Easy Steps to Find Fitness that Works for You!
Apr 16th, 2014
As a working mom, business owner of A20 FitFUEL, fitness enthusiast and self proclaimed health nut, it is imperative that I make the most of my power-packed days. I do this by taking the best care of my health and fitness; if I don’t, then who will? After being in the fitness industry for eight years, I traded in my stilettos from the corporate world for sneakers in the athletic world. I had to learn the hard way that making time for my health is vital for a balanced happy and healthy life.
Getting started on a balanced fitness program can be overwhelming, to say the least; the ever-changing chatter about the best ways to stay fit, best “diet programs,” and latest studies on what is healthy and what is not, can make even the most educated fitness professional’s head spin. In lieu of getting caught up in the latest fitness fad, I wanted to share my tried and true fitness fundamental pyramid for a healthy and balanced lifestyle:
The single most important component for a health lifestyle: FUEL
Is my nutrition FUELING the choice I have made to lead the healthiest life? When explaining all of the important roles food plays in optimizing health, I like to use the analogy of a car: your car gets you from here to there, and must be reliable when carrying your most precious cargo. Now think of what would happen if you neglected to put fuel in your car? You wouldn’t be able to get where you need to go and you certainly wouldn’t be reliable. What would happen if you put the wrong type of fuel in your car? The engine would likely sputter and ensure an unexpected and expensive visit to the local mechanic. The same goes for our bodies; we must give it the proper type and in the right amounts or we will sputter out of energy and possibly cause an unexpected and expensive visit to the doctor’s office.
The ability to make fitness a part of your long-term lifestyle: FUN
Do I truly love my chosen fitness activity/activities? Do you look forward to your workout? Do you look forward to the community and culture at your local gym, yoga class or Pilate’s studio? Do you love the outdoors and do you look forward to a hike, bike ride or jog? If you don’t truly enjoy the activity and the culture that surrounds that particular activity, then change it. Just because all your friends love to jog doesn’t mean you must; we are unique and have different needs when developing a fitness program for life. What ever you do, make sure you truly love it and give it all you’ve got! If not, I challenge you to change it right now and try something new, because there is not one single prescribed method to be your healthiest self. Life is too short, so choose something active that truly brings you joy.
The ability to find balance in your fitness routine: FEASIBLE
Does this fitness routine fit into my current schedule and lifestyle? This is not the time to be wishful about the amount of time you hope to have to devote to your fitness program; I recommend a realistic evaluation of what you can fit in right now. I see lots of people over commit the amount of time they can invest in their fitness program’s and this is a sure fire way to set yourself up for failure and frustration. I encourage my client’s to be realistic. You may want to be in the gym 5 days a week but, is that feasible? In order to stay motivated and not discouraged set your intention on what you know you can accomplish and then celebrate that one success. If a gym membership is not in your budget, then instead find a way to be active at home, on the hiking trails, or riding your bike. Long-term success is acknowledging your limits and making feasible, attainable expectations of yourself for a balanced and lifelong fitness routine.
The ability to get the most “bang for your buck”: FUNCTIONAL
Is my fitness routine functional and well balanced? Are you training for a strong healthy life, or something specific, like a marathon? If you want to be strong and physically healthy for life, make sure your routine is guided by this goal. If you are training for a marathon, then you will need to log hundreds of miles, but if not and your goal is to lead an active healthy life with a strong healthy body, your program will be more functionally balanced. I encourage my clients to incorporate activity in these three categories:
- A total body strength program that mimics real life movement patterns
- A flexibility program that increases range of motion and decreases the chances of injury
- A cardiovascular program that focuses on intense and short duration spikes in their heart rate.
Fitness is for everyone, and becoming your healthiest self begins with creating your own unique fitness fundamental pyramid. Use this as a framework and then start experimenting with what works best for YOU and only YOU; tune out all the fitness fads and tune in to you! By creating good habits and a daily attainable routine, it will set you up for living your healthiest and most balanced life.