How many of us would like to get fitter? Lose a few extra pounds? Feel better and have more energy? Tone up our belly muscles? Fit in our old clothes and hear our friends exclaim, “Wow! You look great!”?
You have probably guessed where I am heading with all these questions. And you are right! The answer to our dreams about living longer, having more energy, and becoming more attractive and self-confident lies in one rather plain word – “exercise”.
There is no way around it. If you want to have a toned, healthy and amazing-looking body, sitting in front of the computer all day and pressing buttons of your keyboard, will not get you there. Believe me, I tried. It does not work.
On the other hand, “getting in shape” does not have to be as difficult, sweaty and painful as many of us have come to remember.
It can actually be quite fun, given that you approach your fitness goals with the right attitude, necessary preparation and desire to make it this time.
Here are some of the Fitness principles worth checking out:
1. Start with an attitude.
Many people believe that achieving their fitness goals is about finding the right work-out program, following a special diet or even ordering a magic-pill advertised on TV. In my experience transforming your body is more about attitude than anything else. Because if you believe that you do not have time/will power/motivation to stick with your fitness goals you will be the one to sabotage your success. And no trainer or slimming pill will change that.
2. Get in shape for life, not an event.
The majority of people spend their lives getting in shape for summer vacations, weddings, high school reunions, New Year and other social occasions. Why is that so bad? Because it is temporary. Creating a body of your dreams is not about 6 weeks of intense exercise or a 2-week exhausting diet. It is a life-long commitment. And you have to realize that.
3. Make better choices.
In theory, most of us know what the right thing to do is. But in practice when we are faced with so many tough decisions at each step – “to eat a cake or order a glass of juice instead?”, “to go to the gym or just head straight home?” making the right choices becomes progressively harder and harder. This is why you should ask these questions differently. Instead of deciding between “A cake or an orange juice?” ask yourself, “A cake or my gorgeous-looking body?” Long-term goals usually win over temporary weaknesses.
4. Have a clear goal.
Let’s be honest with each other, “getting in shape”, “losing weight” or “toning up” is hardly a goal. It is not even a wish. Rather an interesting possibility we might consider some time in the future. The goal can be called so only if it is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and has a clear deadline. (Read more about SMART goals here)
5. Give yourself a little leeway.
If you want to follow through with your fitness goals, do not promise yourself to stick to your workout and dieting plan to the letter, because you will not. We all screw up once in a while. What matters though, is how fast we get back on track once we get a little lost. Do not let one missed workout or a pack of French fries snowball into a week of sloth. Let one slip out be just that, nothing more.
6. Do not compare yourself to others.
Every body is different. Which means that we lose weight differently and progress at a different rate. Comparing yourself to others is the fastest way to get discouraged and quit (especially in the beginning). What should matter to YOU are your goals, your habits and your achievements. And that is what you should focus on.
7. Give your body a reason to change.
Someone very wise once said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” It is the same for fitness goals. If you walk for 10 minutes every day for about a year, it is very improbable that your body will change much. Whatever kind of exercise you are going to start with, make goals for increasing it over time. Keep your goals challenging and you will be amazed with your progress.
8. Eat better.
Every fitness trainer will tell you that getting in shape is not only about work-outs and exercises. It is about what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat it! If your goal is to lose a few pounds and become slimmer, it is a good idea to tweak your eating habits a little, choosing fresh, nutritious food over empty-calorie snacks and preheated dinners.
9. Become a social ‘fitnesser’ (it is not a word, is it?).
Have you heard about social eaters? People, who eat for the pleasure of the company, not out of hunger? This has got me wondering, if instead of eating, we could use our desire to be a part of the group for our own benefit. And psychological research proves that we can. How? Find people, who like leading healthy lifestyle and hang out with them, rather than those who overeat and under workout! It is as simple as that!
Here is a great fitness society you can join: www.bodyrock.tv
Their intensive workouts and friendly style make it easier to stick to your fitness routine.