You have probably heard the phrase; 'If you don't have your health, you don't have anything.' It's not just a catchy empty phrase, it has real meaning with real consequences behind it.
With the health and wellness industry cracking the trillion dollar per year mark, you would think everyone should look like a fitness model. So why are so many of us out of shape and unhealthy?
We don't want to stray into the medical field and upset some pharmaceutical company, so we are focusing on the personal health and wellness that we have control over.
Most of us already know that eating right and getting exercise is the key yet in America approximately 70% of adults 20 years and older are overweight or obese according to the CDC.
So, what's the fat problem?
My opinion is that there are 2 groups of people that fit into the overweight category.
- Those that care.
- Those that don't care.
Those that don't care about their weight and/or health have made a choice based on whatever understanding and beliefs they have and that is the end of it.
Those that do care about their weight and health but still manage to not make the cut are lacking 1 or more tools to get them to the weight and health they want.
Knowledge – Those of us that know how, take our knowledge for granted and normally don't consider that not everyone knows what is required to reach and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Time – Life is a complex circus act of juggling responsibilities and desires all while restricted by a finite amount of time. Who has time to eat right and exercise?
Will power – Let's face it, most of us face the same problem, we just don't have the will power to get things done and stick to a plan.
Let's get to it already. I want to encourage you to make a change today and know that you can improve your health with minimal effort and just a few minutes a day. This is not for health nuts and fitness gurus, this is for the average person who lacks the knowledge, time and/or will power to take control of their weight and health.
Educate yourself on what and how
We need to learn about nutrition and exercise but we don't need to be experts. Learning a little can go a long ways. Start with the basics of calories, learning where they come from such as: fat, sugar and protein; and what your body does with them.
Quick tip: Your body can burn more than double the calories when you wake up first thing in the morning. Consider a short, low impact exercise routine first thing in the morning.
Learn about stretching, cardio, and strength training. Stretching is incredibly important before and after any form of physical exercise. Low impact lite cardio is one of the most effective means for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Strength training does not mean bench pressing 400lbs, it is simply working the muscles to improve strength which has much more benefits than most of us realize.
Learning about nutrition and the varied forms of exercise does not have to be a life long project, stick to the simple basics to get you started. That is what we want, to get started and have enough knowledge to get results. No PhD required.
Make the time
Effective exercise is all about form, intensity and variety.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need 60+ minutes to exercise everyday. Effective exercise is all about form, intensity and variety. Unless you are training for a marathon, you can get an effective workout done in about 10 – 15 minutes and thats a full body workout which means if you are targeting a specific area, you can get it done in less time.
You may be calling bull-crap right now, especially if you are experienced in the fitness field, but the simple fact is that exercise does not need to be time consuming. An effective exercise is simply challenging the body to perform above it's normal operating levels. Obviously endurance training is time consuming, but there are shortcuts for that as well.
Everyone can find a few extra minutes in their day and that is exactly what you need to do if you want to make a change.
Remember when we said effective exercise is all about form, intensity and variety? To get a good workout, form is important and must be fairly strict, but intensity and variety is where you make your time and get results. By simply adjusting the intensity and variety of your exercise you can dramatically reduce the time it takes to get results.
Several years ago the phrase "guerrilla cardio" was introduced to the fitness world. The idea was simple but the results were incredible. It goes like this: If you are capable of a sustained 10 minute cardio exercise at a certain pace then you break that exercise down into increments of high intensity and low intensity. The low intensity is your normal pace and your high intensity is your maximum pace. Operate at low for 10 seconds then ramp up to high for 30 seconds then back down to low. This high low variety in the intensity can be adjusted to fit your style and abilities and produce phenomenal results. You can turn a 10 minute workout into a 2 minute workout just with intensity and variety.
Get the will power
We have the knowledge and the time now all we need is the will power. The great thing about all of this is that we now know how and we know that it can be done in a short amount of time, we want it and we know how to do it.
It is a lifestyle choice that you must make. Make the effort to set aside 10 – 15 minutes everyday at the same time, make it a regular part of your daily schedule. We need to rewire the brain to accept the new habit of exercising at the same time everyday, we do this by sticking to it. Repetition is key when developing new habits, the brain needs to build new neural pathways that act as shortcuts which is what habits are, we really don't think about them, we just do them.
Changing the way we do things is never an easy task and always comes down to our ability to make the effort. If your weight and health is important to you, then make the effort to make the change. Educate yourself, motivate yourself and do it.