getting fit and staying fit

With gas prices higher than ever (and steadily climbing), there’s no better time to park the car and get moving without it! Declare weekends “CAR FREE” and walk, bike, rollerblade, bus, or train your way to where you’re going. Of course we all have a million reasons why this is “simply impossible!” to fit into our busy lives, so help me address a few of the most common concerns:

The key to achieving most goals (fitness in particular) is patience and consistency, but what happens when you plan to exercise or hit the market for fresh produce, and your plans get derailed?

I hear so many excuses for why fitness goals seem out of reach: “I want to lose weight, but I love my daily diet coke.” “I’m too tired to exercise.” “But chocolate is good for me, right?” “I meant to exercise, but I overslept.”

There are few numbers that you should know offhand in order to ensure your quality of health is what it could be. If you have not had a physical or seen a tape measure in awhile, this is the week to take care of those things. You owe it to yourself!

BLOOD PRESSURE:

Water is THE most important element of your fitness routine. Simply put, the kidneys cannot function properly without enough water. If your kidneys are not functioning to capacity, then your liver steps in to assist. The primary function of your liver is to metabolize stored energy (fat) into usable energy, so if your liver is busy taking on some or all of the workload of your kidneys, it cannot burn fat. No matter how many calories you count or how much cardio you do, without enough water your body cannot burn fat.

Working hard at the gym, but not seeing the results you want? Watching what you eat, but the pounds just aren’t coming off? It is very common to focus on one area of fitness – getting to the gym regularly, keeping a food journal – while ignoring the others. But the beauty of a comprehensive fitness plan, which focuses on nutrition, weight training, cardiovascular activity, and flexibility training, is that each element helps the other, and the results are exponential.

We spend lots of time planning how tomorrow we will work hard, eat right, or get more sleep. But why wait? Make today the day you say no to the cookie your co-worker offers you, run an extra 5 minutes, or take the stairs.

Success comes from many small efforts, and there’s no time like the present to make a few. It’s the little things that make all the difference, so find one thing today you could do a little differently to get you closer to your goal, and do it!

This week’s focus is about doing what you need to do in order to achieve your goals that you've been avoiding – that last bad habit that you feel like you can’t quite kick but know is the obstacle holding you back from success.

Whether your goals are fitness-related or not, we all have that one puzzle piece that we just can’t bring ourselves to put into place, because it means doing something we have avoided for a long time for various reasons: it’s too hard, too uncomfortable, or would disrupt the status quo too much.

The dawn of a new year is the perfect time for taking a fresh look at your goals (fitness and otherwise) and your path toward achieving them. Since we often get in the way of our own efforts, try for a moment to pretend that your goals are not your own, but rather those of a friend, so you can think objectively without excuses or judgment. This is a time to look for opportunities for improvement, not time to beat yourself up for what you have or haven’t done. Take a step outside yourself and ask:

Ready to achieve your goals? It’s time to clean house in order to gain clarity and focus toward your goals, fitness or otherwise. For some of you this may literally mean cleaning your house (who can cook a healthy meal with dried food stuck to the stove and countertops?!), but for others it may be a little more metaphorical. Try a few of these examples on for size and see where you stand:

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