You’re three weeks into our Think Small Lose Big 8 week program to create healthier, sustainable lifestyle habits. You’ve committed to making healthier choices by writing your pledge and posting it around the house. You’ve also learned that to shed real weight you have to eat real food.
The next step is the big step- literally! It’s time to step it up and move your body. Hey, what goes in must come out. This means that what you eat has to be burned up by physical activity. The great news is that 2010 brings with it new fitness and activity trends to help you mobilize and keep it going. Erase any nightmarish thoughts about 4 AM gym workouts at some Olympic camp. Instead, this year we have plenty of inexpensive new, fun, and exciting ways to get up and get fit.
Take advantage of these new creative trends to move that marvelous body of yours, no matter how old you are or your current fitness level. Don’t wait another day. Take your pick, mix it up and start today!
1. Look out for fitness bargains. Get a cheaper gym membership. The economy’s still in rough shape and this is the time to bargain for lower dues as well as cost effective trainer packages. Find small, portable home based fitness equipment on sale and customized to you, the budget conscious consumer.
2. Train in a group. Instead of relying on more expensive one-on-one personal training sessions why not opt for a weight training class at the gym? Or, how about getting a small group together for a great personal training session. Many people benefit from the group support and camaraderie. You’re less likely to blow off your workout when you know you’re accountable to others.
3. Shorten your workouts while increasing their intensity. We’re all time starved. In order to get the most out of your workout, you need to increase the intensity to burn the same number of calories in a shorter period of time. Boot camp style workouts can give you a quite a comprehensive experience, often combining intense cardio as well as weight lifting in an hour or less. Check out circuit training as well, as it can provide short bursts of endurance and resistance training for a great workout session in 30-45 minutes.
4. Get your game on. It’s time for exer-gaming. Wii Sports, Wii Fit and Dancetown will no longer be only home-based. Heads up for their appearance at more health clubs throughout the year. These fitness-based video games change up the usual drudgery of the basic workout session, and add more fun and a chance to engage more muscle groups at one time. This is a great opportunity to get the whole family up and moving.
5. Blast through a Boomer workout. There are over 79 million Boomers out there demanding Boomer-specific exercise programs. This over-50 crowd has made the “exercise-disease prevention” connection and is showing up in larger numbers to get and stay fit. I’m predicting more mental aerobics will be offered with “cerebral gyms”, where Boomers can challenge their memory and learning using computer based technology. Talk about a great mind-body experience!
6. Mind your body. In addition to whatever cardio and weight training programs you want to use, don’t forget to explore yoga, Pilates, and the martial arts. Experiment and try a variety of classes. These movement modalities can provide ways to engage both mind and body for a unique inner self experience. Tai chi and yoga have been shown to reduce stress hormones, as well as produce other health benefits including reductions in blood pressure and depression. I highly recommend integrating some of these mind-body movements into your daily program.
7. Road Warriors Unite. I’ve got the travel miles to prove I’m a road warrior. One of our greatest challenges is trying to stay fit despite tough travel schedules. There are great products out there to help you stay on track. Whether it’s rubber tubes or suspension devices, you can easily pack these lightweight products and put them to work on the run. I’ve used mine in the office, on a long plane flight (stretching in the galley while chatting with the flight attendants who always want to join in!), or in a hotel room. No matter where you are, we’ve got you covered!
8. Have fun with fusion classes. If you’re bored to tears with the same old workout, it’s time to try out the new dance and exercise classes popping up in every health club. How about hip hopping, pole dancing, hula hooping, Zumba and ethnic dancing? A great ball room dancing session will leave you clamoring for more. The bottom line is that moving your body can be loads of fun, guaranteeing you’ll be back for more.
9. Geek it up to monitor progress. Thank heavens for the computer age and the gadgets galore you can choose from to keep you on your program. There are now simple to use tracking devices that help you monitor everything from the calories you burn to the steps you take. More mobile applications will become available that are downloadable to your iphones or similar technology. These apps will include online fitness plans, nutritional programs, and motivational tools. GoWearFit, FitBit and Training Peaks are just a few of the offerings for you to choose from.
10. Hire a certified fitness professional. You want and deserve the most credible fitness advice. That information will be provided by a certified fitness professional. Ask if your trainer belongs to an organization (e.g. American Council on Exercise, American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Assn., etc) that is certified by the National Commission for Certifying Agency (NCCA). Your trainer also needs to maintain their credentials through continuing education courses. The goal is to deliver a safe, challenging program based upon cutting edge advances in fitness. A certified fitness professional can do just that.
Alright, it’s time to do your homework. You have lots of options. While you’re trying setting things up, don’t waste time. Get up and walk more each day. Find excuses to increase your activities of daily living. Move more. Every step you take counts. These small steps are in reality the big steps you need to take to live long and live well.
Think Small Lose Big
- Week 1: For Lasting Change, Start with a Power Mind
- Week 2: The Secret to Dropping Real Weight is to Eat Real Food
- Week 3: The Next Step is the Big Step
- Week 4: The Lifestyle Rx for Muffin Tops and Menopots
- Week 5: Don’t Self-Destruct! Adapt and Adjust!
- Week 6: Shoot for Progress, Not Perfection
- Week 7: Find the Motivation That Sticks
- Week 8: There Is No Finish Line