By Guest Blogger: Roland Pankewich
The word exercise means different things to different people, and rightfully so as there are such a wide range of different modalities we can choose from. Having been exposed to almost everything under the sun over the last 11 years in the industry, I can confidently say that there is essentially something out there for everyone, even those who dont like exercise!
Sadly I see many people undertake this typically goal-oriented endeavour without a plan of action, which often causes the initial wave of motivation to taper off like a receding tide. With summer here and it being beach-season, lets cue to double bicep pose and look at some ways to stay on track with achieving your summer fitness goal.
Align Your Fitness Endeavour with Your Goal
Different styles of exercise yield different outcomes, and its important to understand what you want your exercise to do for you. The goal of toning your body requires you to build some lean muscle and reduce unwanted body fat. If the only tool in your fitness arsenal is jogging you will be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Do your research and understand what each type of exercise promotes as its outcome and invest your time wisely.
Think Beyond Just Exercise
You can train until you have no sweat left to give, but if you dont support your goals with proper nutrition and rest, you will likely come up short. They key to achieving a healthy lifestyle is choosing to live a healthy lifestyle permanently! Changing body composition, improving physical abilities and being healthier all require a commitment beyond time in the gym or yoga studio. Following joyous nutrition tips and recipes will lead you to properly nourish your body, helping to provide energy needed to train and recovery needed to make progress. A good nights sleep will help balance out stress hormones and promote recovery as our bodies repair when we rest. The old cliché of people failing to plan rather than planning to fail applies here, and if you are looking to make a change think beyond exercise alone.
Learn to Listen to Your Body
We are all unique in our identity, and this means we all have different abilities from a physical point of view. All too often I see people break themselves down in the name of pursuing a goal. The problem with this is that having a flat stomach is very quickly over shadowed by a vicious limp from a busted knee!
Understanding where your tolerance is for exercise is important to identify as a starting point.
Exercise is really just unaccustomed stress and when we exceed our abilities we can experience some unfortunate side effects. If you are new to jogging start with a jog/walk model until you can progress to a constant run without pain or being too exhausted. If you are undertaking yoga, dont force yourself to keep up with the class if you cant hold a position without discomfort. If you are lifting weights learn proper form and execution that is individualized for YOU and not what someone told you it should be. This will keep you on the road of progress and not broken down on the side-line.
Find Different Ways to Facilitate Progress
We all gravitate towards different things, its what makes us unique and keeps the exercise industry able to offer us so much variety. If you have wanted to get into fitness for some time now but are unsure as to where to start, go with what your intuition tells you is right for you. Remember this is something you will be spending you most valuable commodity investing in; time. If you have always wanted to try spinning start there, because it will likely lead to you being interested in other exercise modalities as you look for different ways to be challenged and make progress. Enjoyment should be part of this experience because nobody sticks with something they detest. Different forms of exercise can have different payoffs that relate to your goals, but if you never step outside your box you will never know whats possible.
Remember that Exercise is a Process not a Program
When you look to invest your time in being active try not to have your end point as 6-month or 1-year goal. These short term goals should make up part of the life-long process of being active. There will be periods of time where other priorities limit your commitment or that life will force you to dial down the intensity. Fear not because this is part of the ebb and flow of being active, and those who understand this will ultimately always be in a better position of health and never be stressed about looking good for an upcoming event. Being active is part of the holistic lifestyle of realizing optimal health, and unlike financial investments, investing in your health is guaranteed to give you a return.