Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Get Past the Excuses and Start Getting In Shape!
So let me address all three of these points.
1. Time. Have you ever tracked how you use your day? Most people have several hours actually that could be put to better use. Whether its learning how to multi-task, or simply using your time more efficiently, its a pretty simple fix. If you're starting a home-based fitness routine, see where you can multi-task. For many people when they're starting out or when they want to give their current fitness a little boost, I suggest adding in crunches and weightless squats during their television time. If you're considering joining a gym, you can get A LOT done in one hour. Packing your lunch to eat at your desk so you can fit a workout in on your lunch break is another idea. Or of course, learning to wake up just a little earlier to go for a morning jog, which is a great jump start to your day anyhow.
The second excuse. Money. Okay, in the beginning, I agree. You have to "find" the money. But if you can tough it out for a couple months, you'll find that getting in shape and living a healthier lifestyle will actually save you money! Most people spend hundreds of dollars a month on eating out and social drinking. Think of your last bar tab. How many months of a gym membership would that have gotten you? As you start working out, you'll notice the difference on how you feel when you eat poorly versus when you eat clean. You'll eventually stop eating out as much and drinking just won't be worth it anymore as you try to get through your workout the next day with a hangover.
And finally, soreness. This one isn't so much an excuse as it is a real deal. Anytime we start something new, there is a soreness that comes along with it. And I mean ANYTIME, because typically anything new has the potential to cause soreness. Even if I'm in my peak fight shape, if I start a new routine that varies too much from the training I had been doing prior, I experience soreness as well. A good example is a couple years ago when I went for an eight mile trail run the day after my fight. I was in my peak physical condition, but I don't run to prep for my fights so despite this, I experienced soreness for several days after that trail run because I asked my muscles to do something completely different than I had trained them to do over the prior six weeks.
So soreness is something that there's no way around. There are ways to reduce soreness like stretching, drinking water, getting the proper amount of rest, and feeding your body appropriately, but even if you do all these things you will still have soreness that you will be faced with for a couple weeks. From my experience, I find the magic number is three weeks. If you can tough it through 21 days, typically you will find the soreness will go away (or reduce to a level that's almost appreciated and sought after by most athletes), and you will then only experience it on occasion as you change up your routine.
Like I said, there are ways to reduce the level of soreness you will experience though. Drink plenty of water. The going suggestion on water consumption right now is 1/2 an ounce per pound of body weight. However, this can be extremely difficult if you are someone who rarely drinks water. So I usually have people start with the 64 ounces rule. Try your best to drink 8 glasses of water per day. If you already do this, start working toward hitting that 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight.
Stretch. Mostly what I see when people stretch is they aren't holding the stretch long enough to do anything other than increase circulation in the area (which isn't bad, but it isn't enough). It takes 15 seconds to stretch a muscle, and 30 seconds to re-educate it to a new length. So after exercising, hold each stretch for no less than 15 seconds, but aim for 30 if you can.
Rest. During sleep is when our bodies heal and recover. So if you don't get enough rest after intense exercise, your body will take longer to heal. The amount of sleep a person should get is a topic of debate right now, but I personally believe we are wired to innately know if we need more sleep or not. What leaves one person feeling rested, might not be enough for someone else, so listen to your body and get the rest its asking of you.
Feeding your body well. Like I've mentioned before, if you don't fuel your body well, it won't run well. It won't heal well either. Make sure your getting a good balance of carbs and proteins and limit your alcohol intake. .
Please remember that these weekly tips are nothing more than advise from my own personal experience, research, and education and they are never meant to replace the consultation of your personal healthcare provider.
Feel free to email your personal questions about fitness, health, or nutrition to email@example.com and I will do my best to get back to each one and choose one question to address next week on The Take Down Radio Show's weekly segment!