Another year another dollar, where perhaps a pound would be more apt in this case. Every year the UK population gets larger, in size not just numbers.
Laura Evans of Unleash Your Potential states ‘Health and Fitness is in the top 3 for most people’s New Year resolutions and like every year we’ll see the gyms fill up in January, only to find them empty in comparison by February.’
The Battle of the Bulge! You’d be forgiven for not knowing the etymology of this wartime story, as modern times we are more concerned with tackling the obesity crisis. You’ll hear fitness centres, gyms, nutrition gurus roll out the New Year, New You slogan – partly because alliteration sells, it does sound rather good – but mainly because we all fall for it, every year; hook, line wearing our weight loss blinkers. Juan Bravo of Roar Potential – has 6 actionable tips that will help you keep to your aims/goals.
Suzanne Culberg, Owner of Health Without Shame, also offers the following advice: “I believe that true transformation begins NOW. Not next week, not after Christmas, not in the New Year, but today, in this moment! I feel if you are putting it off for tomorrow, then you aren’t really ready. If you have to ‘psych’ yourself up for it, then it isn’t going to last.
“So, what do I propose instead? Throw out the diet and instead focus on health (yes even the catch cry, ‘it’s a lifestyle change’, can sound a bit worn). But the truth is, if you can’t see yourself doing it for life then why do it at all? If you only do it temporarily then your results will only be temporary. If you want it to last it needs to be something you will DO for life! We all know what to do, but we just don’t do it! Why? Because weight loss is about so much more than information. True transformation is about application of knowledge and commitment.
Adelaide from Organic & Raw, producers of MOJO beverages suggests “to simply make the switch from alcohol, juice, soft drinks or energy drinks to a delicious low sugar, probiotic beverage” – after all we’re often told results is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.
“How does the health approach differ to the diet approach? Health is about loving the body that you are in while creating the body of your dreams. It’s about seeing food as fuel. It is about creating habits that will last a lifetime and doing the things you actually WANT to do. Health is about listening to your body, and resting when you need it, and committing to your health even when you don’t want to. It’s about creating habits that you will do forever, and making daily choices to support your life long journey!”
Not just this adage, other tried and trusted lines got rolled out. As predictable to you, as pitying it is to them. We’ll discuss how to break the mould, get your ‘gear all the idea’ head on and work at sustaining a healthier lifestyle. Spoiler alert: It does involve joining a gym.
For sure – you lose pounds when you join a gym, albeit the financial cost of not going from February onwards, whilst convincing your inner self not to cancel as you’ll get back into it Monday. Truth is you never will; if you set your stall out too early!
Start as you mean to go on. If you’re doing 2-hour gym sessions 5 days a week, that is just not sustainable, and missing a day makes you feel you have to do 4 hours next time, or God forbid – go on the weekend! Slow and steady wins the fitness race, twice a week, or even every other day. It gives you a regular day off, a social life, time to recover – and most importantly of all – a realistic plan to stick to.
Gyms usually have a joining fee, and while some of us may baulk at paying to punish yourself monthly, forking out extra cash for the privilege just to be a member doesn’t wash.
Fun Finance Fact: Members who pay a joining fee stay considerably longer than others that don’t pay such fees. Cancelling memberships means you pay no subscriptions, but if you have to forgo your joining fee too, it feels like money wasted.
I’m not advocating paying a joining or admin fee if you don’t have too. But consider it a worthwhile investment in your stubborn self-conscious keeping you a member for longer, if you have to pay it.
Tamsin Chubb, Yoga Instructor from Little French Retreat advises “the best way to change your health is holistically, with a gradual slow approach that isn’t about beating yourself up, making you feel intimidated and then leaving you feeling like you are a failure. Small goals that are attainable, set within a realistic timeline will help boost your will power and encourage you to continue.”
Victoria Heath, a Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist, and Owner of VictoriaHeath.com.au, adds: “The best way to make permanent, long-term changes to your health is the slow and steady way. It’s not sexy and it doesn’t satisfy our need for instant gratification, but it works! For example, how about on 1st January, instead of swearing off all chocolate, cheese, sugar, dairy, gluten and other ‘fun’ foods, why don’t you try aiming to eat 5 cups of vegetables per day?
