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Health and Fitness
By Cheryl Alker
I recently had the pleasure of attending the 1st Annual Wellness Experience Fitness Festival held right here in Wellington.
It was held in the afternoon, so there really was plenty of time for me to fit in my normal Saturday chores before I headed out. The weather was perfect, blue skies, a little windy and a definite nip in the air, but nothing a regular sweatshirt couldn’t cope with!
The event was extremely well run with information tables set up and attended by knowledgeable professionals ready to answer any questions you had been dying to ask about your general exercise routine, how to prevent and treat your back pain, what type of yoga would suit you as a beginner, the list goes on and on. You name the question there was a professional on hand to give you expert advice. Not only did the event cater to one to one Q & A’s. All afternoon we were treated to amazing live demonstrations which were performed on a stage which gave clear visibility to all attending by high energy fitness professionals who have their businesses right in our backyard.
Sounds perfect I hear you cry, but it wasn’t was it? Because guess what? YOU did not attend! Now I don’t wish to point fingers but with all these experts available to help you in your goal to a better you, not only in 2013 but for the rest of your life it might be nice if you would be able to get off your couch and take advantage of such an event.
Yes I am sorry to say that there were more fitness professionals than there were attendees at the Festival. I am also afraid to report that this is a very a sad reflection of the general apathy that the fitness/wellbeing industry has to suffer and why you only have to Google the frightening statistics available on obesity, heart disease, back pain etc. to understand why these stats are well out of control.
Ok have I made you feel bad enough for not attending?
In all fairness, if we’re all entirely honest, there are times when the last thing we want to do is exercise and eat healthily even when we know we should. It can be a great struggle at times.
And I suppose, nobody can possibly feel motivated to work out and eat healthily 100 percent of the time. Yet, as we all know by now, the key to long term success in any wellness regimen is consistency.
So, how can we conquer those feelings of resistance to exercise and eating well?
Here are 5 tricks of the trade for keeping your exercise and eating routine going, even when you’d rather be doing or eating something else.
1. Expect To Feel Apathetic (At Times)
As I mentioned, everyone falls prey to exercise/eating well apathy from time to time. It’s completely normal to feel this way once in a while.
But, many people see this stage as a personal failure, a sign that they just don’t have the will power to stick with their plan, or achieve their goals.
In fact, there’s no need to beat yourself up, you are simply going through a natural phase in your progress. If you stick with it, you will soon be back on track, and thankful that you didn’t give up, when you hit that rough spot.
2. Do Something At Least
Getting started is usually the first hurdle you will face. The thought of a one hour workout can be off-putting, so break it down into manageable chunks, and tackle them as they come.
Tell yourself you just need to get dressed, get your shoes on, and then out the door.
When you take these first little steps, you will be able to muster the energy to do something, at the very least.
More often than not, you will find that those 15 minutes you said you would start with, ended up being more like a full workout.
The great thing is that once the workout has been completed you will choose to eat a healthy meal, don’t complete the workout, and the meal becomes a high fat, high colorific disaster also. See the problem?
3. Vary Your Routine
Exercise/eating apathy is sometimes the result of doing the same exercises or eating the same thing over and over again. It’s amazing what a change of scenery, a new workout routine or new healthy recipe will do for you.
4. Team Up
There’s no doubt, exercise can be really enjoyable as “me-time,” however it can also be refreshing to meet up with a friend, or a group from time to time, too.
You could even try out a new team sport, or get together with a friend or a group of friends for a game of tennis, cycling, hiking, or football.
Not only will you have lots of fun, but if you’re joining with a new group of people, you will probably make new friends as well.
Eating together afterwards will also encourage you to make healthy choices. Eating alone encourages bad choices because no-one will see, often choosing the right foods is easier if you have to do it in front of someone else and guess what? They too will be feeling the same. Your choice or their choice kept you all on the straight and narrow.
5. Be Specific About Goals
Without a clear set of goals, it is difficult to get a sense of progress and accomplishment, and that can really dampen your enthusiasm.
The key to setting goals is to make them as specific as possible. For example, many people define their fitness goal as simply, “I want to get in shape”. Well the problem with that is, “getting in shape,” could mean a lot of different things.
A better goal would be, “I want to get in shape, so that I can jog 3 miles.” This gives you a way to measure your progress, and know when you have been successful in achieving it.
Goals should also be timely, because having a deadline helps focus your efforts, and it keeps you accountable.
To continue with my example, “I want to get in shape to jog 3 miles within 2 months,” would be an even better statement of the goal you want to achieve.
Your goal for your eating plan may have been “I need to lose weight” but how about making that goal more specific with “I am going to fill two thirds of my plate with vegetables and eat at least 2/3 pieces of fruit a day”.
If you do fall prey to exercise/eating healthy apathy, don’t worry. Just get back into it… starting today.
The benefits of being fit and healthy really are worth it!
Cheryl Alker specializes in flexibility training, facial exercises and postural alignment. Her 30 year career started as a group fitness and personal trainer, she has lectured and directed fitness training programs in both Europe and the USA and was an advisor for a Governmental health promotion program. Alker and her company Stretch Results International continues to work with a select clientele from a base in Palm Beach County, Florida, certifying health professionals in her results based stretching program, educating consumers through public speaking and offering consultation to clients who wish to lose their muscular pain and gain flexibility to achieve full and active lifestyles. Alker has just released a DVD for back pain sufferers. For more information about professional continuing education and consultation options, e:books or DVD’s please call Cheryl on 561 889 3738 or visit www.stretchresults.com or www.24sevenwellness.com
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