Program Fitness into your Lifestyle
If you could bottle your self-discipline and put it on the market, what would it look like? Well, this is what you need to do to make your fitness a habit. If you want to make both a positive and permanent change in your healthy lifestyle, persistence will prevent you from turning back. But, so many are confused about what to do first.
Let’s look at a basic fact – as you get older, your metabolism slows down and you’ll generally slowly gain weight, about a pound per year or more. During this same time your metabolism will slow as well, but that’s another story. Thus, your slow weight gain is not immediately noticeable until one day you cannot quite squeeze into those tight jeans or your body no longer looks like it should in your new bikini. How did this happen? Not to me; it happens to everyone else! How wrong you are. It’s now time to put your combat gear on and get to work.
Steps to Better Fitness:
The first thing you need to do is change your eating habits, not to a drastic diet or anything, but to simply eat healthy without all the fried, fatty foods or sugar. Watch your portion size and, while you should not be a calorie counter, you need to at least know basically how many calories you need based on your activity and how many you’re eating each day. You cannot go back to eating foods that made you gain weight in the first place. Remember the basic rule of how many calories you need daily – multiply your body weight times 10 then, add 200 calories. This does not include a daily exercise routine so, if you want to weigh 125 pounds you would need 1,450 calories per day.
This step includes watching out for fad diets. Why? Fad diets do not change eating habits; they are short term and temporary. You must mentally and physically adjust your eating habits. You can find out all about this on this website under the nutrition section. First learn something about basic nutrition by reading this website, magazines, talking to others who are more knowledgeable, and forming a plan about how to proceed. Within that plan, cut out all sugar for the first two weeks. You’ll lose at least 10 pounds from this simple step, if not more. Why are we suggesting starting with your nutrition first? The answer is simple – if you do not change your eating habits, working out may not be able to help you lose the weight you want to lose without spending great amounts of time in the gym. And face it, most people have a difficult time just getting to the gym, let alone spending hours there to burn off fat they built up from eating a poor diet. Thus, address your nutrition first. Start eating healthy foods and on Sunday, before that busy work week, take the time to make foods for breakfast that are readily available for those days you know you will be on the go. After you get a handle on your nutrition, you’re ready for step 2.
This is a simple step – start on your fitness training. Do not think of looking like Mrs. or Mr. Universe initially. The first goal is just to begin. And, surprisingly there are only 3 small steps: (1) pick a time that works for you to exercise; (2) choose simple exercises at first that you know how to do – I suggest walking, jogging, biking, swimming – something that just gets you going; from as simple as a 1-2 mile walk around the park to 30 minutes on the treadmill; and (3) slowly increase your intensity, which means to slowly increase the amount of weight you are lifting or reduce the amount of time spent on the same distance ran, walked, or jogged.
The drawback here is that doing too much at first will generally increase soreness drastically since you may have been inactive for a while. I’ll tell you a short story. I had a friend who begged me to let him come work out with me and I continually invited him. He got news of an upcoming high-school reunion and it motivated him to finally showed up with his son. I wrote them a list of several exercises to do that they know how to perform. One of the exercises was a bench press. They both were told to specifically not lift heavy since they had not been to a gym for several years. However, they saw me benching 405 pounds and their immediate reaction was to complete. I scolded them lightly, but they didn’t listen. Long story short, about two-days later, they were both so sore they could hardly move as they had also competed in back squats. The moral of the story is you do not need to compete with anyone except yourself. The gym is always there when you’re ready to go thus, begin slowly and as you get into better shape you can pick up the pace without the number-one drawback to working out of becoming too sore. So many do this and don’t go back to the gym again. Be persistent and do not be one of those people. On to the next step.
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Just like with your nutrition, learn all you can. Set a goal for your fitness. For example, plan to jog 2 miles in 14 minutes, run a half marathon, maybe you want to bench press your body weight, compete in a CrossFit challenge, or enter a fitness and figure contest. There are so many goals you could set.
Once you set your goals, tell your friends, tell people at the gym, post it on your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media site. Why? Because if you do this, it will put pressure on you to perform and others will be counting on you. It will help you become more persistent. Before you realize it, the nutrition change, getting started in your fitness program and setting a goal will be rewarded with renewed drive and energy as you see the pounds begin to melt slowly away and you start to develop the kind of body you’ve been wanting.
Make the Changes Permanent
You must make these three steps a habit. Be relentless in your pursuit. You have taken your career, job, and life seriously. Now, it is time to take your fitness seriously. You should not think of it as a drag but, an adventure. Choose foods and exercises you enjoy. Get rid of the majority of sugars and carbohydrates and begin detoxing after years of poor nutrition. While diet is a huge part of the process it’s not about the diet, it’s about healthy eating. Try growing your own herbs and or small garden to get you more motivated and help you relieve stress. Pay attention to the calories you need and how many you take in, but do not be a calorie counter or scale watcher. What matters most is how you feel about yourself and the way you look. Also, listen to your body – it will tell you when you’re full so, stop; it will tell you when it’s so sore or fatigued that the exercise you’re doing is aggravating a joint or muscle so, stop that exercise and do something else. Just don’t be a dietary killjoy. When on the go and eating out, make sensible choices – no fat fried foods and no sugar drinks!
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Seize the day – make this your motto. Every second you have is precious and you must take control of them for, when they are gone you cannot get them back. This does not mean you need to let your calendar manage you, but that you are in control and you have set a specific time for important daily activities – your personal fitness should be one of them! Plan your meals ahead of time and plan your workouts. Get a program and follow it, just like a recipe. Try the workout programs from MyHealthandFitness – they will be geared specifically for you and they are scientifically based for results.
Seize your workout time. Research shows that early morning, lunch-time, or directly after work are some of the best times to exercise for most people. This does not mean they are best for you; only you can determine that so – do it! Find your best time and be persistent.
Mix up your workouts in the time you have chosen: walking, stairs, running, resistance, elliptical, and so forth. Once your workout is complete your body will have relieved some stress and you’ll feel rejuvenated. Enter some walk-a-thons for causes such as cancer, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or other cause. You’ll be fit enough to do them and you can meet new friends. Learn as much as you can and if all else fails initially, work with an instructor or a master. Someone who will give no quarter on what is expected, an example is our founder, a trainers trainer, who has been often called the ‘bastard’ of the campus – what is given and what is expected is high and there is no mercy, only doing it. The point is, every gym has trainers and they will be willing to help you get started, more importantly they can keep you motivated initially because those first couple of months are so important.
In summary: get your nutrition under control, begin your fitness program, set a goal for your fitness and tell others (a lot of them), make the changes permanent and seize the day regarding your time and persistence.