When I was heading into college I was so excited to learn about how the body works, how your metabolism works, and how to exercise with proper form and prevent injuries. I was so determined to be the best trainer ever. So you mean, “I can meet with people, show them how to exercise and they will just follow and do what I say?” Boy was I totally wrong! What I didn’t learn right away was the psychology of health. I can have all the exercise science degrees in the , but if I didn’t learn how to transform the mind, I would never help one single person. Did you ever read a book or watch an infomercial on a new workout or diet plan and get all excited to finally get fit? You get all excited start real well for the first week (or even a month) but then trail off into your old habits. What are you doing wrong? How come you can’t stick to it? It’s absolutely because you let your mind take over and make the decision to stop. Your brain is what determines your actions from waking up in the morning to skipping the gym at the end of the day. When you are sitting in your car leaving work, you can either head to the gym (like you planned to) or you can head home. Does your car decide where you will go? Absolutely not! Your mind determines where the car will go. How do we change this? If you are excited to go to the gym, of course you will choose that. How do we get excited about it? First you have to enjoy the exercise program you do and second you have to love yourself enough to take care of your body. So next time you hop on the wagon to take that first fitness journey step, make sure you work on your mind. Surround yourself with like minded people, read lots of motivational books, and make sure your house reflects health from what is in your fridge to organization that will decrease stress levels.
Happy Hump Day!
I used to be a huge fan of little house on the prairie back in the day (ugh, I think I just aged myself!) If you have ever seen that show you realize how much physical labor was required back in the 1800s just to live. Let’s face it, unless you own a farm or build houses for a living, you need exercise! Our bodies are made to move, but with the advances in transportation and computer based jobs that cause us to sit for hours everyday they are not moving as much as required to keep us healthy. This is the reason fitness facilities exist, they didn’t need gyms back in those times because their lifestyle was very active. So if you are looking to increase your quality of life and keep your body in top shape for as long as possible, you must incorporate exercise somewhere somehow. Find something you enjoy and make this a daily habit to invest in your future self. Or you can sell your car, start a garden, or start hunting for your food instead 😉
We all have started something before just to realize it takes more effort than we are willing to put forth. You have to think back at those times and ask yourself…”Did I really want that goal? Do I wish today that I had kept going? Where would I be today if I didn’t give up?” I’m a firm believer in you are where you are because of what you do daily. If we wanted to earn a million dollars, most of us could not achieve that in a day, week, or even just one year. It would take a well thought out plan and consistent effort. This goes the same for fitness. Most people who start a fitness program quit within the first month. And this is before they even become consistent with it. Being in the fitness industry for over 20 years, I’ve seen the pattern over and over. Members will join a gym or program, sprinkle in 2-3 workouts per week for the first two weeks and trail off to 1x per week until they just don’t come eventually. This is the “average” pattern that I have noticed. This is the exact reason that I opened a private studio. I wanted to keep track of everyone that was coming and reach out to those who I notice are trailing off to reel them back in. It is too easy to sleep in or go home after work instead of to the gym. It’s easy to slip back into old “comfortable” habits. Why? Because it is “comfortable”. Can you be comfortable in a new fit lifestyle? Of course you can! But you have to be uncomfortable during the transition time for this to happen. This is why no one likes change. It is not fun to do and can be extremely uncomfortable. This is why challenges are so great. We can forsee a month, 6 weeks, or 90 days to keep us going during this time so we can reach the other end. Once you finally get a routine down, you will be comfortable again. Imagine getting to that point? How exciting will that be when you change to the new “normal”!
In our everyday lives we get so busy and stressed day to day that exercise, something that is supposed to help us destress, actually becomes a stressor. Ugh! How does that even work? Our bodies require to repair in order to get stronger and perform the tasks we are asked to do on a regular basis. If you are at the point where soreness just takes over and it becomes and everyday thing, you may be experiencing burnout. At the studio here I have now scheduled a recovery week into our program every 10 weeks. Only because no one will rest until I tell them to but the most important part of recovery is “active” rest. This is where you still move, but at a lower intensity than what you are used to. This is a great time to take a few yoga classes, get a massage, and re-evaluate what you are eating.
This time frame allows me to breathe and not stress about working hard in all of your workout sessions. Just enjoy the moment and move. It allows you to take a look at your diet and realize what you are missing as well as what food you are eating that is not benefiting you. When I detox, I take out all animal products, gluten, sugar, alcohol, and coffee. This allows my body to reset and I can get back to the basics of what I need to be healthy. So don’t forget about this important time frame. You deserve it!
