Happy Two Year Anniversary to my Life (Joan Minnery)

Shape Up Tips – The Weigh I See It (Joan Minnery, @joanminnery)

Okay, so you’ve got yourself on a healthy eating plan, you’ve made positive changes to your diet and you’re eating healthy foods, but the scale isn’t moving. So, what’s next? What is the next obvious choice? It’s a no-brainer. You MUST get moving!

In order to be successful with weight loss, some form of activity has to be added; diet must be combined with exercise. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t lose weight effectively by just dieting alone, and you can’t lose weight effectively by just exercising alone. They go hand in hand.

If you’re going to get serious about weight loss, you’re going to have to adapt to a healthier lifestyle, which also means you have to be willing to fully commit to some form of physical activity. Whatever mode you choose, you have to get moving, be it walking, zumba, danceffit, aerobics, weight training, hitting the gym, badminton, cycling, jogging, hockey, tennis, ballroom dancing, boot camp, swimming, bowling, chair exercises, volleyball, skating, golf, tennis, racquet or ball sports. You have to do SOMETHING to get your body moving. Any form of movement is better than nothing and it has to be every day for at least thirty minutes. Your daily routine must include some form of physical activity and YES folks, this also includes sex.

However, one of the problematic drawbacks with fitness is that so many folks start out with the best intentions, but lose focus and give up too quickly because of boredom or fatigue. Fitness becomes something that takes too much effort.

For those of you just starting out on your fitness life enhancement , perhaps hitting a plateau, or in need of some extra inspiration and motivation; here are some simple fitness tips to keep you motivated.

Shape Up Tip #1
Remember to keep variety in your fitness plan. You have to have a CORE, or chosen mode of fitness to start off with but always explore new avenues to keep the extra spice in your life. Try some unique alternative modes of exercise. If you’ve chosen just to go to the gym, enhance your daily routine with running, martial arts, canoeing, jump rope, or even the trampoline. It adds fun and leads to learning new skills. Old routines have to be varied so that the enjoyment remains fresh, allowing the body to continually achieve effective results.

Shape Up Tip #2
Be patient. The best way to start a fitness routine is to go at it slowly. It must be that way. Slow and steady wins the race. Take your time. Barrelling into the gym with all guns a blazing can be just as detrimental to your success as not being motivated at all. Take the time to learn the skills necessary, and make sure you are trained adequately in safe techniques so that injuries are prevented. Sadly, injury is often a reason for folks getting disenchanted early. Exercise MUST be done in moderation.

Shape Up Tip #3
Exercise has to be part of your day. Make a time that is convenient for your lifestyle and try to do it at the same time every day. Fitness should be as normal to you as eating and breathing. At least 30 minutes every day… do SOMETHING. Even if it’s three 10 minute bouts of movement of some type. Physical movements should become a habit.

Shape Up Tip #4
Take it one day at a time. Come up with a plan and set out realistic, attainable short and long term goals and objectives. For example, your short term goal could be walking every day but your long term objective is to eventually start running. That’s smart planning. Don’t ruin this by starting out running. If you’ve never run before, you cannot expect to suddenly turn into Ben Johnson and run like an Olympian. It’s dangerous and you will be prone to giving up prematurely. Once you’ve started to run, take it slowly. Run one block, then walk a block. Then run two blocks ,and walk two blocks. When YOU are ready, you can make that transition from walking to running and your body will be conditioned in a safer mode for success. Remember, there is no rule that says you have to transition from walking to running. A good brisk 5km walk is just as beneficial as a run. Do what YOUR body says it can do.

Shape Up Tip #5
You have to make your fitness FUN. If you don’t enjoy it, exercise will end up being too much like a chore and ultimately the novelty will wane and you will stop. You MUST find something YOU like. Try many activities to find the one that lights you up. Working out with a buddy is always a great motivator and enhances the social aspect.

Shape Up Tip #6
Exercise is a great stress reliever, and one of the main benefits of exercise is that it relaxes your mind while allowing your brain to actually take a break. Fitness is intended to enhance stress relief while not thinking for an hour or so. Try to refrain from complicated routines that make it necessary to consult a road map to get through your workout. Less is more.

Shape Up Tip #7
To be blunt, if you aren’t willing to make a serious commitment, do not start until you are. You absolutely must make a commitment to a lifestyle change. In order to be successful, you have to maintain that success. If you are viewing exercise as just a momentary fix, then it’s only going to be done on a temporary basis. However, one of the key factors in the motivational process is to be vigilant that you do not deprive yourself of activities or routines that you normally love to do. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that you will begin to resent exercise if it gets in the way of your pastimes. Don’t stop doing things that you thoroughly enjoy doing. Fitness should not be a replacement for fond activities in your life, but rather an additional enhancement.

Shape Up Tip #8
Keep an ongoing track record of your exercise program and write it down in a fitness journal or on your computer. Don’t just rely on your memory. One inexpensive way is to purchase a pedometer to see how far you have travelled, and how many calories you have worked off. Keeping a daily fitness journal is much like maintaining a diet plan. If you start out walking for 20 minutes and doing 30 sit-ups, in just a few months when you’re walking for 60 minutes and doing 200 sit-ups, you will want it as tangible proof that you are improving. This is another great motivator. Make sure to congratulate and reward yourself for achieving your goals.

These are very simple and basic tips for staying motivated and on track with your fitness routine. Please never forget to look in the mirror for more tangible evidence to see the changes that are happening to your body. They may be subtle, but as time goes on, they will become more obvious such as: clearer skin, healthier complexion, softer hair, whiter teeth, happier disposition, gained confidence, improved stamina, increased sex drive, cognitive awareness, restful sleeping, livelier eyes, looking younger, and an overall improvement in mental and physical health. Remember the ultimate motivator is YOU!

Now put down that fork and get moving!

Joan Minnery


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