In February, most of us are still in the dead of winter, so this is a great time to focus on ourselves and do things that have been found to bring happiness even with gray days outside. One of those things that has been thoroughly researched and confirmed is the benefit of eating three helpings a day of fruits and vegetables. Add to your grocery list the produce items you like and will reach for daily, so you can get to your “happy place”!
Last month we discussed being ready to make changes, any kind of changes, but in particular, changes that can bring you better health. If you didn’t have a chance to read last month’s fitness article, I hope you will do so. For those of you who did, you will recall answering questions that revealed your mental readinessto make changes for a healthier you. Answering “no” to most of the questions was an indicator that you may not be mentally ready to make enough positive changes to help you meet your fitness goals. IDEA Health and Fitness Source has a list of four principles that people who are most successful in making changes buy into. These principles are referred to as “Laws of Success.”
1. The Law of Possession: “If it is going to be, it is up to me!”
Understand that you need to take ultimate responsibility for the success or failure of your exercise program. It may be tempting to blame your husband or kids, but you will be the one who actually exercises! Loved ones can support you and a professional can help educate you, but you must be willing to give up a sedentary lifestyle.
2. The Law of Effort: “Anything worthachieving is worth working for.”
Exercise takes discipline, character, persistence, planning and a commitment to delayed gratification.
3. The Law of Consistency: “I have tostick to the game plan.”
Researchers have found one characteristic common to those who adhere to exercise: They move toward their goals one step at a time and are committed to constant, never-ending improvement. If you get off track for a week or so, it is not a “deal killer.” However, if you are regularly tempted away from your program, you will not reach your goals. Remind yourself daily why you want to be healthier/lighter/stronger, so you can stay motivated and consistent.
4. The Law of Self-Efficacy: “If I think I can or I think I can’t,I’m probably right.”
If you immediately start questioning whether you can make the changes required to live an active lifestyle, you are going to have a difficult time. You must believe you can do it. Get support from family, a personal trainer, an eating disorder specialist, a hospital program, and friends.
Sometimes the changes aren’t huge ‚Äì even small changes can bring big results. For example, by just decreasing what you eat a day by 200 calories (a mocha coffee, for example), you can lose 1 pound in about 2 weeks. If you do that and add about 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, you could lose that pound in 1 week!
Next month, I will be in my studio showing how to properly perform abdominal crunches and low back strength exercises, so watch for the video. We hope you are planning to join us in July for our first annual national convention, and having stronger core muscles can help you no matter which adventures you plan to do!