First steps to personal fitness

Last week I posted a blog all about the excuses one comes up with to justify not exercising.  We may have 168 hours in a week, but why is it that we seem to always find time to NOT exercise.  Its truly amazing, but we always seem to find time to meet our friends at the pub, rent a movie, or just sit around and surf the net.  Rhetorical question maybe, but I’m embarrassed that I’ve caught myself on more than one occasion relying on one or two of the above excuses.  So what can we do to hold ourselves accountable to our own fitness goals and needs?

The secret lies in realizing that personal fitness is just that — a “need”.   At 31 years of age I’ve realized that my metabolism just is not what it used to be.  The ritualistic glass of wine or pint of beer with dinner now seems to find a place on my body to camp out and I have to work double-time to get rid of the free-loading, squatter.  I “NEED” fitness in order to evict this extra body fat and maintain a reasonable body composition (check my posting on body weight vs body fat for more info).  Now I have to ask myself how badly I want it and this is where accountability is very important.  Most of us are least accountable to ourselves, so this is why I usually tell someone else my fitness goals.  When you have shared with a friend, family member or co-worker, you’ll be amazed how much more motivated you become (especially if you put money on it).

One tip to consider, I would highly recommend photos and lots of them.  Go and buy some fitness magazines and cut out all the photos that you find inspiring and post them all over your bathroom mirror, fridge, home gym, bedroom and anywhere you find your eyes traveling throughout the day.  Review these photos often and envision yourself achieving your fitness goals.  On the other hand however, nothing works better like negative reinforcement so also take photos of yourself in your swimsuit.  At any time you find yourself wondering why you are doing all this work, just pull out those photos and think about where you have come from and where you are going.

Lastly, just have fun with in and start small, little changes can sometime be the most impactful at building momentum for yourself.  Commit to 2 hours a week of exercise; and with your diet start to use milk in your coffee, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and switch to diet cola – these few changes will eliminate some unnecessary calories from your diet and assist you in reaching your goal quicker.

Happy goal setting and good luck on your new path to fitness!


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