We are in a time of making resolutions, setting goals and hoping for a positive outcome. One of the most popular resolutions has to do with health, in particular, our exercise and eating habits. The holidays are over and we feel plump and lethargic. Eat, drink and be merry has both positive (it makes us feel good at the time) and negative (it makes us feel bad later) consequences. Hordes of people flock to the gym and join weight loss programs only to fall off the band wagon at the end of February if they even make it that long. Now there is nothing wrong with joining a health club or a weight loss program however, before you run out and purchase a treadmill, a gym membership or join a weight loss program, ask yourself some simple intuitive questions. By understanding your movement, nutrition and motivation style, you will be better equipped to succeed.
Your Movement Personality
Do you know your preferred movement style? If you have never enjoyed running, do you really think that you will stick with a running program, no matter how many calories it might burn? So answer the following questions. – Do you like to compete and love fast-paced adventure? – Do you like to stroll around unrushed, evenly paced and having a sense of balance? – Are you more into schedules and structures, paying attention to detail and dislike interruption to your routine? – Do you prefer free-form movement, unplanned events and spontaneity?
If you like competition and fast paced adventure, outdoor sports, a running and weight training combo program, step or body pump classes or a spinning class might work well for you.
If you prefer to stroll unrushed, try yoga, pilates, tai chi, walking outdoors and balance ball resistance programs.
If you are driven by structure and routine you might do well with structured movement classes, a running or walking program, or a cardio/weight training combo session.
If you enjoy free form movement then take a dance class such as African, ecstatic or belly dancing. Try tai chi, yoga, pilates, spinning or a circuit training class.
Understanding your preference will help you to decide what type of movement will be right for your movement personality. Will you be more successful with a cardio/weight training combo, step classes, spinning, yoga, Pilates, a walking program, dancing, a combination of these or a myriad of other possibilities? By participating in a movement style that fits your movement personality, you increase your chances to reach your goal.
Your Comfort Zone
Next you need to know the environments you feel comfortable in and whether or not you can step out of your comfort zone to achieve your goals. What is your preference? – Do you prefer exercising at home? – Are you comfortable exercising in a gym environment? How big of a gym? – Are you comfortable exercising alone? – Do you prefer exercising with a buddy? – Are you comfortable in a group class setting? – Do you prefer an all women or men’s facility? Is co-ed OK for you? – Do you require amenities such as childcare or a kid friendly environment? – Would you prefer a personal fitness training only facility or a public fitness center? – Do you prefer to be outdoors? Do you like warmer or colder temperatures?
If you don’t like public fitness centers then you might consider taking an exercise class in your local community education program.
There are many women only fitness centers for those of you who do not care for the co-ed scene however, you might have to search for a men only fitness program.
If you only like to exercise outdoors in warm temperatures, then you should consider an indoor facility until it warms up. Community recreation centers offer many opportunities such as basketball and racquetball as well as swimming if variety is important to you.
Many of the larger gyms and community centers offer childcare if that is important to you.
If you prefer to exercise at home, make sure that you set aside a certain time everyday to engage in the activity. Having a set workout time will help you stick with it and resist the distractions that can happen in the home environment. You can even engage a routine with you children or spouse by utilizing exercise programs on television or DVD. There are many personal trainers that come to the home of their clients to assist them in their fitness goals.
Private training facilities that are specifically for personal trainers and their clients are starting to pop up in our area. These are more common in larger cities and offer privacy with the benefit of a fully equipped gym.
As you can see, there are many things to consider before taking those steps to get fit and healthy. By assessing your comfort zone, you can find the environment that will best suit your needs.
Nutrition and You
Ask yourself these questions in regard to nutrition. It will help you to decide the best route to take for weight loss and improving nutrition. – Have you been successful or unsuccessful at previous attempts to improve your diet? – Do you have possible hidden food allergies that affect your weight? – Are you taking medication that can be affecting your weight? – Do you have certain dietary needs for any current health issues? – Are you willing to keep a food log? – What foods do you currently eat that nourish all aspects of your being? – What foods do you currently eat that do not provide your being with nourishment? – Does the program that you are considering have an exercise component? – Are there emotional issues that are contributing to your body size? – Do you require support from your friends and family? Are they likely to support you? – What is the success rate of the program that you are considering? – Does the program promise quick results or does it focus on permanent lifestyle changes?
If you have been unsuccessful with your nutrition plan before, consider getting help. You can join a program such as Weight Watchers, or see a nutritionist or dietician to help you. There are many online sites that can help also.