“Making small incremental changes is the number one recommendation I make to my clients. And while it’s not fancy, in the long term you will see amazing results.”
You’ve heard this one before. Forgo your usual bus stop and get off one before, or in some personality, sorry personal trainers advise 2 or more stops.
This could work. If you didn’t want to waste a % of your bus fare, which harks back to my joining fee point. More pressing, is that this advice is given around Winter time. Winter is cold, in the UK winter is very cold. Therefore, getting off a bus stop early, means walking in the cold for longer. Who wants that?
Get off at the same stop as usual, don’t kid yourself. But, you can pick up the pace to a brisk walk. Covering the same distance, in less time – can & will burn extra calories. The calories difference expended by getting off a stop earlier can be recovered by this tactic.
If you want to try getting off at a different stop. Then feel free. Make sure it’s the one closest to the gym.
According to Tanya Otterstein-Liehs, a Empowering Movement & Life Coach and the Owner of Body Business, it’s the baby steps (such as getting off the bus at an earlier stop) that will help you to achieve your fitness goals. She says: “People need to have fun when working out and do exercises they are able to perform (for example, a lower fitness level or through modifications to workouts). It’s taking the baby steps that will lead to them accomplishing and attaining the personal goals they have set for themselves.
“Baby steps are HUGE accomplishments for someone that is new to exercising, and feeling the self-confidence and celebrations of these is what keeps one moving forward to the next step.”
Mix up your workouts, do different activities, do a variety of classes, blah blah blah. You don’t get anywhere by just being smart and not working hard, similarly you don’t get anywhere just by working hard.
Neil O’Conchuir, holistic personal trainer with over 17 years experience, felt strongly on this subject and says: “One common mistake people make, is doing the same old thing because they were told to previously. Working out smarter is something I preach to every client, if you aren’t prepared to train smart then results will suffer and full potential will never be reached.”
You will have to work hard at some point to get a bit fitter. The difficulty can be a different beast for everyone. Whether it’s joining a gym, putting your kit on after you finish work or even actually putting the effort in when at the gym – each of us will find a certain element more difficult than the rest.
To make things easier on yourself; be proactive. Put your shorts on underneath your work clothes, join a gym on your route home, get a gym buddy or even a personal trainer to push you when in the gym. That’s being smart – the hard work is all on you. If it was easy everyone would be fit. Give yourself a head start.
Additionally, make sure you know why you want to achieve certain fitness goals to keep yourself as motivated as possible. Carmen Williams, Founder and CEO of Strategic Action Consulting, says: “Many of my clients want to loose weight, but it is not enough to say that you want to “loose 10kg”. Instead, I get my clients to uncover at a deeper level WHY they want to loose the weight and what it will give them. So, perhaps 10kg means that you will have more energy to fly around the country presenting, enabling you to achieve further success in your business. Once you work out WHY, then achieving your goals is only a matter of consistency and time.”
Get a treadmill for the home, invest in some kettle bells, workout while you’re cleaning. All great advice if you want an extra clothes horse, door stop and grubby house.
Your surroundings naturally influence your mood and ambition. Homes, with exceptions, create a ‘homely’, relaxed comfortable ambience. Where you’re more likely to sit down, than sit-ups. Planks are what hold your stairs up, not your frame.
Last but certainly not least Crystal Sheffield-Baird an emotional wellness coach and founder of Phoenix Health Coaching advises ” I hear a lot of professionals talk about 5 day cleanses or detoxes to jumpstart clients, but the truth of the matter is change can only come from one small habit change done consistently for a month. And then another and so on. Everything else either shocks your system or puts you in a state of overwhelm and you’re back where you started.”
A quality treadmill, cross trainer or exercise bike will be considerably more than a year’s membership at an equipment laden fitness club, with a lot less use respectively.
You’ll work out harder and longer at a gym, free from the distractions of home life – which we doubtless all need from time to time. Better value for money is the calorie free cream on top.
So, there you have it, 4 non-actionable tips to help you reach those all important, but year on year elusive goals. If you keep trying to do, what you’ve always tried to do – you’ll keep getting the not quite there results. Look in the (gym) mirror and invest in yourself. Work out (smarter) what you can and like to do and just go and do it.
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