For most of us, choosing to be fit is more of a test of will than a one-time decision. Being “fit” covers a lot more than just embarking on a new exercise or diet program. For me, the choice came about 15 years ago. I was about 24 years old when my friends convinced me to start going to the gym as a group. At the time, I knew I didn’t really like the way I looked, so I thought it would be a good idea. How difficult is it? Well, it didn’t take long before I knew the answer to this question. And to tell you the truth, at the time my training wasn’t that hard. But getting up at 5 a.m. to get to the gym by 5:30 was definitely, too, since we were 4 and only 1 really knew what he was doing, the workouts were pretty long. Too long when mixing speech in a water cooler, which often took some practice.
So, after trying this approach for 3 weeks I’m still not excited health and fitness, haven’t looked forward to working out and have been on the verge of quitting. Fortunately for me, two men on the set hit me, leaving only myself and the only person who knew anything about working properly at the time. It has changed everything.
With only two people now we are more focused and I got really good training on the basics. After a month of 1-1, we started upping the intensity of our workouts and mixing in some really fun session classes. Somewhere over the next month, I saw a change. Not only in my appearance, my outlook and attitude were all affected. At that point, I was hooked. I worked out regularly in the gym 5 times a week which included cardio, running and weights. I looked and felt so good that this would always be my way of life.
That was until about 5 years ago. In 2007, my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer and turned my life upside down. I quickly lost interest in many of my normal activities including fitness. For the next two years, I let myself go and didn’t care much about getting back into the swing of things. A major life-changing event would do that to someone, and I was no exception. My wife got really worried about my deteriorating fitness and started encouraging me to get back in. I tried but couldn’t stimulate at all. After a lot of searching and a keen look in the mirror, I was able to pull out the self-discipline I had before. It wasn’t easy, and it took a lot of planning and hard work. So, today, I want to share what helped me conquer my fitness demons. I hope this helps you.
The reason I give so much background on my personal fitness experience is to show that each of us will struggle in different ways in choosing a fitness. Lifetime fitness isn’t really a “one size fits all” approach. We all have different situations that start with our interest in getting in shape, motivating us and maintaining our lifestyle for the long term. However, I believe there are some common practices that we can all adopt to help us overcome obstacles at any of these stages and become a better, healthier and fitter person.
1. Getting Started – This might be the easiest of the three stages as it just requires us to decide to be fit, but actually not do anything. However, don’t underestimate the key factors to use to kickstart your fitness journey. The main things to remember here are:
Do this for you! Make sure that you don’t just give in to pressure from others. You must be willing to take this step and feel good that it is the right approach for you.
Start with the end in mind. Set goals and visualize what you want your body and health to reflect on the trip. Lose 25 pounds, get ripped, lower cholesterol, feel better, and keep up with the kids.
Choose the appropriate programme. The right fitness program for you is very important and will vary depending on your fitness starting point. Choosing one that’s too difficult, or doesn’t produce results fast enough, will quickly get you discouraged and risk your bail too quickly. Find a balance between fun exercises that challenge you enough to achieve early goals. Don’t discount the power of proven favorites like walking, jogging, and cycling to get you started. This can help your body begin a routine that will be the basis for future adoption. Just try to do the exercise at the same time each day so your internal clock knows what to expect. As you establish a rhythm, and reach some of the milestones you’ve set, it may be time to try new programs or increase the difficulty of your current routine. For a list of some great actions, just leave a comment asking.
Accept that your eating habits must change. Whether you like it or not, it’s part of the game. By not embracing the fact that workouts alone won’t cut it, you are bound to fail when results don’t come.