A Simplified Approach to Achieving Your Fitness Goals
Here we are, 2013, a brand new year. A time when we reflect on the past year and think about what we want for the year ahead. Some of you may set New Year’s resolutions while others might have given up on that a long time ago. Perhaps you are one of those people that every January vow to join a fitness class, start exercising and eating healthy, but fall off the wagon before the snow has melted. So why did you fail? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Or just beaten yourself up and eventually accepted the failure? Some may say: “I’m too busy” or “It was too hard” or “I don’t know what to do”. Sorry to say but those are actually excuses, not reasons.
The reason you may have failed is because you tried to change too much at once and got overwhelmed. Let’s face it, every day we see articles that say ‘do this, do that, eat this, eat that, drink this, swallow this pill and you’ll lose 10 pounds in 5 minutes”. It’s no wonder people get confused! Bottom line, there is no magic pill, powder or potion. The human body is meant to move so to stay healthy you need to exercise and eat healthy, clean food. And the only way to get there is to hold yourself accountable and this year try a different approach; instead, try changing your current bad habits to good behaviours one step at a time.
To get started first ask yourself if you are ready for change. If you aren’t sure, then you’re not ready. If however you are motivated, determined and ready for change then start by exercising 3 to 4 days each week and leave your eating habits just the way they are. Just put all of your focus in your goals to exercise 3 to 4 days each week. Block out time in your calendar, get a workout buddy, hire a personal trainer, whatever it takes. Be sure to include cardiovascular exercises like jogging, biking or aerobics and strength training exercises like lifting weights. For maximum calorie burn trying combining the two with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Be sure to take some time to stretch after each workout as well! After a month of successfully exercising 3 to 4 days per week continue with that and now begin to make some changes to your food intake. Again, change one thing at a time.
Don’t drink enough water? Focus on drinking 6-8 cups per day. Once you’ve done that successfully for a couple of weeks stick with that and try changing something else such as eating protein with each meal, then two weeks later eat some veggies with each meal and so on. By slowly replacing bad habits with good ones you’ll be easily reaching and achieving those small goals and be well on your way to living a long-term healthy lifestyle!
This step by step approach to making changes is definitely achievable! And don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends, family or even a certified fitness professional.
Happy New Year everyone!