Spring Into Fitness

Spring Into Fitness!

You maybe living under a rock if you haven’t seen the pictures of Halle Berry at the beach this month. They are in every tabloid magazine and many blog pages including this one. And I’ll start off these article about springing into fitness with inspirational photos of her at 45 which don’t seem to look any different from when she first appeared in James Bond’s, Die Another Day, 2002.

Did a little digging around about her diet and exercise routines and according to the interviews that I’ve read regarding the matter, she attributes her determination to stay healthy and active to her type 2 diabetes which she’s been living with for a while now. Being diagnosed with diabetes had forced her to reassess her life style and make important choices that have enabled her to live a healthier life and more importantly manage her illness for which their isn’t any cure.

A lot of you will look at her and think celebrity, money, can afford the personal trainers and life style coaches and nutritionists. That may be true but just like everyone else, she’s also got access to the same temptations that we all do and requires the same will, drive and motivation to get off her butt and move.  And just like real life she’s also had her ups and downs. The public humiliation of being married to a sex addict, domestic violence (lost hearing in one ear from a beating), is a single mother and is going through a custody battle. And you thought you had a hard life! The power of desire and want is priceless. Hope she inspires you as much as she has me.

Below is the article as intended.

 

So you’ve been naughty this winter, fallen out of favour with your body and the whole concept of movement. Over indulged in winter goodies, you are now carrying a few more kilos than you feel comfortable and your gym membership has lapsed and the thought of the skimpy figure hugging fashions of summer and spring are enough to make you wish that it was winter all over again. You can’t find your gym socks and your gym shoes have turned moldy and dusty. But before you hit the panic button and be talked into a signing up to a gym membership with an annoying fitness sales consultant to one of those gym fitness chains that people are complaining about, read this! So your new year’s fitness resolution never quite got off the ground. What do you do? Well the first step is honesty. That’s right. Sit down and have a little chat with yourself and think about why you are unfit and most importantly why you may want to lose weight or improve your fitness.

If you’re feeling unfit and down about your fitness levels and weight, you’re not alone. A lot of people fall into this category. According to statistics, there were 6.9 million Australians (aged 18 and over) or 61% of all adults who were overweight or obese (http://www.dsr.nsw.gov.au/research/fact_obesity.asp).

Where Are You Going Wrong?

If you’re motivated enough to want to join a gym or embark on a program to lose weight then the first step is to look back at your last attempt and try to work out what went wrong and why you didn’t achieve or maintain your goals. Write down what your previous weight goals where and take a hard look at them and work out whether or not they were achievable. Some of us don’t set ourselves with specific enough goals or realistic enough goals. Ladies wanting to look hot in summer or look great in bikini or swimsuit is a desire not a goal. And gentlemen losing that beer gut or toning those man boobs requires more than just thought. These desires can only be realised if we can find ways of defining what hot means to the individual and what measurable ways we can define hot.

Setting weight goals

How much you weigh verses how much you should weigh is a very subjective matter so is how that weight looks like on you. There are guidelines as to what a healthy weight is and what isn’t. Never aim to look like anyone as a fitness goal. It just doesn’t work. Unless you’re willing to get the plastic surgery to obtain the look, take a look at your body and make it the best it can be! It might just surprise you. Two people with similar height and weight can look completely different.

This makes it very difficult to achieve a goal that is not clearly defined. And if you’re going to go through the trouble of setting yourself a fitness goal or health goal then you’ve got to treat that goal with the importance that it deserves.  That is the same importance that you give anything that matters in your life.

 Are You Ready To Commit?

