Maybe this sounds familiar to you. Not word for word of course, but we all have that friend (or have been that friend) who drastically changes something in their life and believes their new path is the one true way to good health and salvation from going up a pant size every year. And we listen, sometimes amused, sometimes amazed, and sometimes we try it out for ourselves.
“OMG! I finally started exercising for an hour 5 days a week and started paying attention to my diet! I didn’t realize that eating crap and not exercising would make me gain 45 lbs over the last five years and feel like a garbage can!”
|“Just do work” never sounds cool, but it works.|
As a trainer and coach, I encounter a lot of people trying to change something in their lives. Sometimes its weight loss, sometimes its to improve quality of life, sometimes its trying out a new sport or physical challenge. A lot of these folks come in excited and ready to do whatever it takes to make that new goal a reality. My job starts with explaining to them exactly what that reality looks like. And once they get started, I spend weeks and months constantly debunking every new fad or fashion they read about on the internet and want to try each week because its got to be better than this. Its not. There is simply no substitute for work over time. As time passes and they make the lifestyle changes and do the work, they not only achieve their goals, but fly right past them.
So, why do individuals have such a hard time making positive changes in their lives?
Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is a concept that we mostly relate to the nutrition label on our vitamins, but its a useful concept to use in our quest for health and fitness. Instead of trying to do it all, as hard as possible, think about what you actually need. In other words, what is your RDA for food, sleep, exercise, and play? And are you meeting those basic levels?
To get started, answer these questions if you can, and if you can’t, find a qualified professional to help you.
- Are you getting enough sleep? (This depends on age and activity level, but 8 hours a night is a good place to start. )
- Are you getting the proper balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates? (If you don’t know, start tracking.)
- Are you eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, fresh fruits and vegetables?
- Are you finding ways to reduce stress and get along with your family and coworkers?
- Are you receiving regular medical care? When was your last physical?
- Are you getting enough exercise? Strength training as well as cardiovascular exercise is necessary for everyone, especially as we age, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or require a lot of equipment.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to address these issues on a more in depth and detailed basis with some actual practical advice. Stay tuned!