A friend I have is considering a career change in her 30s and asked me my opinion via text. I shot back quickly without almost thinking "I've never regretted my switch at 30". After I had replied, I stared at my reply for a bit; wow, I truly have never regretted my decision to completely change careers at the age of 30. There certainly have been bumps along the road as I entered my new journey.It was a huge risk for me and my family to undertake, and the reward has been huge. I've just had to be creative in what I view as a reward.
So how does that translate to health and fitness? Often clients come to me wanting to lose weight or make dramatic changes in their body. I try to get them to focus on making small changes, turning those changes into habits for a healthy lifestyle and always moving forward. The risk here being one that forces the client to view their fitness and health as a never ending journey (vs. the finite "diet") and for me, not having clients with game show like weight loss. Rewards change from "I fit into a size 6 from a 20 in two months" to "I sleep better" or "I can play with the kids and they get tired first".
Taking a step towards better health is a huge risk. You first have to admit there is a problem that, let's be real, you are most likely the cause of. Then you dig in, enlist the help of friends and professionals, and prepare your self for the huge reward. Just be open to changing up your thinking and doing some mental risk taking along the way. Who knows, you may just change your life!
Three months into the year I ask you to consider “Where am I with my resolutions for 2012?” Your sneakers may not have seen the gym in a few weeks or perhaps that laundry list of items you were going to organize is long gone. For whatever reason, March and April always seem to bring a downswing to people’s motivation. How can you stay motivated or breathe some new life into your resolution? Try one or more of these:
- Change your vocabulary; switch out goal where you used resolution. That simple swap may eliminate the restrictions that the word resolution may carry for you.
- Further define your goal; did you want to get in shape? How much more motivated would you be if you defined that goal a bit more to “I want to lose 5 pounds” or “I want to run a 5k”.
- Make your goal visible. Write it our and tape it to your bathroom mirror, office computer, or car visor. Anywhere that you may need to be reminded.
- Plan, plan , plan. Sit down for 5 minutes and make a plan for the week ahead. With all of your commitments, when can you fit in 30 minutes for a walk? 15 minutes to do some resistance training? An hour to bike?
- Be realistic. If you have trouble staying in the gym routine, don’t aim to go to the gym 6 days next week. Shoot for one or two and pick some at home activities. The family dog can always use a walk!
- Enlist help. An accountability buddy can keep you honest and you can be a help to them. Check in daily via phone, text or email. If you don’t have one, contact me! I am happy to work with clients through technology if they are not local.
There are still 9 months left in 2012 for you to make some lifestyle changes for a healthier you. Why not start today?
Behind the warm breezes of August there is now a bit of a chill. Yellow buses can now be seen making their trial runs and the back to school commercials are in full force. My local Hannaford even has the Halloween candy out! The turn to fall in September brings about major changes for my family as my older daughter enters kindergarten. As we look forward to putting her on the bus, it brings my mind to the topic of change. Change can be good, in fact, it can be great!
What exactly can change do for you? Changing something small in your life can impact your health in some pretty major ways:
- Cutting out 2 sodas or 3 cookies a day and going for a 30 minute walk can create enough of a calorie deficit to lose a pound a week!
- Adding one cup of shredded zucchini to your family’s dinner (in stir fry or with chopped tomatoes and garlic over whole wheat pasta) gives them 35% of the USRDA of Vitamin C!
- Stretching your hamstrings for 30 seconds 3 times a day increases flexibility AND can help lessen lower back pain
Why not try out some small changes in your life to elicit some big changes for your health? The city of St. Louis, MO has a great program entitled "Small Changes for Health" and its online component is completely free! Check it out at
One of the most common questions that I get as a trainer is "Why is my body not changing?" My first response is "Are you lifting weights?" Many people want to see that immediate calorie burn and dedicate their gym time soley to cardio. While cardiovascular exercise certainly is important (essential) for our health, it is resistance and weight training that will ultimately define the body and raise the metabolic rate. One of my favorie fitness authors has a great weight training 101 article that follows or you can contact me for help! http://exercise.about.com/cs/exerciseworkouts/a/weight101.htm
It is so easy to let the daily grind get in the way of what is truly important to us.
This week's exercise: Make your priorities into a visual.
Take out a sheet of paper and a Sharpie (or any dark marker) and number 1-10. Then with a pencil, write in your top 10 priorities. This will be List A. You can make this a "deep" exercise or keep it practical to your daily schedule. Now tape the list where you will see it each morning, first thing....your bathroom, on the bedroom wall, near the coffee pot. Then, take a blank sheet of paper and tape it next to your list. Any time something pops in mind or into your life that you think could/should be a priority, put it on the blank sheet.
At the end of 7 days, sit down with list A and list B to compare; do we have our priorities in mind as we go through our daily lives? What should be on list A that is not. Revise list A, label it "My Top 10" and keep it handy!