HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! As this is the first newsletter for the year I thought we might might start off with something that’s on most peoples minds.
January is always about New Year’s resolutions and the fact that no one seems to be able to keep them. I thought that instead of focusing on what changes you are going to make for the whole year that it might better (and easier) to focus on how we can make small, realistic changes for just the next 28 days- as far as fitness and weight loss goes anyway.
As you know, I’m all about creating permanent change and I’m definitely not one for quick-fixes or short-term solutions but sometimes we need a little kick-start to create some momentum and to build our confidence and enthusiasm for the long haul.
Of course, twenty-eight days isn’t life but it’s usually brief enough to stay focused and long enough to see some results. The idea being that, once we see some positive change, we can then step into our next twenty-eight day block with a new attitude, a leaner body, a new habit or two and some serious momentum.
Before long, those twenty-eight day blocks will become a blur and eventually we’ll find ourselves firmly entrenched in the middle of some new-and-improved habits. Better habits. Smarter habits.
1. Lose the Liquid calories. Drink nothing but water for 28 days. Some people consume over a thousand calories a day in fluids. This makes obesity almost unavoidable. Throw down a fruit and yoghurt smoothie and you may have just added a lazy six hundred calories to your daily total.
2. Record every single thing you put in your mouth. Not fun, not sexy and not a particularly ground-breaking strategy but effective nonetheless. Keeping an accurate record of food intake increases our awareness, accountability and definitely helps us make better decisions. Email me for a free food & activity diary if you are interested.
3. Find a hill. And walk it. Walking hills is a great calorie burner, a great metabolism booster and a great bum and leg shaper. The bigger the steps, the better. The steeper the hill, the better. If you’re unfit, ease into it. If you can’t find a hill, stairs will do nicely.
4. Skip it. Cheap, convenient and effective and tough. Generally speaking, skipping will burn more calories (expend more energy) than jogging for the same amount of time. Of course, it depends on technique, intensity and a few other variables but suffice it to say that when I skip the weight (and fat) falls off. Again, if you’re a beginner, ease into it.
5. Do something new. New exercise that is. For many people, their exercise regime is Groundhog Day all over again. All over again! All over again! When we do the same type of exercise, for the same amount of time, at the same intensity level (give or take), we end up with the same body. Typically, if nothing changes (with our exercise program), nothing changes (with our body). Do different to create different.
6. Go sugar-less. Sugar is a killer. Not only does it turn many of us into diabetics and give us bad teeth, it also puts our body in a hormonal state to store fat more easily – via the increased production of insulin. In other words, sugar creates a chemical reaction in our body that makes weight and fat loss less likely. Ironic that something containing zero fat can play such a huge role in the obesity epidemic.
7. Add some intensity. When it comes to exercise, many people are simply going through the motions. When they do exercise, they tend to make a two-out-of-ten effort, while hoping for a nine-out-of-ten result. No, you don’t need to be hard-core and, no, you don’t need to punish yourself but you do need to work at a level that necessitates physiological adaptation. Yes, intensity is relative and, yes, you should ease into it if you’re a beginner.
8. Prepare all your meals. All of them. No take-away. No restaurant meals. No snacks from Seven-Eleven. Nothing in a wrapper. So simple and obvious that I shouldn’t have to suggest it but most people still won’t do it.
9. Exercise during the ads. Fact 1: Night time television typically contains somewhere around fifteen minutes of advertisements per hour. Fact 2: The average Aussie watches around three hours of TV per day. Fact 3: If Mr Average’s entire exercise program consisted of nothing but getting his heart rate up during the ads, he would be exercising for 5.25 hours per week! And losing his gut at a rapid rate.
Naturally, the above list is not an exhaustive one but, rather, a few suggestions that have proven to be effective for many of the people I’ve worked with over the years. If you feel so inclined, you might want to start with one or two and build from there. Attempting all suggestions simultaneously might be a recipe for failure. Most importantly remember HEALTH AND FITNESS IS FOR LIFE so get started NOW!
Adriana Solorzano – Director & Personal Training Manager