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 😉
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.
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!
When you start or change any exercise program, make sure to schedule in your rest and recovery days. I always tell my clients to listen to their bodies on a daily basis. Sometimes you may work so hard that you forget to figure this in. For any goal that you have, your recovery days are just as important. Depending on how long you have been exercising and your frequency will determine how much time you need to recover. During your programs it is a good thing to take every 3rd day off as a general rule. You can even schedule in active recovery weeks every 3 weeks. This would just be yoga, light runs, or just light workouts where you are still moving but not pushing yourself. Every 3 months it is ok to take a week off to give your body some quality rest time. If you have any of the symptoms below, it may be time to take a breather:
- prolonged muscle soreness
- lack of motivation
- lack of concentration
- tired all the time
- inability to challenge yourself in your workouts
- Unexplained weight gain
Make sure that you are also getting an adequate amount of sleep every night. There is no cut and dry amount of time for everyone in general, but if you find yourself exhausted mid afternoon everyday you may need more sleep.
Keep this balance in your routine and you will be able to enjoy your workouts so much more!
This past week was a very scary one for me and my family along with hundreds of thousands of Floridians. Hurricane Irma made it’s way over to our state and caused major disruption in our lives. Even though my husband prepared our house and the gym as much as he possibly can for a major hurricane, the fear of the unknown drove me to evacuate myself and the kids to GA until if was over. Amazingly, Irma took a turn around our lucky town and the eye wall of the storm (strongest part of the hurricane) avoided us entirely. Talk about the power of prayer!
When things like this happen, it puts so many parts of our lives in perspective. What we do when survival mode kicks in determines our priorities. There are 3 different types of people in life.
1. Those that take preparation when provided with the right tools who will do everything in their power to make the outcome the best as possible.
2. There are those who wait until the last minute and scramble to get things together, but most of the time fall short due to lost time.
3. And there are those that will do nothing, sit back and risk everything and chose to just deal with the aftermath when it comes.
Which one are you? Which one do you think will have the best outcome? We can’t guarantee each will, but your chances are a lot greater with #1. Are you doing something everyday to prepare your best future? This can be applied to your finances and physical health. Don’t wait until it is too late and you are scrambling to save yourself. Take action and know that every choice you make will lead to an outcome. It’s up to you what outcome you want to have.
We’ve all had those days where it can take any excuse and we are just neglecting that workout. There are so many things that can get in the way but it is totally up to you if your goals are important enough. Your body only responds to lifestyles. If you look back at your daily routine and it does not reflect a “fit” lifestyle, don’t expect your body to feel or look the part. I always say that you can tell how someone leads their life just by looking at them. Do they eat right, do they exercise on a regular basis, what kind of workout do they do, are they runners, do they powerlift? Typically you can tell, but they have to be a “regular” at their craft. It has to be who they are. Everyone has peaks and valleys in their lives but those who are consistent on a yearly (not only monthly) basis are the one’s that end up reaping the benefits. 30 day challenges are great to do, but don’t stop there. Let that be a stepping stone to get you started on something that will last a lifetime. Enjoy your workouts, enjoy your healthy food, and make it who you are.
Did you ever have a close friend or even an acquaintance have a complete life change for the better. Did it inspire you in anyway to make some changes in your own life? The power of testimonials is incredible and most of those that complete those changes have no idea how many people they have affected around them. It takes so much energy and time to make habit changes that you may fail to notice those who are watching you. I can’t tell you how many of my clients have inspired me to become a better trainer. Those around me have certainly shaped my career and personal life as well. Surround yourself with positive friends that are constantly trying to improve. And on the flip side, just know that those around you may need to see your changes to have the strength to create their own. Making things look possible is why people start in the first place. There are so many individuals that tell me they are afraid of starting my boot camps because they don’t think they would be able to do it. Once they see the other beginners in the class just simply doing what they can, they someone realize “Maybe I can do this.” We all have to start somewhere and don’t get overwhelmed with how far the journey is. Be that inspiration that others need, go ahead and make those personal changes to not only help yourself, but help a large number of spectators around you. Now that is powerful!
Have you ever tried to help someone and they just keep giving you excuses on why something is not working for them? You try to give them suggestions and every direction you seem to go they have an answer for you. My job is to help my clients achieve a healthy lifestyle. Help them make better decisions and ultimately arriving at their goals. There are so many desired goals in life that are really wanted by all of us. Lets face it, we all would not turn down a chance to have the perfect fit body, a few million dollars in the bank, the ability to travel whenever we would like, and the perfect relationship to top it off. Everyone one of these goals requires dedication and sacrifice. Are we willing to sacrifice the things that we enjoy for the things that we desire? If those goals are not important enough to you, your immediate desires will prevent you from ever getting there.
If you really want something (and have realized this however many years you have been trying to get there), you MUST drop every excuse that comes in your way. You must build up the desire strong enough so that excuses don’t even enter your mind. Where there is a will, there is a way. If you want something bad enough you will work on it every second of the day until it is done. Most of the time it is not going to be pretty, fun, or exciting but your journey is not your goal.
In a world where instant gratification is what we are accustomed to, realize that you are going to have to be uncomfortable for a little while. The ultimate goal will be well worth your persistent effort. Kick your excuses to the curb and keep going, you got this!
You see all those that posts their workout programs on social media for a few weeks, it dies down and then you never see them again. What happened? The initial getting started (described by most as the “hardest” part of success) is really not the toughest part. The hardest thing to do is maintain it for life. How do we do that? How can we choose an activity that we know we will stick to for the long haul? Don’t think that you will get in the best shape of your life and then quit because you have achieved your goal. Goals take maintenance too. The first thing to be aware of is choose an activity that is realistic to long term. Your body requires balance. You can’t constantly beat it up and think it will not breakdown eventually. Don’t forget about flexibility and rest along with your workouts. This is the thing most people neglect because they focus on cardio and strength to look better. Remember your body needs rest and flexibility training to support all that you do in your tough workouts.
- Get 7-8 hours a sleep per night
- Eat a balanced diet to help your body recover from your workouts. Protein within 30 minutes after your workout is absorbed the best.
- Participate in a yoga class at least one time per week
- Avoid processed foods and sugar as it increases inflammation in the body
- Create a balanced workout routine. Never do the same body part two days in a row and combine cardio with weights to work on endurance and strength.
- Rest at least one day per week
- Stay on a consistent schedule (exercise the same days and times if possible) to help your body adapt to your new lifestyle. You may notice with a random workout schedule you may not see results as quickly and you sore more frequently.