Most folks don’t just one day wake up fit, toned and healthy. The majority got that way through a combination of a persistent and consistent program of exercise, diet and implementing healthy habits into their daily lives. The opposite holds true for those that DIDN’T watch food intake, spent more time on the couch than the walking path and only thought about a healthy lifestyle the first of each year when they set their New Year Resolutions (which went down the tubes a week later!).
To help get on that path that leads to a better you, read on as we lay out the five things you should be doing right now to tackle your health and fitness.
Watch what we put in our “pie hole.”
When we start talking health, fitness and training the first words out of folks’ mouths is “diet.” The reason I hate to talk about diet is that to most folks, this means to restrict and resist what we eat. What we need to start to see is that WHAT and HOW we eat is our diet. When we change up the way we eat is to view how we feed our bodies for the long term. Most of the time when we think diet, we think in weeks or pounds. “Once I drop this much weight”, or “I have this much time before the big event.” Once we drop the weight or the event is over, we go back to “eating normal” — which puts us in the position to need to diet in the first place. If we can view how we eat long term — like THE REST OF OUR LIFE, and make choices that help us feel better, stay around longer and the quality of our life matches our quantity, we’re on the right path to eating well! Think how can I eat right, not for a night, but for the future that is out of sight!
Get our groove on and move.
To some folks, exercise has become a four letter word. So don’t exercise — MOVE. I always laugh when I see folks going to a gym to workout, but make 5 or 6 laps around the parking lot to find a closer spot to park - BEFORE THEY GO GET ON THE TREADMILL FOR 30 MINUTES! Find opportunities that allow you to squat, bend, lift, walk, carry, balance and a number of other movements that body does every single day. When we look for chances to move more and sit less, we start to feel better, look better and become a better form of us.
Improve Mobility & Flexibility.
When we move less, we tend to get stiff, joints become tight and moving, even sitting down and getting up, getting in and out of a car, reaching for something on that top shelf, can become a struggle. By taking time each day to maintain and/or improve our flexibility which helps with our mobility, is vital to our health and daily life. When we lose the ability to move, we lose the ability to live independently. Work to find time each day to stretch and flex 10-15 minutes.
Pump some iron.
Now you don’t need to go to the gym and grunt, spit and release body gases to “get your pump on,” but adding resistance training into your life routine can make a HUGE impact. As we start to age, our body naturally loses strength and muscle tone — unless we do something to help maintain our strength levels. Even using your body weight as your “weight machine” can help maintain, and depending on the movements, increase and improve strength, power and muscle tone. If you wonder what exercise might be best for you, get with a professional that can help you set up a program that meets your needs, based on what you can do, and they can modify it and show proper progressions to keep your strength and feel better.
Work the mind and spirit as well as the body.
Exercise plays a huge role in keeping the mind sharp. (Check out my blog on “Benefits of Exercise On Mental Health” at www.coachrozy.com). Studies continue to show that all three areas affect the other. So find time to build your body, build your mind and build the spirit or soul. We’ve talked about building the body. We can build the mind with reading, tackling new projects and learning new things, no matter how old we get. The mind works like the body in that it only gets better and stronger when we make it work. So train the brain like you do your biceps. To build the spirit, we’re not just talking about “going to church on Sunday.” My grandpa used to say, “Just cause you sit in a chicken coup on a Sunday for an hour don’t make you a chicken.” Find what moves you and do that on a daily basis; whether it’s meditation or finding a time to just sit, be still and think.
When you can start to incorporate, even a few, of these areas into your daily and weekly routine, you’ll find that you start to develop the best you possible!
Mark “Coach Rozy” Roozen, M.Ed, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT, TSAC-F, FNSCA is the Founder/Director of Coach Rozy Performance - Powered by AVERA Sports. He can be reached at 817-219-2811, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.coachrozy.com for more information on this article or programs that he offers.
Ramblin’s With Coach Rozy