08 Mar Ease Into It
I find that when most people decide they want to start exercising, they are inclined to jump in full force. They go from an essentially sedentary lifestyle to aggressive workouts. In addition, it seems that many do the same thing with their diets as well. They start cutting out major food groups cold turkey (usually those “evil” carbs) and slashing their calorie count.
We say it so often that it has almost become a cliché: slow gradual weight loss is the best approach. It seems that most people know this and understand it, yet we all can’t help but be impressed by the individual that drops an enormous amount of weight in a week.
So, even though people are familiar with what is the healthiest way to lose weight, we are a competitive society. More is better… we must be doing a better job exercising and dieting if we are losing more weight faster. People know it, but they don’t live by it and it is one of the challenges as a trainer to instill in my clients (and anyone else who will listen).
So here are a few thoughts that continue to emphasize this:
- Physiologically it is easier on your body to adapt to weight loss gradually. It becomes the new norm and not shocking your system.
- Exercise should be progressive to prevent injury. If you go straight into aggressive weight training without proper core conditioning, stability and flexibility you are much more likely to get injured. If you hurt yourself and are unable to exercise for a couple months, you have actually taken a step backward.
- If you instantly remove foods from your diet that you normally enjoy, it becomes very hard to sustain. Most will end up binging occasionally or completely giving up the diet. I find minor modifications (i.e. half as much ice cream as normal, switching to light beer, etc.) can cut calories enough to make a difference. Over time, as you are working hard exercising and feeling better, you begin to become more conscious of your diet as a result.
There are many reasons why the gradual approach to fitness is the best but it boils down to three things:
- Healthier for your body
- Less likely to get injured
- More likely to make it a lifestyle change analogy since I really don’t watch basketball, but the point is real. If you want to be healthy then you need to live healthy. Ease into exercise and activities that you enjoy and want to continue to participate in. Ease into dietary habits that allow you to have things you like in moderation so you don’t always feel like you
Think about it, would you rather be the person who makes the crazy half court basketball shot and wins the car (exciting… yes?) or would you rather have a 20 year career and score thousands of points? Funny I chose that analogy since I really don’t watch basketball, but the point is real. If you want to be healthy then you need to live healthy. Ease into exercise and activities that you enjoy and want to continue to participate in. Ease into dietary habits that allow you to have things you like in moderation so you don’t always feel like you are doing without.
As a trainer my goal is to assist clients in achieving the fitness results they are hoping for. However, on a broader scale, my purpose is to leave a lasting impression on people that will encourage them to live a balanced, fulfilling lifestyle for years to come.