I get asked many questions over the course of each week, some I can answer and some I cannot. Some people want information on how to get quick results, and some people just want to know how to feel better. I get questions on sugar, fats, running vs. cycling, how to motivate kids, how much is too much and what is too little, and the list goes on and on. So after 5 years, a lot of outside education, and day in and day out of implementing exercises, giving advice, and watching you respond, here is what I have learned.
1. If you want to enjoy sustainable results, have a goal and be consistent! The people who get the best results (and I have clients who have completely changed their shape) have S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound), revise them every 6 months or so, and are consistent over time. This does not mean that you cannot slack off here and there, but the people who get the best results that are sustained over time know how to jump right back into their routine after a break.
2. Diet matters! If you really want to lost weight and you are not a male under the age of 30, then yes, DIET MATTERS!!! Weight loss is all about your eating habits if you want to sustain the loss over time. And if you want to improve your health no matter what age or weight you are, DIET MATTERS! Improving the quality of your diet and addressing your eating habits can make a world of difference in how you look and feel no matter what your size. All calories are not created equal, focus on eating nutrient dense foods in a way that is right for your body type and energy expenditure.
3. Sleep is essential! Getting adequate sleep is essential to your health. It is also a contributing factor in a weight loss program. Deprive yourself of sleep and you are depriving your body of the time it needs to heal itself, you are setting yourself up for sugar and carb cravings, you are aging your skin, contributing to depression and forgetfulness. Just get your butt to bed and make sure you sleep at least 6-8 hours every night (preferably 7-8).
4. Fit people do not always love to exercise. I have to admit that most of my clients do not really like to exercise. Some do, but many do not. Find things that that fit with your schedule, hire a trainer/coach to help you organize your exercise routine and hold you accountable, sign up to do a race with friends, meet friends to hike, make exercise part of your daily routine.
5. You don’t have to go all out to be fit. If you want to get any type of measurable results that involve strength, speed, endurance, or weight loss, sure you need to build in days in your week where you have to really reach outside your comfort zone. But if you are just looking to be healthy, you just need to engage in moderate activity often. This can be done though out your day, so make sure your activity fits with your goals.
6. Looking and feeling better is as much about your mental attitude as it is about your physical appearance. When we feel good on the inside, we look better to ourselves and others. Make sure you keep your self talk positive and encouraging!!!
7. Sometimes it is best to stick to the basics. Exercise does not need to be complicated to get results.