A lot of people who have tried dieting or an exercise program and haven’t continued with it, sight a lack of discipline and commitment. Yet these very people tend to demonstrate commitment and discipline in other areas of life. If you get out of bed every morning and go to a job you can barely stand, if you hate your boss or can’t stand some of your work colleagues, then  you are more than capable of committing to exercise and adapting healthy eating habits. Anyone who has ever done any time of course or schooling also falls into this category. We all do things in life because we feel we have to, otherwise if we didn’t, our lives would be in complete disarray. So think that you’ve already got the discipline to get healthy and fit. Just make the choice mean something to you. Think and imagine of what that actually means to be fit and how much better it would make your life. Treat it with the same devotion that you apply yourself with at your job and think of how important it is for you to achieve those fitness goals. Don’t be discouraged by your previous failures. Make exercise a part of your life and make being healthy a necessity, not a frivolous lifestyle choice that are made by skinny individuals with eating disorders (unfortunately that’s what some people think of my exercise habits). Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

Getting Started

Once you’ve dealt with your commitment issues and your fear of failure which prevents most people from ever starting anything in life, the next step is gathering your resources. Work out what you need to achieve your goals and be prepared. Some of you may need the encouragement of a friend or watching the biggest loser, others may turn to a self-help book or celebrity hero warship, your source of inspiration doesn’t really matter as long as it works for you.  This is just to get you motivated. There are also experts in the field of health and nutrition that you may need to see. Ask yourself whether you need to see a nutritionist to help you with your diet or naturopath or whether you could get away with buying a book on healthy eating and sticking to it.

If the whole idea of a diet sounds restrictive and challenging then don’t be afraid to cut down into bite size pieces. Try eating well for one meal of the day if you don’t feel like your lifestyle allows you to eat well all day. Keep a food diary and work out which are the fattest foods that you consume over a week and reduce the amount that you consume. If you are used to having a Chocolate bar with as a snack at work, try either only eating half that bar for a week or substitute that bar for something less fatty. Starting little may mean that over the long term you are likely to be more successful.

If you can only walk for 10 minutes per day and don’t have the half hour you feel you should walk, then just walk the 10. Walking 10 minutes is better than not walking at all.

Avoiding Injuries

Most people think they can go from the couch into marathons or heavy repetitious weight sessions. The answer is you can’t. Even athletes after time away from their sports need to spend some time reconditioning and getting used to exercise again. If you don’t ease yourself into exercise slowly, you not only run the risk of serious injury which will delay your progress but run the risk of being discouraged. Most of us don’t know how to exercise or what type of exercise will burn fat or produce that lean silhouette we are dreaming of. The answer is see an expert.  Fitness trainers are not just for celebrities. Find someone who can get you to the fitness levels that you need to begin to train yourself.  Because you’ve thought about your goals and know what you want to get out of your fitness program, you can tell your personal trainer that and he hopefully should have the fitness expertise to help with your goals.

The relationship with your trainer is very important in motivating you and helping you achieve your goal. Unfortunately like with all things there are good trainers and bad. Try to find someone with experience and watch them work with other clients before approaching them. You can find a lot of trainers in gyms and also parks these days. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their qualifications and education and how long they have been employed as a personal trainer. Their body is also a good advertising tool. Look at their physique and see whether they are serious enough about their fitness to be serious enough about yours.  Most importantly if the first few sessions with the trainer are not what you expected try someone else!

If you’re joining the gym work out how many times you think you might be going to the gym to see whether the memberships is worth it. Make sure you choose a gym close to your home or work.

Most like joining gyms or start exercising with a friend. I unfortunately don’t believe in this. You need to rely on yourself to turn up to the gym or training sessions. While it’s great to train with someone, what happens if they stop training? Do you stop training too?  Did you choose your education based on your friends choices or your job or your relationship. I’m guessing the answer to this is no. The gym is the same thing. Your reasons for going to the gym are different to your friends even if you both want to lose weight.  If I relied on my friends or family to get fit I’d me in serious trouble. But while you’re at the gym there’s nothing wrong with making friends with the people there who obviously are there because they want to exercise. Instead of being intimidated by fit people use them as inspiration and only befriend those who don’t always seem engaged in conversation. Some people unfortunately only go to gyms to chat. Stay well away.

Good Luck!

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