With a New Year comes a New Resolution for so many of us who have been procrastinating.
The need for adding an exercise routine, losing a few pounds (kg’s), is widely recognized as something that many, if not most people focus on.
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The first challenge with fitness is knowing what to do and how to do it. The next challenge is staying the course and not dropping out.
A life makeover should not be considered as a sprint to the finish, but rather more of a marathon at a comfortable pace over a long period of time, requiring persistence, patience and endurance.
If a long-term program sounds daunting, consider the potential discomfort and disappointment with commonly expected “adherence failure” with a Short Term “Biggest Loser” type of program, that is singular in direction and content.
A ‘Super weight loss diet’ is a common strategy
People often turn to this strategy because it seems easier to control and is more a question of denial, rather than the incorporation of a process to bring about significant and lasting behavioural change.
Assuming you are medically cleared to begin a exercise program and that you’re ready to refresh your approach to the way you both consume (calories) meals, snacks and beverages, the stage is set to move forward from contemplation to action.
How, What, When, Where
I think most people know the Why – of the need for exercise and dietary management.
Make a written pledge to make specific changes to your lifestyle e.g. (cut out sugar in your coffee, consume 1000 fewer calories daily, walk 15-30 minutes every day).
Your pledge or S.M.A.R.T.
Goals establish the foundation from which you can plan your next move forward.
E.g. The physical activities you choose to participate in should reflect your level of interest.
For instance; if you feel you have “two left feet”, you might want to choose something other than a dance based fitness class, because showing up is hard enough and feeling self conscious is not a great motivating factor to get you to start and keep moving.
Rather than cutting out all carbohydrates or fats or meat; portion control is an easier and more successful strategy for transitioning to the consumption of fewer daily calories, without making a drastic dietary shift.
Exercise and food timing are really personal preference based decisions, which everyone needs to make, sometimes through trial and error. Because of individual differences a “One size fits all” strategy on timing doesn’t work.
Nutrient timing, including pre-training “metabolic boosters” and post-training protein supplements are factors for fine tuning in a ‘Lifestyle Makeover’.
It’s generally accepted that spreading your total daily dietary intake throughout the active part of each day, is better than skipping breakfast, big lunch, big dinner. When it comes to exercise, it’s often a question of schedule and fitting fitness in.
All in all, if you get moving early in the day, fuel your metabolism to rev into high gear, you’ll benefit from that for the better part of the day.
Although everyone can do calisthenics at home, walk on the way to work, take the stairs, etc.
A structured schedule of going to participate in a fitness program (or having the instructor come to you), creates a routine, which makes adherence to a new behaviour more resistant to drifting off course.
If you literally “Are what you eat” and you eat too much and too many of the wrong types of food, in addition to being Hypokinetic, or move too little, then you run the risk of creeping obesity as well as a host of other health risks associated with a lack of exercise.
The Key to long-term ‘Meaningful Lifestyle Change’ is to begin with a program
One that is well planned out; progressive in nature, interesting (fun) and creates in you a sense of accomplishment, for your effort and the results you achieve.
Remember – even slow progress is progress.
Connect with Expert Peter Churchill.