hiring a personal trainer. An educated and certified fitness professional will help you reach your specific goals. Finding a good trainer is relatively easy. Get feedback and referrals from people you know. Referrals speak for themselves. If a trainer is good at what they do for their clients, the clients will talk about it. Just like a good hairdresser…I am sure everyone has a story or two about a bad hairdresser experience. You need to be comfortable with your trainer, able to talk and ask questions. If you feel awkward, shy or intimidated, then that’s not the trainer for you. Ask for a trial session before you commit to any big package of personal training.
February is Heart Month and I would feel remiss if I didn’t give you some eye opening facts:
- Heart Disease is the #1 cause of death in Canada
- Every 7 minutes someone in Canada dies from heart disease or stroke
- Carrying extra weight on your body stresses your heart
- People who are sedentary are almost twice as likely to suffer heart attacks as opposed to those people who exercise