Never postpone change. No matter the effective date of implementation, the moment to begin going into a new direction is in the moment of telling oneself that change is needed. It is in that moment, that change begins. For instance, I will examine the holiday weight gain and the New Year resolution to lose the extra weight as an example.
Sitting at home, watching football, after eating large helpings of food that would not be on a vegan’s plate and drinking more than a couple of glasses of wine (ok… I didn’t overeat… I HATE Thanksgiving food… and only could drink one glass of wine, so work with me..!), with both Christmas dinner’s, parties and New Year’s (resolutions) celebrations to look forward on the horizon, the thinking is we are going to just kill it in the gym in 2017! I don’t think that I would be alone as far as having the initial desire to workout, but the question is what separates those who not only make it to the gym in January but all the way to their weight loss/ fitness goals from those whom the act of becoming healthier and fitter is simply conversation?
Before I get to that I will share something with you… a recent Iowa State study made the claim that running 7 minutes per day is all one needs to gain benefits from running. Not only is the duration very doable, the intensity does not have to be that high. A good jog (maybe a brisk walk..?) down the block and back could give you most if not all, of the positives from a 3-mile run. How cool is that? I would not say that jogging down the block will be the way to reach all of your fitness goals, but it could be the start that a person needs to take on more healthful habits along with their running. That being said…
As a teenager, I became enamored with Friedrich Nietzche. I don’t think that I even “knew” what philosophy was but I did understand that reading his books’ would somehow shape me into the person that I hope to become. One quote of Nietzche’s, in particular, has hung over my entire life, and it explains how it is that so many “want” things but not the will to achieve them -”If a man has a why he can bear almost any how”, not only gives the reason most people fail at their fitness goals but their life goals as well. And yes, it is like that because becoming healthier is a lifestyle, not something that you do once or twice and then its “fixed”. For many people, it is not about knowledge, nor is it about instruction… it is about finding that ineffable quality in oneself that defines for them their purpose for action and letting that determine their way.
Now with the scientific literature giving the green light for being “lazy” and improving one’s health you have to wonder what is keeping people from doing just that and improving their well-being? This is where the difference in where people get their motivation and the role of a personal trainer comes into play. For someone who is intrinsically motivated, the news about how simple and easy the steps to becoming healthier is likely to be enough. But for a person who is externally motivated, even with being told that “just walking 7 minutes a day is enough to change their future health outcomes is not going to be enough. They need to be pushed, cajoled, and shown how to do what they may even know how to do without instruction. Hence, the role of the personal trainer!
As a personal trainer, my job will be to augment a clients’ “why”. It isn’t that people don’t have the information that they need to achieve the majority of their fitness goals… it is more that they need a little push to be driven by their own personal reason as to why they want to become fit. Even with knowing that 7 minutes of walking each day can greatly increase their health outcome, I don’t think that people will “know” what to do.
That is my first fitness tip… walk 7 minutes each day. I am going to add that the walk should be brisk without being taxing and that the minutes be consecutive. With that, get out there and get moving!!