Fitness and health goals go hand-in-hand with January and our New Year’s resolutions. The new year gives us a fresh slate to start over and get on the right page in several aspects of our life. We routinely want to get in better shape and live a healthier, fitter lifestyle.
As everyone knows it is much easier to set your fitness goals than it is to actually make it happen (and stick with it more importantly)! As usual, the gyms in Red Deer are jammed pack in January with new eager members wanting to get into the best shape possible and that is great to see! Unfortunately though, week after week you slowly see people drop off and disappear back into the grind and away from their goals. Even though they meant well, they might have set themselves up for failure right from the beginning by making unrealistic goals, pushing too hard and going full blast right from the start line. They took on too much and quickly became overwhelmed.
You need to keep it simple. Super simple. It is the small things we do each day that make the biggest difference, and with health and fitness it is no different.
But don’t know where to start? Here are five super simple steps to get started (and keep going)!
1. Set real, no-nonsense goals: Take your main long term goals (ie: lose 20lbs) and break them down into smaller, more understandable goals. Turn “Lose 20lbs” into “I want to lose 1lb per week”. It is much easier to hold yourself accountable and to keep yourself excited and motivated when you break your goals down.
2. Start eating breakfast: They aren’t lying when they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sets the tone for the next 24 hours and puts your body on the right track for fitness success. So if you want to maximize your fitness and fat-loss results you must start eating breakfast! Breakfast jump starts your internal furnace and revs up your metabolism, allowing you to burn more fat throughout the day and will give you the nutrients you need for sustained energy.
3. Eat small, frequent meals: To burn the most fat possible and to keep your metabolism roaring, it is best to break your large three meals into five or six smaller meals throughout the day. Grazing (eating a small balanced meal every three hours) will help keep your energy high, cravings low and blood sugar stable – all important on keeping you in a muscle gaining, fat burning mode!
4. Get you ‘zzzz’s’! Sleep better: Sleep is immensely underrated and usually put on the back burner, usually with negative effects that slowly sneak up on you. There are limitless benefits to getting a good night sleep but there are a special few that will help you lose weight and feel your best. Sleep keeps your ticker (heart) strong and functioning properly allowing you to control blood pressure, cholesterol, hormones and will increase metabolism. Researchers have also found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night have a higher chance of becoming overweight or obese.
5. Hit the gym: This is where everybody usually starts and unfortunately finishes. We start hitting the weights the first day without a plan, with no accountability and we all slowly start straying away from the fitness centres. But with each step in place now, you will have a plan and the energy and motivation to keep it going! Resistance training is known to boost daily calorie burning by 100% and will tone, sculpt and strengthen your muscles to get the body of your dreams.
So there you go! Five super simple steps to help you lose weight, burn fat and become the fittest you’ve been in years. Take control of yourself and make it happen!
Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer. He can be reached at 403-347-1707 or check out www.360fitness.ca for more information.