I’ve always been an active person. From the time I could remember, I was out in the yard playing hide-go-seek and all those wonderful childhood games we all remember. Back in my youth, we never thought about abductions or missing kids. We just played and stayed out until the sun went down. I guess I always considered myself a wonderer and explorer.
As I run on the treadmill at the gym, to keep my mind off the run I observe people’s work-out habits. After six months on the treadmill you start to see the same people often. The good news is that these people are showing up regularly. The bad news, from my perspective, is that many of these people are not getting the most from the time that they are there.
So, I started thinking about people who are thirty, fifty, seventy or more pounds over weight. Where would you start if you decided to take control of your health and wellness? Here are my suggestions:
- GO SEE A DOCTOR!! Although we may not like what the doctor says, the doctor is right. Ask your doctor what your limitations may be as far as an exercise routine. Additionally, you should have full knowledge of the effects of any medication you may be taking. You’d better have a complete understanding of your current physical limitations so that you can create a realistic goal for your health and wellness program as well as a good exercise program.
- Find a nutritionist next. Yes. The more severely over weight you are the more important it is to understand how to eat. Like your car, your body needs certain type of fuels so that you get the most out of your exercise program.
- Find a personal trainer. You may think you know how to work out, but let us be honest. Most people never learn how to really exercise properly when they are young and with the advancement of technology and a greater understanding of human physiology, you will get much greater results by getting a some education on the front end. Unless you have zero motivation, you shouldn’t have to have a trainer for more than say a month. Once you’ve educated the trainer on your goals, the trainer will be able to devise a program and then help you during the first month, which is always the hardest. Every now and then you can have a touch up session to help out with new exercises and such. Additionally, US lazy AMERICANS tend to follow through on things when we have a financial hook per se.
- Find a good health club. There are a lot of facilities in the fitness marketplace. Many of them expect you to sign a 1-2-3 year contract. Well, unless you have extra money to blow I’d walk away from these places. Here are the reasons:
- You can’t make a good decision about a health club with one walk through of the facility. Sure, the equipment is clean, the location is convenient and the sales people appear nice. BUT, you don’t know how many members they have. What the congestion of the facility may be when you have time to work out.
- You may find that as your health and wellness program evolves, the facility may not have the environment or equipment to grow with you.
- Additionally, and most importantly, you don’t know what the social environment is like. Is the management just trying to cram more and more people in the facility? Does management truly get involved with the members? A lot of people fail at their health and wellness programs because they can’t stand the place they’ve joined.
- I have found that in today’s market a nice health club will charge an initiation fee and then a month to month contract. Usually, health clubs that are owned by individuals tend to have contract prices – yearly, two year, three year . My suggestion is to eat the cost on the front end and go month to month for six months and then join for longer if you enjoy the environment. Remember, in today’s healthy, competitive health club market space competition allows you the luxury of shopping and negotiating.
- Find like-minded people to workout with. To be honest yet again if you were of the mind set that you don’t need support to be successful, then you most likely wouldn’t be overweight. I have found that when I share my pain and my successes with friends I feel better about the process. “Misery loves company” is the saying and when it comes to fitness sharing is the best policy.
- SET A REASONABLE GOAL! I think this is so important in being successful over the long haul. Your body didn’t get OUT of shape overnight and trust me on this IT WILL TAKE TIME AND ENERGY to get your body back into shape. Right now, one of the most important things you could do is to get started by SHOWING UP.
- Be Honest With Yourself: The only way to make progress towards a healthier life style is to be honest with yourself and how you treat your body. Look at your current habits and really examine the root causes for them. Some habits are good, while some, unfortunatly cause our bodies great harm and shorten the quality of our lives.
In my next article I’ll discuss goals and work-out strategies — until then, keeping working at your Health and Wellness.