Well it’s almost that time of year as we are approaching the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, that people suddenly decide that after a month or so of gorging themselves on decadent food and alcohol that they must now repent for their sins by joining the gym. Every year it is always the same thing, the day after New Year’s Day the normally reasonably full gym now becomes like most stores on Black Friday where it is a mob of people fighting for equipment. I have been in the industry for 20 years now and it is ALWAYS the same. What is confusing to me is why do you have to wait until after New Year’s to start a lifestyle change. It would seem prudent to me to start BEFORE the indulgent holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, etc. If you started before the madness, you might just be able to maintain or even lean out over the holiday season. It takes between 18 and 254 consecutive days to change a behavioral habit. A person’s lifestyle and support system can either be helpful or harmful in changing a person’s habits. Every year people have these goals of changing their lifestyle and eating habits and about a month or so after joining the gym find out that it’s a lot of work and they quit. The funny part about eating well and working out is it is a lot like your job, you don’t always want to be there or do it, but it is necessary to achieve a certain outcome. You can try to cheat life by not exercising and eating well, but at some point you will inevitably you will have to do both. One of two things will happen, either your doctor will eventually say you have to work out to prevent health issues or you will start to feel the effects of years of neglect on your body. Even the people who work out consistently throughout the year, don’t enjoy EVERY single workout at the gym. Here are my tips for the upcoming madness that is about to happen. I hope that this article helps the New Year’s crowd to sustain a healthy lifestyle change.
- Exercise and eating right are a LOT of work. If you think that you are going to walk into a gym and have an epiphany to change your habits, you would be wrong. You will have to take time every day to plan what to eat, when to eat, and when to schedule your workout. Think of exercise and eating right like going to work, you will have to do it every day for the rest of your life in order to reap the benefits. This doesn’t mean that every day of eating and working out will be perfect or full of unicorns and rainbows. The goal is to put in the work and progress towards your goals each day. This should be similar in your professional world as well, each small step leads you to a bigger achievement.
- Write down five short and long term goals for the year. Most people when they start say things like, “I want to lose 20lbs by a certain date”. The problem is they never write it down and they don’t understand that you have to sacrifice in order to get what you want. We would all love to lose weight by eating Christmas cookies and drinking copious amounts of alcohol, however that is not a reality. If you look at weight gain and the length of time it takes to put weight on, it will take equally or more time to lose the weight. Nobody wakes up after a week and says,”OMG I gained 30 pounds this week”. As with most things in life, it takes time to achieve your goal and lots of hard work.
- If you are not familiar with the gym equipment, please ask or hire a CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER. Please take the time to ask for help and do your research on who you are hiring. The individual should be certified by a credible organization, should have online review and/or testimonials, should look the part of a Personal Trainer, and should suit your personality type. There are lots of individuals who claim to be trainers or claim to know what they are talking about in the gym. Make sure you take the time to educate yourself on who you are going to do business with. Unfortunately in the fitness world there are a lot of fly by night individuals who don’t stay in one place or who are only interested in making sure that you cannot function the day after your first session. If your trainer makes your workout so hard that you cannot function for several days on the very first meeting with them, do yourself a favor and fire them immediately. It does not take any amount of intellect to completely destroy an individual the first workout. They should have a plan in place and adapt the workout to your level of ability.
- Make sure you partake in proper gym etiquette. Each facility has it’s own set of rules to abide by, but make sure you know what they are. There are some other rules in which I will address that are the unwritten rules of the gym . If you use a piece of equipment, please make sure you wipe it off when finished. Nobody wants your sweat on them when they use the same machine. If the gym has the radio on, you do not get to request what type of music you like. The goal of the facility is to play music that is upbeat and current for all members to enjoy. If you have a certain music you prefer, then please bring headphones and the music player of your choice to enjoy it. If you are trying to superset exercises during the busy time at the gym, you cannot save equipment until you get done with your set. You have to respect other members and allow them to work in to a set. It is rude to expect that everyone has to abide by your workout schedule. If you are chatting on the phone or with another member, please do not sit on the equipment for 15 minutes while you finish your discussion on whatever topic you are speaking about. If you are going to be showering at the facility, please do not confuse the bathroom with your own personal bathroom. You should cover the important items of your body while showering or changing. Do NOT walk around the bathroom completely naked talking to people and brushing your teeth. Would you want your houseguests to strip down and walk around your house every time they use the bathroom? The big thing to remember at a gym is you are a patron and should respect others while utilizing the facility. It’s really simple be nice and courteous to EVERY ONE.
If you are looking to change your eating habits or start a workout program, please contact Xcellerated Speed Training for all of your fitness goals.