In order for our clients to be fully prepared for a complete year of amazing fitness and health, I hosted our first Fitness Fest in place of our usual line up of classes on Saturday January 2nd. For four hours we focused on all the important details of starting and maintaining a fitness routine that will get results which of course includes many "not" fitness specifics. Here are the top tips from each hour for you to consider on your own journey.
- Know your body. There are plenty of subjective ways to measure improvements from exercise like being able to lift heavier weights over time, feeling and being more stable and balanced when doing 1 foot exercises, having more energy, experiencing less pain, clothes fitting differently, being able to exercise longer. However everyone likes numbers when it comes to body improvements from exercise so dump the scale and just take body measurements when you start and then periodically do it again (like every 2-4 months). Photos of your journey before, during and more during is a great way to see change over time! AND instead of trying to remember things in your head, write it down. What was your body feeling like when you decided you just had to start exercising or change your eating plan? Take daily or weekly notes. It is so easy and beneficial not only to write it down but to actually be mindful about what your body is feeling and perhaps how bad lifestyle habits are part of the problem and more importantly to see how breaking some bad habits can make you feel oh so much better! Not to mention, knowing your own body well can save a lot of wasted time going to the Dr's for every cough, ache, and sniffle.
- Before our clients first workout we complete a movement screen with them that helps us understand areas we, as coaches, need to address right away to start building an effective program. It provides a great time to start good conversations about proper posture, stability and movement patterns when performing different exercises and in daily life! If you are beginning an exercise program on your own start slow and build up. Just like we meet clients where they are at (never intentionally making them so sore they have a hard time sitting down), meet yourself where you are at! You will be much more successful and less of a statistic of those who drop out of exercise after a short time, especially in January!
- Be clear WHY you are putting time into exercise and what you are trying to get from it and what that end result will look and feel like and WHY that will improve your life. Understand your own track record with creating a healthy lifestyle and be honest about how motivated you are to work thru the thick and thin of reaching your goals. Know who is on your side and will support you to work towards improved health vs those who will deter you from it. If you cannot answer 8 out of 10 as to how committed you are to seeing a consistent exercise program thru, spend more time considering why you should do it, stick with it and how amazing you will feel as a result! Anything less than an 8, especially working out on your own will make it very challenging to persist.
- Now perhaps most importantly, is how you workout and by that I mean make sure your exercise routine is based off of strength training the uses adequate weight being lifted. There are a couple hard and fast rules that we live by in our training. 1 is that there is VERY RARELY a reason for any of our clientele to lift a weight lighter than 6lbs. Women are not going to bulk up by lifting heavy weights, and I am not talking big barbells here. I mean 10, 15, 20, 25lbs....it is not going to happen. If you are working out and doing 3 sets of one exercise for 10 reps and you get to the end of that 30th rep and you do not feel fatigue, you are not lifting heavy enough (that is rule 2). Knowing your baseline weight on numerous different exercises and movements takes the guess work out and then depending how an exercise is scaled, you scale the weight to match. And most importantly do the exercise well, know what should be moving and what should be stable. If you do not overload the body in a reasonably safe manner you will not get results. Same goes for life. Status quo will get you know where.
- And finally, take good care of the rest of your life. You cannot out exercise a crappy diet and sleepless nights. Your body needs a well-rounded lifestyle to benefit from your workout routine. Wear good shoes, drink lots of water, surround yourself with good people, practice good posture in all your daily activities whether working out, cleaning your house or working at a desk and go to a physical therapist, massage therapist or chiropractor as needed and be knowledgeable about how to take care of pain points on your own with a foam roller, therapy ball or some type of percussive massage device like the Theragun. Whether you workout or not, your body is going to give you pain. Take care of it. And strength train so it is mostly good pain!
Make 2021 your fittest and healthiest year. YOU deserve it!