There is an old adage that you will get out of life ten times what you put in…unfortunately, this saying seems to have fallen on dead ears with our society. Often, more effort is used to find a quick fix as opposed to simply doing what is necessary to attain guaranteed results. It has been my personal experience, along with many others, that the faster something comes, the faster it goes.
This article contains the honest truth about attaining your fitness related goals…no sugar coating, misleading statements or false claims…just the real deal. Please bear in mind that I use the term “necessary evils” very lightly…just trying to get the point across.
Commitment to Consistency
- Fitness is not looking fabulous in that wedding dress or beefing up your arms for the beach volleyball season…it’s a way of life. It’s the understanding that healthy lifestyle habits need to become part of your daily routine in order for the results to be lasting and to get the most out of the effort you put in.
- The foundation of any fitness program is your commitment to consistency. Without consistent training, your results will fluctuate and you may become disheartened by the lack of progress. By committing 3-5 days of 30+ minutes of physical activity per week, you ensure that you will make incremental strides forward and enhance the likelihood of making these healthy behaviour patterns habitual.
- Commitment Exercises:
- Obligation through Personal Training, buddy system, log sheets
Desire to Succeed
- You will not get anywhere in life without desire and determination. If you lack the passion to do something, the results (or lack thereof) will always be reflective of that. Take time to assess your passion, interests, and motives to work out and be healthy. Only when fitness is in alignment with what you inherently enjoy, will you stick to it.
- “A strong passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means” – William Hazlitt
- Desire Exercises:
- Assess your goals, desires and passions
- Assess what will motivate you to succeed (be specific)
- Examine your barriers and why they have stopped you in the past
- Constantly assess and re-assess your goals and progress
- Sadly, fitness won’t just happen by thinking about it or taking some pills…you have to intentionally exercise. Many of us lack an abundance of free time in our lives; this places great importance on that little amount that we do have to ourselves. Therefore, this limited free-time must be used wisely. While examining where fitness falls into your list of priorities, keep in mind that prevention is the best treatment! Put a little time in now so you won’t have to put a lot in (or suffer unnecessarily) down the road.
- Time Demand Exercises:
- Is fitness a primary priority of yours? Why or why not?
- Are you in a high-risk category or have a family history of health problems?
- What amount of time per day or week can you realistically dedicate to fitness?
- Ah the sweet pain the morning after a good workout. Soreness is a natural occurrence resulting from various forms of training and should be expected – albeit to a mild degree. There is no need to suffer through days of pain, but pushing yourself to the point where mild stiffness and soreness incurs is a good indicator that you are forcing progressive adaptations in your body – i.e. you will attain results!
- Soreness Exercises:
- Ensure you are working hard enough that you can feel the result of spending a solid session in the gym the previous day
- Seek the advice of a fitness profession for guidance regarding healthy and safe “pushing”
- This is by far the most common limiting factor to reaching fitness related goals for most people. We sure love our food…and why not? Look at the abundance and selection we have at our exposure. However, keep in mind that portion control and moderating poor choices is of vital importance. Eat smaller portions frequently through the day and try to load up on healthy choices so that you can enjoy a guilt-free indulgence when the dinner party or bar night roles around that weekend.
- Nutrition Exercises:
- I don’t need to preach about the effects of sleep deprivation. All of us at some point have had to go to school, work, or a family function on not nearly enough sleep…unless you’re a fan of uncontrollable head-bobbing, it’s not so much fun. Nothing is spared from the wrath of sleep deprivation: you’re physically and mentally sluggish, irritable, unproductive, etc. When you train, your body yearns for even more rest than you would normally require; this is due to the fact that your body is more fatigued and requires more time to rebuild and recharge.
- Our North American way of life leads you to believe that if you’re sleeping, you’re not being productive. This is definitely not the case and will be very detrimental to your progress. You risk over-training, injuries, hormone imbalances and the list goes on.
- Sleep Exercises:
- Get to bed!!
- This is a character trait I personally hold very high. In my personal opinion, discipline is the key to attaining any and all aspirations you set forth for yourself. With this attribute at your centre, nothing can stop you!
- Discipline Exercises:
- Don’t think, just do!!