Five Steps to Fitness Success – Part 1


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Here is a guest post by Pete Bellisano regarding the keys to fitness success, as he sees them. In general, I agree. Read on and be the judge. – TW

Five Steps to Fitness Success

Despite what you might see on TV infomercials or in newspaper ads, there is no magic bullet or miracle pill that will get you fit overnight. No matter what any glamorous hard-body spokesperson says about the newest “revolutionary” exercise machine, diet, or supplementation program- the fact is that achieving fitness success takes time and energy. You can bet that the spokesperson did not get his or her physique by using the “new, amazing de-fat-alizer” machine for 30 seconds a day! He or she is undoubtedly engaged in a fitness program that includes sensible diet and lots of exercise.

On the other hand, we believe that achieving fitness success is well within everyone’s reach. This article will provide you with powerful, effective steps you can take RIGHT NOW that will jump-start your fitness program and get you on track to fitness success.

THE FIVE STEPS TO FITNESS SUCCESS

1. Make Changes TODAY!

2. Decide & Commit

3. Define Goals

4. Design Your Road Map

5. Feel Good!

Step 1: Make Changes TODAY!

Achieving FITNESS SUCCESS is all about making consistent incremental improvements over time. Like the power of compounding interest, implementing even small improvements can result in a cumulative snow-balling effect that generates momentum, enthusiasm and results!

There are specific, immediate changes you can make that will deliver meaningful results:

Move, by whichever means works best for you.

Move, by whichever means works best for you.

MOVE!

It sounds obvious, but it’s truly amazing how much potential is in this simple step. Park at the far end of the parking lot; take the stairs instead of the elevator; chase your grandchildren around. Our bodies were built for movement, and the simple act of moving more is a great way to start your fitness program. Walking is a vastly underrated form of exercise. So is dancing!

DRINK WATER

You’ll hear different target quantities from different experts, but a good rule of thumb is to drink 8 glasses of water per day. It’s a good practice to drink a glass ½ hour before and after meals. Substituting water for less healthy drinks (like soda) will cut calories and reduce intake of artificial flavoring, coloring, etc. Also, increasing water intake will help curb your appetite.

EAT LESS, MORE OFTEN

Studies have shown that our bodies operate more efficiently when we spread our food intake our over five or six smaller meals per day, versus the three larger meals to which we’ve become accustomed. And what grandma told you about eating your vegetables was right on target! Most Americans do not consume enough fruits and vegetables regularly. It’s surprisingly easy to shrink the size of meals when you increase your water intake and include more fruits and vegetables.

plastic water bottle

Track your water too!

KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU EAT

Another simple yet very powerful tip! Whether you go “all the way” and actually maintain a log of everything you eat, or simply try to do a mental recap periodically during the day, this is a great way to manage your diet. For example, when you get ready to eat dinner, doing a quick review of what you’ve eaten so far that day will help you make intelligent menu choices.

STRETCH

Flexibility is a very important component of overall fitness. A daily routine of basic stretches can greatly improve your mobility in a very short period of time. Just remember: stretching movements should be gentle and gradual, and never jerky or bouncy.

Once you’ve made the simple lifestyle changes listed above, you will begin building the positive momentum that will empower you to move aggressively toward your fitness goals!

Remember:

It’s not about big, sweeping changes: the fact is you CAN NOT become fit in one day. But you can decide TODAY to make a commitment to incremental, consistent improvement that will get you on track IMMEDIATELY.

Step 2: Decide to Take Better Care of Yourself

You probably know someone who has experienced health problems that could have been avoided if the person had taken better care of him or herself. How many times have you resolved to begin taking better care of yourself?

Drawing of people stretching

These are all stretches you can do to enhance or maintain your flexibility.

But what does that mean?

Ask virtually anyone what it means to “take better care of yourself”, and undoubtedly you’ll hear something like “Get more exercise and eat sensibly”. Everyone seems to know that exercise is important to overall health and well-being, and is a big part of taking better care of yourself. We’ve all seen the reports on TV, in magazines, on the internet: it’s an irrefutable fact that people of all ages and fitness levels can reap compelling physical and psychological benefits by engaging in a sensible exercise regimen.

So…Why are so many people neglecting to engage in an exercise program, when they KNOW that this behavior will improve their health, appearance, attitude, and overall quality of life?

The answer is simple. They have not yet DECIDED TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF THEMSELVES.

You already know many good reasons to begin an exercise program. You have probably heard (or even used!) at least one of the most common excuses for not beginning a fitness program:

“I don’t have enough time”. (probably the number 1 excuse)

“I won’t feel comfortable working out with a bunch of “hard-bodies”.

“It’s too expensive”.

Let’s BUST these mythical excuses right now!

Excuses.

No excuses!

“I don’t have enough time”.

There are plenty of busy people who are fit, and plenty of fit people who are busy. The fact is that people who DECIDE to make the time, make the time. It’s hard to imagine there are many things in your life more important than your physical well-being, which is what enables you to enjoy all other aspects of your life.

“I won’t feel comfortable working out with a bunch of “hard-bodies”.

This is an easy one. If you’re not comfortable working out in any particular health club, THEN DON’T! There are so many different venues in which you can exercise that you are certain to find the right one with a little homework. See “Should I Join a Health Club”.

“It’s too expensive”.

The expense associated with a fitness program can vary from a multi-thousand dollar investment in home exercise equipment to a zero-cost program that includes walking, jogging and/or calisthenics. If you decide to join a health club, or seek out the services of a personal trainer, then there are of course associated costs. But once again, there are many health clubs with varying fee structures. Do some comparison shopping!

Consider the following:

a) What is the ROI (return on investment) for an effective fitness program? How much is it worth to you to improve your overall health and wellness; to have more energy and stamina; to feel better? What is the long-term price of NOT engaging in a fitness program?

b) What constitutes “expensive”? A health club costing $60 per month breaks out to roughly $14 per week. That’s something like $3 per workout, or what most people spend on coffee every day.

c) Perhaps you fall into a category that qualifies for a discount at a local health club. For example, many clubs have discount membership programs for seniors, employees of local companies (“Corporate Memberships”), referral discounts, etc. Again, doing a little homework can really pay off!

Now it’s just a matter of making the decision that you will Take Better Care of Yourself. That means making a commitment to take action.

Remember:

We’re using the word “commitment” here for a reason. The dictionary defines “Commitment” as “an agreement or pledge to do something in the future”. A commitment is a PROMISE. We’re talking about making a promise to yourself that you will begin taking better care of yourself. And nothing is as gratifying as fulfilling a promise!

(Get the remaining 3 steps in the next post.)

About the Author:

Pete Bellisano is a certified personal trainer and owner of Peak Performance Fitness in Berkeley Heights NJ. Peak clients are achieving outstanding results losing weight and improving overall fitness, through our unique approach to Fitness For Real People. Visit our site to see what our clients have to say about their success, and to pick up your free fitness info. [http://www.peakperformancenj.com]

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