The Key To Achieving Your Fitness Goals

 

Kettlebells and running shoes

The new year is a time filled with resolutions and goal setting, and no goal is more common than those of the fitness variety. After all, there is a reason gym’s experience an annual influx of new members at this time of year- it’s resolution season! Now, chances are that you, or someone you know, is considering making a fitness change in your life. Before you rush out and sign up for a gym membership, be sure to consider your ultimate goals, fitness personality and preferred exercise style. If you truly want to succeed and make healthy changes this new year, don’t rush into your fitness journey with the masses. Take a moment to reflect and understand what will work best for you.

Determine Your Workout Personality

To achieve your goal, self-reflection is the first step to success. Prior to starting any fitness plan, you should carefully review your strengths and weaknesses. This is not necessarily a physical check, rather it is a mental attitude check to determine which factors related to your goal tend to challenge you the most. The purpose of threat identification is to identify any variables that will compromise your success. This can include bad habits, like a history of being inconsistent with workouts, as well as types of exercises you know you dislike.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Can I motivate myself in a gym environment?

2. Do I need instructions, or do I have enough experience to work out on my own?

3. Would I be more consistent participating in a sport or group activity?

4. Is this something I can do from home, or am I more likely to stick with my plan if it is done outside the house?

5. Do I have a reliable friend to go to the gym with?

6. What type of physical activity appeals to me?

7. What type of activity do I dislike?

8. What time of day will work best with my schedule? 9. What is my ultimate goal?

10. How can I break that goal into smaller, manageable pieces?

Pick a Method that Suits your Exercise Style

Some people have the ability to motivate their self to hit the gym regularly, others find it challenging without someone to crack the motivational whip. If you are one of those that struggle with consistency, consider teaming up with a friend to help motivate each other, invest in a personal trainer, or try a group activity.

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If you are new to the exercise scene or are recovering from an injury, consider choosing an option that provides more instruction. If you decide to join a gym, consider facilities that offer group fitness classes and personal training consultations. One on one consultations are beneficial to new members to avoid irritating old injuries or developing new ones. If a team environment is more appealing to you, look for sports or activities being taught at an introductory level. Many recreation centers offer intramural sports or leagues catering to different experience levels.

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If you have prior experience and are self-motivated, consider setting up a small space in your home where you can exercise. January is a great month to pick up exercise equipment, as this is the time of year workout gear goes on sale. Picking up some basic equipment like a set of weights, yoga mat, and a jump rope can go a long way. Equipment doesn’t have to be big to be effective, and some activities require little more than your body to see results.

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For experienced self-motivators who have little space or motivation at home, a well-equipped gym is probably preferred. If you get easily bored, look for a facility that offers more variety, as this will help keep you interested. Another option is to try a challenging activity, like martial arts or a competitive team sport.

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For those that prefer the comfort of home, but still need a little instruction, the digital age has you covered. It is more convenient than ever to stream exercise videos on your television, phone or laptop. There is no shortage of apps, channels, and programs that can be downloaded or streamed from the internet. With an abundance of body-based exercises, you don’t need to break the bank to tone up.

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Set Reasonable Goals

If deciding the best method to achieve your goal is the first step for success, setting up a series of smaller, reasonable goals is the second. Most people start out with high expectations, set unrealistic goals, and expect to achieve them in a short period of time. Unrealistic expectations often lead to decreased morale and goal abandonment. To avoid this, it is beneficial to break your goal into smaller pieces that are more easily achieved. You should also consider the method you will use to measure your success. For instance, if your ultimate goal is to lose 10lbs, breaking this into smaller 2lb intervals over a set period of time will be more motivating. If you exceed your expectations, you will feel better about your long-term success. An alternate goal may be to drop a pant size or two; if this is the case, monitoring your body measurements would be more accurate in judging your progress. Always keep in mind that depending on your ultimate goal, the steps you take to get there will vary, carefully consider what will work best for you, and if needed, talk to a professional. Lastly, if you have any doubt about which options to choose, remember that most gyms offer trial memberships. Try before you buy!

Be Consistent

Whichever method you decide to use, remember to be consistent. Some people find it useful to schedule exercise time into their day, making preplanned appointments with themselves. Others prefer a bit more wiggle room and choose to set a general exercise rule. For instance, if you plan on working out 3 to 4 times a week, a possible rule would be to try to exercise every other day and never let more than two inactive days happen in a row.

Happy 2018, and all the best with your new year goals!

The Importance of Water- 10 Reasons to Stay Hydrated

Our bodies are composed of about 60% water, yet many of us are drinking much less than the required amounts to keep our bodies functioning correctly (2-3 litres per day). This is one of the most important things I stress to my patients.  Proper hydration is an essential part of living and maintaining our body’s equilibrium. Without enough water our bodies will not function as well as it should, and in many cases our body will even begin exhibiting negative side effects due to its lack of hydration.

Ten Reasons To Stay Hydratedchild with water fountain

  1. Imbalance of Body Temperature

    Your body needs water in order to regulate your temperature. Without enough of it your body will not be able to cool and heat itself when needed. For example, low sweat production due to insufficient water intake can cause you to overheat when out for extended periods in the sun or during overzealous exercise sessions.

  2. Headaches and Cognitive Functions

    When you do not give your body enough water and you start to dehydrate, your brain will not be functioning at its best. Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of lack of hydration.  This can also lead to a significant drop in concentration.

  3. Joint Pain and Muscle Spasms

    Water lubricates the body’s tissues and joints.  Without enough water your joints become stiff, inflexible and prone to muscle spasms or cramps.

  4. Reduced Muscle Mass

    The more water you have in your system the easier it is for your body to carry nutrients to your muscles. Lack of hydration leads to weaker muscles and less endurance.

  5. Skin Issues

    Poor hydration can cause dry skin and a dull complexion. Loss of skin elasticity and premature wrinkles can also occur.

  6. Bad Breath and Dry Mouth

    Lack of water may decrease the amount of saliva your mouth produces. The purpose of saliva is to wash bacteria and food particles out of your mouth. Low amounts of saliva mean that more food particles and smelly bacteria will dry inside your mouth and coat your teeth. This will cause your mouth to become dry and your breath to become less than fresh.

  7. Reduced Urination

    Initially, this may not sound like a negative with our busy lifestyles, but urination is one of the body’s primary ways of ridding itself of toxins. When your body does not get rid of all of the toxins that get into our system, it can lead to internal diseases and illness, particularly with the kidneys and bladder.

  8. Constipation

    Lack of fluids can cause dryness in the intestinal tract which will prevent the easy flow of your bowel movements. Consistency of your stool can become hard making it difficult to pass.

  9. Weight Gain and Hunger Pains

    The vast majority of the time what we assume is hunger pains is actually our bodies demand for water. When we continuously reach for a sandwich instead of a glass of water when we feel “hunger pains” it has a negative impact on our waistline. Lack of water can also hinder your metabolism, which converts your food to energy, by slowing down the rate in which it produces energy.

  10. Dehydration

    When you feel thirsty you have already lost enough water that your body is sending out an S.O.S. for hydration. Dehydration leads to fatigue, dizziness, headaches, irritability and loss of skin elasticity. Severe or extended periods of dehydration can lead to gall-bladder issues and other chronic health problems.

 

Next time you are out and about, don’t forget to bring your water bottle! Staying hydrated is an important factor when it come’s to maintaining good health. Especially in the summer months..

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