Do you feel like you’re the star in your very own Groundhog Day movie? When people speak about keeping fit and healthy, here at PEAQ we find all too often that fitness is like a roller coaster ride. One minute you are up and the very next minute you are plummeting down. People are momentarily motivated to make a change, they join a gym, and go all guns blazing for 2 weeks, before old patterns of behaviour slowly start to creep back in.
Here are three factors that are contributing to your Groundhog Day health and fitness experience:
- Forming Habits: If you have read our breaking the habit blog you will have learnt something about behaviour change. Forming habits are a crucial component of creating long term behaviour change. At some stage in your life it is likely that you will attempt to change one or more of your health behaviours, whether it is to exercise more often, eat healthier, stop smoking or drink less alcohol. However, for many, such intentions never result in long-term behaviour change. Once motivation decreases, your body is sore and fatigued and you are tired, your brain switches to autopilot and falls back into well-established habits. This is because your brain does not have to expend any cognitive energy on actions that are a result of well-formed routines. So in order to keep making good and healthy decisions when motivation starts to fade you need to make the new behaviours automatic habits.
- Lack of Individualised Services: Everyone’s body is different; we all have different goals, different interests, lifestyles and possible injuries. Mass produced programs that do not take into account these factors and all the other thousands of individual possibilities are leading you down the garden path. Long term success in relation to your mind, body and overall wellness hinges on following a program that is tailored for YOU.
- Ignoring the Mind-Body Connection: This is speaking generally, however people are usually motivated to start their fitness kicks by external body goals. Weight loss is the main goal at the forefront of everyone’s minds and is often the driving force behind contacting a personal trainer, joining a 10-week challenge or signing up to a gym. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make changes to your physical body but it is important to also consider changes that can be made internally. This will ensure that when you aren’t seeing the numbers you hoped for that you do see the positive changes it is having in other aspects of your life such as improved state of mind and mood, increased flexibility or aerobic capacity.
Why pay a cleaner to clean your house when you run around making sure it is clean before they arrive? It is no different with your fitness. You do not have to lose 5kg before you contact a personal trainer and you do not need to get fitter before you join a group session. Wherever you are right now is the perfect place to start.
But . . . before you start, consider the above three factors and how you are going to ensure that this time around is not just a fitness kick but a long term lifestyle change.
For a individualised strength and conditioning program tailored to your lifestyle, click here.