Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Suggestions for How to Stick to Health and Fitness Goals

Hello Everyone,
I was hoping to report that I've given blood since I last posted, but when I went to donate, my hemocrit was too low, so I'm taking iron, and hope to try again in a few weeks.  On to this month's post...

I would like to discuss some information that I recently came across:

*52% said there wasn't enough time to exercise.
*36% said exercise was too boring.
*19% said they were too overwhelmed with choices & options.
*17% said they weren't seeing results.

#1 Reason:  Not enough time.  I'm sorry, but I have to call BS on that one.  OK, I know I'm a fitness fanatic, but really, if a person truly wants to accomplish a goal, he or she will find a way to do just that.  If there's time to watch TV, there's time to work out.  Here are my suggestions:
*No time or money or desire to join a gym?  Get a recumbent bike and read the paper, or watch TV while riding it.  Or, work out using calisthenics and hand weights during the commercials.  Have a few exercise DVDs on hand. There are probably some at the local library.
*A workout should be at least 30 minutes, non-stop, but if that isn't possible, try two 15 minute or three 10 minute sessions.  Even if a lunch break is only 30 minutes long, someone can take 20 minutes for lunch and then walk for 10 minutes.  It's all about having a pro-active mindset.
*Just working out for 4 of the 7 days of the week is an excellent start.  Most working people have two days off.  Use some unscheduled time from those two days to plan something active.
*Put a bag with workout gear in the car, so there's no excuse for not going to the gym or for a quick walk, if a window of opportunity, even 15 minutes, presents itself.

Reason #2: Exercise is too boring.
*Give it time.  It probably takes an out-of-shape person about 3 weeks on a new fitness program to feel really good physically, but the mental lift should happen immediately.  (Remember, people don't regret a workout). So, maybe a new form of exercise is in order.  Try taking a look at all of the opportunities out there, from classes at the gym; to classes through community education; to hiking trails to discover; to walking, running or cycling groups to join.  I truly believe there's an activity out there for everybody.
*Also, choosing a variety of activities is important.  There's less chance for boredom; it will help build overall muscular endurance; and, because you're strengthening more of the tendons and ligaments that support the joints, there is less chance of injury.
*Try finding just the right beat and type of music to match your movements. There are even water-proof iPods out there!
*Use exercise equipment at home to catch up on your taped shows.

Reasons #3 and #4: People say they are overwhelmed with choices and options, and feel like they aren't seeing results.
 *Maybe the overwhelmed feelings come with trying to eat more healthfully.  And, yes, that can be very overwhelming.  Try eating clean.  Cut out processed foods. The internet is such a wonderful tool for researching options, support groups, and recipes.  Some people might feel the need for one-on-one supervision with a dietician, or a support group that meets in person, like Weight Watchers.
*Not seeing results? Key in to how much better you feel, and how proud you are after making it through a day on your  new plan.  Make charts. Keep a journal. Take your measurements every few weeks. Text back and forth with a friend/loved one about your day.  I'm going to use a blood test to see if I've lowered my bad cholesterol number.  It doesn't always have to be about a number on the scale.
*Make sure goals are very specific.  Instead of just wanting to lose weight, or get into shape, this would be more focused:  I am going to work out for at least 30 minutes, non-stop, at least 4 days a week. Try getting a workout in as early in the day as possible, too. 
*When working on fitness, try not to miss more than one or two days in a row.  I visualize my metabolism being warm and revved up for 24 hours after a workout.  So, I try to be consistent in order to keep my engine running efficiently. This visual cue really helps me. 
*We have become a society that hungers for instant gratification.  Maybe it's time we sat back and just enjoyed the moment(s) a little more.

Well, as usual, the time I have spent writing/researching my post has helped me in my own wellness journey.  I hope it has also helped you, or at least given you ideas for how to help others.
I wish you and yours a positive and healthful life.


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