What is it that creates a pattern, path or way for people that are either new to fitness, don’t enjoy it or have not had much success with it in the past take those next steps towards adherence? There are lots of reasons that people experience resistance when it comes to a regular exercise program. Feeling uncomfortable in a gym, fear of failing, not knowing what you enjoy when it comes to moving your body, past or current injuries, trouble getting started and or sticking with it to name only a few. There are all kinds of programs out there that address some of these issues. My purpose here is to target a few ideas and go a bit deeper.
During the past 6 months I have spent time creating and leading 30 minute workouts with a specific format. This concept called HIIT is not new and the 30 minute duration is becoming much more common as well. I alternate these 30 minute workouts with a 30 minute strength/balance/toning workout which allows the body to recover from the interval training. In addition the idea is to workout 5-6 days a week committing to 30 minutes of focused fitness. Why would this strategy work for people or at least get people moving towards a daily habit where it is then possible to create your own menu of movement options which inspire and support a lifestyle of focused movement 5-6 times a week. Another thing that I have spent time helping people focus on is keeping change small, simple and doable. Here is a short list of what I mean:
- Plan your 30 minutes of fitness daily and make sure you have a back up plan. No Excuses!
- Drink water instead of all the other things you might normally drink as frequently as possible.
- Limit Alcohol to one drink a day. Wine is a better choice than hard liquor.
- Steer Clear of fast food and junk food.
This list may seem basic but for many people to much change to quickly leads to overwhelm and a strong pull to revert back to old, familiar behavior patterns. If you can get the above list to the place where it is second nature or habits (16-24 weeks) you will not miss your old patterns very often if ever. In fact you may feel off if you revert back to old behavior.
I could spend days on ideas to support a clean, healthy lifestyle and for the sake of this blog will hit on these four.
Water while we all know it is the best option for hydration many people make other choices as we have become used to a sweet taste in beverages.
Alcohol is another often overlooked saboteur to weight loss and derail daily fitness. Lets be honest, when you drink more than a drink you will most likely feel a little tired the next day, not quite as sharp perhaps a little less resilient. It is subtle and if you drink more the after effects are even greater. As most alcoholic beverages contain about 300 empty calories and sugar limiting your consumption will give your body a break, especially your liver. Alcohol can also affect how efficient your metabolism is able to perform. If your liver is busy detoxing the affects of what you drink it is not free to do other jobs.
Fast food/junk food cravings or habits are also not only a condition of our culture but for many people an emotional or stress relieving go to. What I suggest to people for this is if you are using fast food/junk food to comfort yourself you will need to figure out a healthy substitute. My niece uses tangerines. Some people use gum, apple slices any number of things and of course recognizing your triggers is huge when it comes to managing this behavior change. Change is not easy especially if we view things as treats or just part of what we do. Having a healthy alternative to fast food or junk food can take some creative thinking and is a mind set change as well. While there are all sorts of healthy eating plans out there if you can just start with this change you will be well on your way to adding more to your lifestyle changes once this feels like second nature.
Laurie Bagley MS in Outdoor Adventure Leadership, is a mother, ACE certified health coach and group fitness coach, entrepreneurial business owner, VeraHeart coach and teacher. Her Health Fitness Coaching Business, focuses on assisting people reach their health/wellness/fitness goals. She is also
the 6th woman to summit Mt. Everest from the North Col route and has written a book called SUMMIT