Mar 07, 2017 by spinalcare
If you haven’t seen the hashtag, #NewYearNewMe, you may want to think about coming out from the rock you live under. January was the time of year when New Year’s resolutions were made. Now, two months later, it is time to check-in. It’s no secret gyms were packed on January 1st and by now year-round gym-goers no longer need to worry about having to plan a workout around someone on “their machine”. We all want to be faster, healthier and stronger than we were last year and every person will set different goals. We want to go over some helpful points to allow you to create your goal or help you stick to a fitness goal already made to make 2017 a year of progress and results!
What is Your Goal
What was your New Year’s goal? If you didn’t make one in January NOW is the time! Do it for yourself, no one else. If you set a goal for the sake of someone else, you are much less likely to keep it. Make your goal attainable. Don’t think you are going to lift as much as Arnold Schwarzenegger at the peak of his career when you just picked up a free weight for the first time yesterday. Small achievable goals build confidence and that keeps you going. Make the goal based on something other than the scale. Perhaps walking up a flight of stairs without gasping for air at the top of the flight? Maybe your goal is doing a push-up… or 20? How about running a mile without taking a break? Although the scale is a good tool to gauge some forms of progress, don’t fall victim to ‘your number’; that is not what it is about!
Small steps lead to a BIG change
A typical American diet leave a lot to be desired when it comes to fitness and lifestyle goals. There are many different health and diet plans from counting carb or grams of protein to only eating certain foods. Trying to sort it all out can be overwhelming. No need to worry. Start small. If you are someone who drinks soda, start by limiting the amount of soda. If soda is what you truly enjoy, lower the consumption to a can once a week rather than once a day so you don’t deprive yourself. Perhaps you don’t drink soda, but you put a splash of coffee in a cup of sugar every morning. In that case limit the sugar, perhaps to one packet—no one wants you to become a walking zombie without your morning coffee, but small changes make big differences given a little time.
Always think ahead. The need to plan ahead is crucial to sticking to your lifestyle goal. When you stay late at work and get home 3 hours after dinnertime, you’re beyond hungry. Think of a hungry hyena in a field of antelopes, the hyena isn’t going to limit itself to one antelope. You’re not going to limit yourself to one chip, but you won’t find that out until you’ve reached into the now empty bag. As you make dinner, you are likely to pick at every snack in your cupboard. Limit that temptation and have premade meals and snacks in the fridge. This is going to take time to plan (Sunday Funday), but in the end, it’s a real time saver and goal saver! It’s so easy to give up entirely on a goal after a small setback so plan to limit the number and severity of those setbacks. Celery sticks with a couple tablespoons of peanut butter makes for a perfect snack. The crockpot is an easy way to make a lot of meals and have them ready to go for nights you unexpectedly stay late at work. Here are some great ideas for crockpot recipes, http://www.eatthis.com/healthy-crock-pot-recipes
Whether your goal is focused on performance or general health, your physique will change regardless. Anyone can tell you they see a difference, but if you don’t feel the change or see it for yourself, you’re not going to stay motivated. Most people hate pictures of themselves and that is even more true when you are starting a fitness plan. While we don’t advocate putting ‘before pics’ on social media, they are a great tool for you to actually see your progress. If you find yourself not feeling a difference in physical appearance, compare a current pic to a before pic and it will become clear there is, indeed, change! You need reassurance throughout any process to allow yourself to have confidence that you are headed in the direction towards your goal.
Maintaining motivation may be a challenge, but there are easy adjustments you can make to keep your eye on the prize! Pictures! Cut out a magazine picture of an athlete doing a muscle up, or an athlete’s chiseled physique and put it somewhere that you consider yourself ‘weak’. We all have weak spots–late night snacking, too hard on yourself when looking in the mirror, constantly giving excuses to avoid working out? Put the reminder on the refrigerator door or the bathroom mirror. For me, it’s my lock screen to my cell phone, the constant reminder provides motivation; I can’t avoid looking at the screen on my phone!
Hold yourself accountable to your goal. Apps, such as My Fitness Pal and the FitBit app make it very easy to track your nutrition and/or workouts. We are not advocates of tracking calories, yet My Fitness Pal also tracks macros, such as protein, fat, and carbs. Sometimes we may eat just for the sake of eating. By tracking what you eat you become more aware of your food intake.
The one excuse to starting a new health/exercise plan that we hear most often is when people have pain that impedes activity. “I can’t do Pilates because I have low back pain”. “I’d love to go to CrossFit but my shoulder hurts when I lift overhead”. That’s where your team at Spinal Care comes in. We can eliminate the pain and give you the tools to get you back on track to achieving your goals. You just have to set the goal and want it. We will help you get it.