Life happens. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s tragic or sometimes it’s exciting and all consuming. But, how you react, or should I say “respond” when life happens is extremely important if you want to move forward and be successful in your personal goals. Not only does life happen, but it doesn’t have a “pause” button. That’s why sticking to your healthy habits and routines, no matter what, is so important
At our boot camp, you will probably hear us talk about habits and routines very often. That’s because they are essential for seeing improvement in your physique and fitness level. One of the founding principles of our program is setting an exercise schedule and sticking to it, not just dropping in whenever you feel like it (which is probably not often enough!) Think of your good habits and routines as the ultimate “auto-pilot” where you don’t have to talk yourself into a workout. You just show up at your fitness facility, hit the pavement or the play button on your favorite exercise video because that’s what you always do. Good habits will also keep you on “auto-pilot” when faced with food decisions. At a restaurant you dutifully step up to the challenge of finding a balance meal (fuel for you body) without the overabundance of calories usually served up those over-sized restaurant plates. The other “bad” food simply is not an option.
So when life happens and you fall out of the habit of exercise and quit being strong about your nutrition choices, you are creating a situation for yourself that will make it even harder to get to your workouts and eat healthy down the road. You’ve quit and when you decide to start back up, you will find you have lost your “auto-pilot.” Not only that, you may find you can’t keep up with your old workout routine and your are now craving sugar (since you have been eating more of it lately) and you keep taking a detour off your nutrition plan. This can lead to disappointment and discouragement and we know where that leads to… sitting in your “fat clothes” eating a pint of ice cream.
Not only have I seen it before, I’ve BEEN there before. So, I want to encourage you to charge forward when life hits you. Keep up your workouts and your healthy lifestyle. Again, it’s a lifestyle and it does have it’s rewards during good times and bad.
The only time you should take an extended break from exercise is if your doctor recommends it and even then you will need to be just as aware, if not more, of the food you are eating to stay healthy. Here are some common reasons for giving up or “taking a break” from fitness and why you shouldn’t go there:
I am going through a rough time, I am too depressed to workout. If you have recently lost someone or something important to you, take all the time you need to grieve, but also take some timeout for yourself. Have you ever finished an intense workout and feel so ALIVE and refreshed? Exercise is not only good for the body AND the mind. It helps us feel better all around and keeps us strong. The harder life feels to you, the MORE you need to prioritize some exercise for yourself. It could be just what pulls you out of your slump!
I’m too tired Exercise will help you feel better and sleep better! Even on days you don’t get enough sleep, exercise ENERGIZES you and pushes away exhaustion. But, if you are making a habit out of not getting enough sleep, you may need to evaluate your schedule and plan for a more efficient day so you can get in bed a little early to make time for exercise! Next time you feel “exhausted” at work, with your kids, or slumped over on the couch, go out for even just walk and you will see what I mean. Get in your exercise regularly get the proper nutrients into your body and you WILL sleep better.
I’m too stressed out. I have other things to worry about then myself. I know you have heard this before, but I really want you to think about it. How can you take care of ANYTHING else if you are not taking care of yourself? To be less stressed and take on each and every day with confidence, you will need to make yourself a priority by scheduling time for just yourself daily and plan ahead to be sure you have the necessary foods on hand to fuel your days. If you really want to help others or improve any situation in life, take care of yourself first!
I can’t afford my exercise program. Unless your program is with a private personal trainer (which admittedly is quite a luxury for most) chances are you CAN afford your program, you just don’t value it. It may be time to reevaluate what you get or don’t get out of it. Also, for most good exercise program, you get out of it what you put into it, so don’t be afraid to speak-up and talk to your instructor about your needs. Your exercise program should provide you with a few things that are worth every penny
- Accountability– less expensive memberships and programs may not provide the structure to notice when you are not there and follow up with you when you should be.
- Motivation/Support– Most programs are led by trainers who work to encourage you and include other participants like yourself for support. What a perfectly simple way to surround yourself with healthy and fit people!
- Safety/Personalization– working with a knowledgeable professional in an exercise program ensures you will have a watchful eye on your form to keep you exercising safely and effectively and will provide you with the personalization you need for each exercise to get the most out of your workout.
If you really can’t afford to spend anything on your fitness,you still can’t give up! Cable services offer on-demand video so you could probably get a different workout every day for a year with all the options. Also, walking/running outside and body weighted exercises are free. There are easily millions of videos and articles on workouts online to give you ideas as well. Either way, don’t fall out of the habit!
When life hits you, good or bad, use these tips above to STAY in the habit of exercise. You will get through it, especially with the foundation of your healthy lifestyle and will come out the other side an even stronger person.
By Niki Gauthier