What We Say vs. What We Do
Newton's First Law of Motion, frequently referred to as the "Law of Inertia," states that an object at rest stays at rest... unless acted upon by an unbalanced force." It is the unbalanced force known as motivation in each of our lives that gets us started on the right tack to a healthier lifestyle. However, keeping with the Law of Motion analogy, habit is the vacuum that keeps us in motion and allows a person to actually do the things they say they want to do, effectively and efficiently.
Success is driven by motivation, determination and good habits. It is the combination of these three tactics that will ultimately keep a person in constant motion and in turn, allow them to reach their personal goals. Without these tactics, too frequently do people begin to workout and so quickly "fall off the train."
- 4 Reasons People Neglect Physical Activity -
1. Motivation: For most people, finding time to exercise is all about what works for them.
Exercising is an amazing hobby, it is all about you and what you choose to get out of it! If you are looking to tone muscles, gain lean mass, or decrease fat mass you must set a realistic goal and go for it! All it takes is motivation and the "can do" mindset.
It is when motivation runs out and you are left to make the decision between continuing down the path to success and personal gain, or giving up, that people often lose focus of their goals. Motivation is like fire unless you keep adding fuel to it, it dies. In many cases our dreams are the fuel that keeps our fire burning.
2. Lack of Time The world we live in is full of routine day-to-day schedules. People choose to make excuses for their lack of time rather than finding the time to exercise in their daily routines. Some excuses such as, "There just aren't enough hours in the day," or "I work every day, by the time I come home I am exhausted" are just people's way of saying, "I don't want to."
Take a moment and think about you.. How often is it that you tell yourself you will go to the gym after school/work, and when the time comes, you magically have 100 other things that take priority? Probably more than once.
The hardest part about exercising is often finding the time and the motivation to routinely workout in the hectic world we live in. So the next time you set time aside to exercise, just do it! A person always makes time for the things they consider to be important, so if results are what you are looking for, make them a priority!
3. Injury: Even the most active people may be struck with an injury. It comes suddenly; they may be in peak physical fitness but an unchecked injury can ruin everything. Positive habits such as going to the gym in the evenings may devolve into negative habits such as watching Netflix and having late night snacks. These negative habits are easy to fall into and difficult to come out of.
However, if you find yourself knee deep in bad habits due to injury, do not fret! Depending on the severity of your injury, consider seeing a doctor and getting involved in physical therapy to quickly and safely rehabilitate the source of your pain or discomfort that has forced you into your unhealthy lifestyle. Otherwise, for less severe injuries, try only taking a few days off to alleviate pain, giving your muscles time to relax . "R.I.C.E," an acronym which stands for rest, ice, compression, elevate is an at home remedy for strains, sprains and bruises. This procedure should be used within the first 24 to 48 hours following the immediate injury and should be repeated throughout this time span.* Time off is not a bad thing, what is important is that it is taken with moderation.
One of the most, if not the most, common injury people face is soreness. When beginning to workout for the first time, or for the first time in a long time (especially after an injury) it is likely that your body will react to this sudden change, i.e. be sore. The bodies reaction often causes people to cut back on the time they spend at the gym or even stop working out. Nothing is not wrong, so don't be so quick to retreat from your fitness obligations. When working out, try not to work out the same muscle groups two days in a row. The American Council on Exercise states that after an intense weight training, muscles may contract for up to 39 hour and due to the higher metabolic rate, are burning calories during the time. A similar effect occurs after high-intensity interval training know as EPOC. EPOC is the excess post- exercise oxygen consumption that occurs after an intense cardio workout.
Along with alternating workouts to prevent soreness, it is also extremely important to stretch and stretch well in order to prevent injury. Doing dynamic stretches before a workout, or static stretches once you have properly warmed up when your muscles are lose and pliable, can decrease your risk of muscle related injuries.
If you're alternating your workouts, properly stretching and you are still experiencing muscle fatigue and soreness, try investing in a foam roller. Foam rollers are used to release muscle tightness. Professional coaches, athletes and therapists all recommend foam rollers to help relieve soreness and prevent major injuries.
At the end of the day, if your body is telling you to stop from pain, listen to it. Don't push yourself to the point of injury. Experience will teach you the difference between "the burn" and an injury.
4. Not Seeing Results People tend to stop doing things that they don't find to be productive, or a good use of their time. Even the most determined can lose confidence and motivation if they are not seeing the results they are looking for. How could they not? TV, social media, and the internet all perceive working out to lead to defined six-packs, long sexy legs, and arms that are larger than life! However, this is not the case. Those clean cut muscle groups are not easy to obtain and therefore, only come with time and consistency.
When trying to reach these peaks of maximum fitness, you must first shed some weight in those troublesome areas. During this time, it is important to remember the "First-On, Last-Off" theory. If you are unfamiliar with this theory, all it means is that the weight you have put on (and begin to notice) first is the weight you will lose last. As you look for results in the mirror, time and again people get discourage when not noticing results, even after routine exercise. Keeping with the "First-On, Last-Off" theory, the area of weight gain a person put on first takes the longest amount of time to get rid of, and therefore, will come off last. In men, these areas are often on the front and sides of the stomach (android style), for women, it's more often hips and thighs (gynoid style).
When seeking results for a transformation in your body, start by setting a routine exercise schedule. Rina Shaikh-Lesko at Stanford University discovered that building time into your weekly routine is the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. People will always find time to eat, because it is already built into their schedules. So really when dieting, you are just changing what you eat, which makes it easier than building extra time into your schedule to exercise. So start with exercise, and with time, you will find that diet and exercise combined will lead to healthier lifestyle choices. Doing one, but not the other may seem frustrating due to a lack of results, however, once regulating your new exercise routine, dieting and exercising consistently, you can expect to see a transformation to a healthier lifestyle as well as a healthier you!
If your goal is to lose weight and you are eating properly while exercising often, remember that a pound of muscle takes up far less space than a a pound of fat, therefore you may not be shedding weight, but gaining muscle while reducing body size.
Although you may not see yourself at your ideal weight, remember to keep the big picture in mind, your first priority should always be to stay healthy!
- If you say you are going to do something, do it!
- Stay motivated, determined and enforce good habits.
-Maximize free time
-Avoid/ fight through injury
-Expect soreness and learn to love it!
-First-On, Last-Off theory
-Exercise should be introduced before diet
All it takes is one small step in the right direction to bring you closer to obtaining your goals. However, maybe it is time to skip the first step and jump in with two feet! Become the change you wish to see! For those of you who desire a fitness transformation or a "revamped you," you can do it!
"If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done"
*Seriously though, go see a doctor if you're injured. We're not medical professionals, just people who have hurt ourselves enough to learn these things.