Tim Church has over 20 years of experience in the fitness and health industry. Besides traveling the world to educate other personal trainers, he also actively coaches a variety of clientele (e.g., from locals like you and me to celebs who make Charleston one of their routine destinations).
Tim has offered to help me add a little variety to the information I "dish" out to you. His ingredient of choice is physical activity. The recipe for the day is called FITTE. Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type, Enjoyment.
Tim's best advice is to make the "F" and the "E" the foundation of your routine. If you enjoy the exercise, the frequency is more likely to be established. Everything else falls into place (between the F and the E). Tim talks my language. "It's like a good chili," he says. "Once you get the base, each cook can add their own spice and variety." This is what makes it feel personalized.
On enjoyment: Start with what you're good at first. Go to the low hanging fruit. Start with your strengths. For some, power is key. For others, slow and steady might be the ticket.
Also, start with people you enjoy. This is tried and true advice. When someone is waiting on you, you're more apt to show up.
On frequency: Tim's rule is to start with more than 50% of the days of the week. This means 4 days. If this number of days bogs you down, don't sweat (hehe). Short durations are okay (as little as 15 minutes per day can make a difference). Heck, once you talk yourself into 15 minutes, 30 minutes blows by. One key to frequency is having a 10 minute back up routine on hand for the days that just seem to absolutely turn upside down. This is just like having that back up Larabar or almonds in your bag in case you get stuck and need that nutrition.
Even if you're a seasoned athlete and are making it to the gym, there are those days when you're fatigued or bored and need this advice. Enjoyment and frequency. Start there. Keep it simple and go.
Tim is locally based so give him a call if you need a jump start. You can find him at www.mostfitlife.com.
Regardless of what percentage of New Year's resolutions stick, at least they get us thinking. Sometimes they even get us talking and doing new things that can lead to healthier and happier habits. Thinking in terms of habits can dramatically improve your chances of achieving results.
At our home, "We believe that clear thinking leads to good decisions, that good decisions lead to the right habits, that the right habits lead to character, and that character becomes destiny." A quote by Lord Acton, which I learned about in grad school.
When the purpose of the goal is clear, good decisions are made, and long term patterns of behaviors are achieved - this is when you will see results.
Previously, I've work on kicking bad habits. In particular...diet soda. I tried unmercifully for years (yes, years!) to kick this particularly detrimental behavior. It wasn't until I could clearly think about and understand the reason or purpose of the goal that I was able to commit to removing diet sodas from my diet.
The best thing I did was ask myself, "Why is this so hard?"
At first, I would just contribute the challenge to how "addicting" diet sodas were said to be. While I did apply some of the rules of addiction therapy, it still wasn't enough. Finally, I realized that the actual, physical prevalence of sodas and their coinciding advertising were the things that fed my behavior the most. I mean, there is a Coke on the end of every grocery store isle, at every check out (even at Marshall's for crying out loud), and you can even order cases on Amazon Prime. Don't forget about commercials, billboards and friends' habits. I literally could not get away from the one thing I didn't want.
This was it for me...the "ah ha!" I was being manipulated by these large soda companies to not only consume their products, but to consume more and more of them by thinking that the products were "a part of my life."
Once I understood this, I was able to look at my habit from a whole new perspective. I could say "no" to these big corporations. My experience reminds me often of the anti-tobacco commercials, where cigarettes dominate the main protagonists' lives. Of course, I also applied other behaviors that I would naturally recommend as part of nutrition counseling for my own clients (e.g., replacing soda with an alternative).
In my case, when the purpose of the goal was clear, decisions to remove barriers were made, and long term patterns of behaviors were achieved - this is when I saw results.
At first, I counted each day a success, then months and now years. This is what healthy living is about - making positive changes that last a lifetime. Just thinking about new, healthier goals is good. Start somewhere!
What's on my New Year's list for this year? I'll keep you posted.
Cheyenne is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist located in the Charleston, SC area.