I am currently waiting for a webinar to start and the topic is on fitness and health. Not being one to waste time I thought it was the perfect time to get my daily blog post in.
Fitness is something different for every individual; a fit weight lifter is going to look a lot different than a fit marathon runner. It is an important factor to determine what your goal for getting fit is. If you want to be an elite swimmer you are not going to do months of training in a spin class you are going to get in a pool and replicate that activity.
One of the hardest parts of getting fit is that first step, committing to making that change and sticking to those goals and dreams. We often wait for the perfect time to start, if we are starting a new program it has to be on that Monday exactly how it says in the manual. If we miss that Monday many will wait till the next week to attempt to start it on a Monday. Cut that shit out! Get a program and just get moving. Don’t postpone it. I have been guilty of this on several occasions but every single time I started I always think to myself “I could have started this any day of the week why did I wait?”
Find a fitness buddy. The burden is made a lot easier if you have a fitness buddy. It pushes you to be better, there is some friendly competition and you have someone to hold you accountable.
One of the first things I like to do before starting a fitness program is to do some basic fitness tests. The beep test is a well-known one. You should do this before you start an exercise program, especially if it is cardio you want to improve. At the end of the program you should do the test again to measure the effectiveness of the of the cardio program you just completed. If your beep test results stayed relatively the same you can have a good bet that the program wasn’t that beneficial. If you see a drastic improvement in your test results you know the program did was it was supposed to do.
Doing fitness test is important because the improvements are so minimal and constant that you rarely notice them during the program itself.
Enough about getting started, I will go into this more when I release my fitness blog I am starting with my brother next year.
Why are we so resistant to change?
I was scrolling through my old Physical Education and I found the Stages of Change Model.
There are 7 stages of change in the model
If we look more into these stages you start to see why it is important to have some self-realisation of where you are on the stages of change model
Precontemplation: Those in the precontemplation stages are exactly that, they are not even contemplating changing or may be blissfully unaware of their own health problems. People in this stage are generally speaking from lower social-economic backgrounds or have received very little education on health, what it means and how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Contemplation: I honestly think most of the population stay in this phase. There is an understanding of a need to change and often an intention to become more physically active within the next 6 months. Whether it happens or not is something completely different. I think the biggest challenge is to motivate people to move out of this stage and get them further down the change model.
Preparation: So the people who are moved out of the contemplation phase start to seriously consider taking more action. They may even dip their toes in the water and complete a session here for short durations. I like to think of this stage as climbing up the ladder of the diving board for the first time, you’re looking down and standing on the edge of the board, the only thing that’s missing is the motivation to jump!
Action: This is where the money is! Just do it! Jump in and get it done. This stage takes the largest amount of effort, time and energy. Relapse is the most common in this stage. There is not a whole lot to say about this stage other than to stick with it! You’ve made it this far don’t look back. You’ve set yourself those goals and you have physically started to complete them. Time to follow up on your good work and keep going.
Maintenance: This is the stage where you can give yourself a pat on the back, you are well on the way to maintaining an ingrained habit. Once you have been doing an activity regularly for 6 months you can classify yourself as being in the maintenance phase. You are maintaining the action you took in the previous stage for a period of 6 months or more. This stage can last up to 5 years.
Termination: This is when your behaviours are now ingrained. You have been regularly completing your goals and physical activities for 5 years or more. Relapse is very unlikely to occur when you have reached this stage. It takes an extreme amount of discipline and self-belief.
Relapse: This is not a stage of progression but the opposite. If you relapse you are moving back a phase. This typically occurs at the action phase or the contemplation stage. Fighting off relapse is fighting off those doubts in your mind that you can’t achieve what you want to achieve. Fighting off being lazy and uncommitted and most of all fighting off the easy option of just giving up.
Take some time to reflect on these stages. Think of a goal you have for physical activity and become aware of where you sit on the stages of change model. Start to take action today! That being said I am off to start the first program from the T25 workout. Wish me luck!