If you have been successful in the past, start again by determining the behaviors that worked for you before.
If you believe that you might have food allergies, consider a diet that helps you discover what they are. There are many books available on food allergies and doctors or nutritionists that can guide you through the process of discovery.
If you are on medication, or have health issue that are contributing to nutrition issues, discuss this with a qualified physician and ask him for dietary referrals if necessary.
Consider keeping a food log or diary and record the time of day you are eating, what you are eating, portion size, where you are eating, and what you were feeling at the time. A food diary will allow you to see any trouble spots in your eating and also allow you to see where you eat healthy and well. Then you can change the habits that are not serving your well being.
Consider getting help from a qualified therapist if you are struggling with emotional eating issues. If the dietary program that you are consider does not have an exercise component then it would serve you to find one that does. The key to weight loss is that your calories in need to be less than your calories out. That means eating less than you expend and the most efficient way to expend calories is to move your body, build lean muscle mass, and increase cardiovascular efficiency.
Support is an important component to being able to make changes in our habits. Besides family and friends, there are a host of weight loss, and dietary support groups locally, as well as online support groups. Support from others gives us encouragement to succeed and to be accountable for our choices.
Consider the success rate of any program that you are considering. If their claims sound to good to be true, they probably are. Check the program out thoroughly before committing your time and resources.
Nutrition can be tricky. The information available can be confusing at best. It’s important to be aware of where you get your nutritional information so that you know the source or sources to go to and get your nutritional needs met. Do you get your nutritional information from books, newspaper and magazine articles and television or do you get your nutritional information from your intuitive body; what foods promote health in YOUR body and help YOU to feel well?
Your Motivation Level
How motivated are you really? On a scale of one to ten, where would you rate your motivation level? If you rate yourself eight or above you will probably be successful. If you rated yourself below eight then I would advise you to get assistance to increase your motivation and help you achieve your goal. What about long term motivation? Have you been highly motivated towards goals in the past only to let life get in the way and not achieve what you set out to do? It’s very important to understand your motivation style and whether you can do it on your own or you would be best served by seeking outside help. Is getting fit or weight loss a recurring theme that comes up for you every January? Do you find yourself making the same resolutions year after year? These are other questions that are important to ask yourself in regards to motivation and success. If this is the case, and even if it isn’t, it’s OK to seek assistance from an outside source.
Your Most Valuable Asset Is You
Invest in yourself! Go on, you deserve it! You are your most valuable asset. If you have struggled with success in the past or if you want long lasting results, hire someone to help you. There are many qualified fitness and nutrition specialists that can help you with goal achievement. Life coaching, NLP, hypnosis or counseling is available to assist you with motivation strategies and in uncovering and resolving issues that keep you stuck. No matter what your resolution is, there is help available. Invest in yourself first. Even if you take great care of yourself, you most likely have a friend or loved one that needs your support and encouragement in making healthy choices in life.
How’s That Working For You?
The society that we live in is rather peculiar. We invest a lot of time and money to have a nice car, perhaps one that uses a lot of gas, which is another investment in itself. We invest in fairly large homes or apartments and invest the time and resources it takes to manage them. We invest time and a substantial amount of money for cable or satellite television, great entertainment equipment to enjoy it with and nice furniture to sit on. We invest in hairstyles, fashionable clothes, accessories and shoes. These are all material and temporal things. Yet in this society, a majority of us spend untold amounts of time and money on these material things without flinching and feel guilty or say we can’t afford it, or we don’t have the time when we consider investing time and money in ourselves.
Many of us choose to wait until we are in a health crisis or another life crisis before we invest time and money in our health and well being. Instead of actively participating in preventive health measures, we are reactive, choosing to put out health fires instead, spending small fortunes on prescription and over-the-counter medication. Just look at the statistics on obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other diet and exercise related illnesses. It’s astounding. It’s high time that you put yourself at the top of the money and time investment list. Your car, your house, your entertainment system will someday need to be replaced or remodeled. You are the only you that you will have during this earth walk. It comes down to a spiritual issue as well as a health issue. Your body is holy; it is a temple. You would not even consider doing the damage to a spiritual temple structure that you do to your body. So get on it! Now is the time to invest in your health, your body, your temple! What are you waiting for?
About the Author:
I am The Soul Power Coach, mentor, speaker, trainer and author. I help entrepreneurs move out of self sabotage and limiting beliefs so that they can make more money and experience more fun, joy and freedom in their business and in their life. http://PurposeToPassionToProfits.com