We are all aware, during this time of year, that summer is coming to an end quickly. It’s a time of new and fresh beginnings as children go back to school. It’s a time of opportunity. Wouldn’t it be great to channel some of that energy and hopefulness and apply it to our own health and fitness plans? This month is the perfect time to kick off a brand new year, to learn more about our bodies, to make changes and to figure out a plan so that we can reach our health and fitness goals by next summer.
Were you able to get in the shape you wanted to this summer? Did you feel strong during your vacation and summer activities? Did you feel confident in your appearance? If you feel you could have done better with your health and fitness plan, now is a great time for a fresh start. Time flies! Before we know it, it will be summer again. So, why wait? Here are a few suggestions to help prepare for a fit year.
Consistency Is Key
I suggest using a calendar. It’s a great visual motivational tool. Try to fill in as many squares as possible, even if it’s only a 15 minute workout. Don’t underestimate a 15 minute workout. It will mentally prepare you for a workout the following day. 20 squares a month is equal to 240 workouts for the year. This consistency will provide you results. Did you know that members of major health clubs attend on average 4.8 times per month! That’s not enough.
In the beginning, exercise less than you want to, so that you are always looking forward to the next session. The most important thing is that you do not feel that there’s a struggle to be undergone or a chore to be done. Most people work out hard when they have good energy. Unfortunately, you do not have good energy every day, so it can be a let-down if you can’t match great workouts. Try not to be competitive with yourself in this way.
Think before you eat. When making food choices, honestly assess what you’re considering eating. Ask yourself, “Will eating this food get me closer to my goal”? If not, then make a better choice. Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter or waitress for steamed veggies with no butter. Be tough – make good choices. Have you ever refused the bread basket as the waiter or waitress approached your table? This is a tough but effective choice. Just ask for your dinner salad a little earlier. Try avoiding the bread or chips at your favorite Mexican restaurant. This will allow you to enjoy your meal more while leaving the restaurant feeling light and lively instead of sluggish and tired. A few well-placed strategies will go a long way.
Most people do not include strength training 2-3 times a week. Looking for a way to increase results and decrease boredom while exercising? Looking for a time-efficient way to improve health, fitness and performance? Consider cross training and interval training to add variety and make the most of your exercise plan.
Instead of training 30 minutes on a single piece of aerobic equipment, you can mix in a few strength exercises. Try alternating short 5 minute aerobic sessions with 5 minute strength sessions. If you move at a good pace, your heart rate will remain elevated throughout the workout. An easy solution would be to select strength exercises that mimic the way we move day to day. Three basic categories include pushing, pulling and hip extension. Feel free to ask one of our personal trainers for help. We would be happy to help you design a health & fitness plan by taking into consideration your goals, time, schedule, injuries, etc.
Have a healthy month!