So I got out for a run on Saturday and it was terrible. I had no endurance to keep going so I ended up doing sprints the second half so my time wasn’t terrible. What caused that? It could have been the fact I hadn’t run more than once a week the last few weeks. I have a race coming up in March so I have to get going with my running again. Even though I have still been exercising it is still important that I train for what I am doing. So whatever your goal is, make sure you are participating in “sport specific training”. Also, my diet was not as regimented on Saturday as it usually is so this has a direct effect (especially in endurance events). Exercise is a great excuse to eat healthy. If you want to get through your workout better, make sure you nutrition supports your activities. Don’t eat too much before your workouts and make sure you have some quick absorbing carbs prior (I like an orange or banana about 30-60 minutes before my workout).
Happy Monday! Have a great workout today.
What’s your reason for wanting to exercise and eat a healthy diet? In boot camp this past Friday I went around the class and ask each participant why they were there. Most were to look good, lose weight, or to feel better. All valid reasons but are they big enough to conquer your excuses and not quit? Some like the idea of feeling better and losing weight but never take that action to get there. Now those in my boot camp obviously were taking action towards their goal because they were there. CONTINUOUS action separates success and failure.
“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving, they may make mistakes but they don’t quit.” Conrad Hilton
When you set a goal, you may take that first step and things will go smoothly for a while until you hit that first bump. At that moment do you quit or do you pick yourself up and keep going? We all hit those roadblocks. If you really want to achieve your goals make it a promise to yourself that you won’t quit when the times get tough. KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
Winter is one of the most unmotivated seasons every year for so many reasons. Did you ever feel like you were in this funk and wonder what the heck can you do to push out? It happens so much during this time of year. The holidays kick if off with family in town, traveling, and indulgent foods that throw a wrench in your meal-planning. When you are not eating right, you will not be motivated to exercise so that gets out of control. Also, it gets cold and you don’t want to get out of bed. The flu is also going around! I myself came down with a head cold starting last Tuesday and finally breaking yesterday. I had no energy and could not breathe. In those instances make sure to listen to your body and get the appropriate amount of rest to help you bounce back sooner. When you start to exercise, start back slowly and don’t get frustrated when little things seem difficult. It may take you a few weeks to get back to the intensity you were before. The important thing is that you return as soon as you can. The longer you wait the harder it will be to return. Remember you are creating a lifestyle so it has to be part of who you are (not when you just feel like it). So if you feel like that funk has hit you hard, get back up, start slow, and pull yourself out to get that momentum rolling again. Your health is that important to you, you got this!
“I didn’t come this far, only to come this far.”
What get’s you up in the morning? What keeps you exercising on a daily basis? Do you exercise daily? If you don’t then you probably don’t have a “why” big enough to propel you forward. There has to be a reason that’s going to stay in your mind during the times when things get uncomfortable. Make sure you have a schedule too. Write down what you plan on doing and when you plan on doing it. Give yourself a goal of 6-8 weeks and once you stay consistent long enough to see your results…boom! There is your motivation to keep going. Results are fuel to the fire, but we have to stay consistent long enough to start seeing them. Through diet and exercise. See you in the gym!
As you scroll through facebook on the first week of January you watch as everyone is picking themselves back up after the holiday splurges and rejoining the gym or nutrition program. This has become standard in our fitness industry. Everyone knows that January is the best month for new memberships because of this widespread motivational wind that takes a hold of everyone and blows them into the gym again. According to a recent study, there are about 40% of Americans who make a resolution for the new year. Only 8% of those actually stick to them. Why is it so hard? Why can’t you just make a decision and stick to it? It all comes down to the “Power of Now”. When we make our resolutions we are excited to know that our ultimate goal will be achieved. Starting to work on this goal is simple. We take the first step and join the gym or start reading that book we have bee putting off reading (whatever your goal is). What follows after those first couple weeks is where it gets ugly. Self satisfaction kicks in and sitting on the couch after a long days work and watching our favorite TV show seems more “comfortable” at the moment. Or those donuts on the counter at work look so amazing you have to have one. It’s immediate satisfaction that derails our efforts. It takes this deep motivation, in the present moment, to counterbalance all the present-moment factors that would make people recoil from it.
*Keeping a daily journal helps keep your eye on the prize and your motivation level is renewed each day
*Write out your goal and a plan to get there so you have a blueprint of how it will be achieved.
*Celebrate small victories along the way
*Bring a friend, having a community of those with similar goals will help keep you accountable
* Don’t get too crazy, don’t make a goal too aggressive that you get frustrated trying to live up to it. Remember it is about getting better, small steps are easier to achieve and before you realize it, you will have hit your large goals.
*When you feel that temptation to bring in your old habits, STOP and ask yourself what you are doing and realize how important it is to you to break those bad habits. Every time you fight those urges it will get easier and easier to stay on track. Stick with it!
Happy New Year!