Check out the latest tips and tricks on fitness, training and nutrition from Stay Decided Fitness!
What is “fitness” anyway? The technical definition is “the quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task”. In other words, your fitness in any particular area, not just physically, is your ability to be competent when the situation demands a certain level of competency. For example, if you need to be able to save someone from drowning and you run out of breath after treading water for 2 minutes, your fitness in the water probably isn’t where it needs to be.
So now the question is if you want to have all encompassing “fitness” in your life, where do you start? What particular areas do you need to be focused on and how do we start to develop those areas? In short, how do you go about making a change right now so you can transform in the long term? Through several years of experience and multiple clients, I have distilled those questions down to a few simple actions that ANYONE can get started with.
1. Track Something
If you’ve read any of my articles before, this one shouldn’t come as a surprise to you as I am a big fan of tracking progress over time through daily actions. For example the best thing you could do to improve your fitness and health from a nutrition perspective is track the food you eat. Yes, this means weighing and measuring those things that don’t have a nutrition label and sticking to a certain caloric budget. Another option is to start with just tracking your water intake, aim for at least 100 ounces per day. You could also track the number of steps taken in a day for a general idea of the amount of non exercise activity you might be getting. However you choose to do it, you can’t go wrong just starting to measure one behavior. Remember, what gets measured, gets managed!
2. Move Every Day
This one is pretty straight forward to most people and where most people like to begin to improve their physical fitness. The main point here is that you need to schedule time for intentional movement every single day. For most people that is a 30-90 minute block of time set aside to get in the gym or in their house and knock out a workout. It could also be a 30 minute walk if that works best for you or you’re starting from zero exercise activity at all. However you choose to move, make sure it is in some way enjoyable to you and serves a purpose in your life beyond just burning calories. Life is too short to punish yourself on the treadmill so find some intention within your movement!
3. Create a Bedtime Ritual
Sleep is often one of the most overlooked areas when considering what is needed to improve someone's fitness. Not only does lack of sleep throw off the hormones that control hunger and fullness cues, but a tired person will not be very likely to continue the other behaviors we discussed above that will get them closer to their goals. Using a bedtime ritual will help you improve your sleep quality and quantity in the long term by creating an automatic routine your body is familiar with and expects to happen. This could be as simple as putting a time frame around the pre-sleep things you already do. For example, if you wanted to be in bed by 9:30 you might brush your teeth/wash your face at 8:30 and that would help establish the habit of getting off of your electronics at that time. Next, you might set out clothes or pack food you’ll need for the next day before you get in bed to read or meditate. All in all this is just one example and as long as you are consistent with actions that will help you create routine around bedtime there is no wrong way to do it!
4,. Get a Team
Changing your behaviors will end up changing your life. That’s not an easy thing to do so you’ll need some support along the way. This is why getting involved with a community or team is one of the most crucial parts of this process. Adjusting the way you eat, sleep and move won’t happen fast and won’t come easy, but if you have a person or group of people you can ask for help, pull inspiration from and bounce ideas off of, the process will be smoother and usually more permanent. If you need a place where you can find people who are also pushing to improve themselves we could always use more dedicated members of Team Stay Decided, our Facebook group where we give you the education and tools needed to get you started. To join click here, fill out the membership questions and we will see you soon!
At the end of the end of day YOU are the only one who decides how “fit” you will be. It can be an overwhelming process to go through but my hope is that the steps outlined above will get you going in the right direction. As always if you need a plan that is customized for you don’t hesitate to contact us and we would be happy to hear your story and help however we can!