True health means being fit, able to do most anything you want to do, and not feeling as if your body is slowing you down. But how many of us actually have that? I think many of us talk the talk but don’t actually walk the walk. I’ve got the top 7 reasons why you’re not doing it and how to fix it.
You don’t get enough sleep. Starting off strong by recommending you lie flat on your back! Doesn’t seem like great fitness advice, does it? However, sleep deprivation actually causes us to make poor choices, including blowing off a workout. If you get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night, your internal systems will run more smoothly, your mental state will improve drastically, and you’ll get your workouts in more often.
You eat crap. I love the guys in the fancy BMWs standing at the gas pump putting in the high octane stuff because they want their “babies” to run at their best. Most of ‘em have guts hanging over their belts that clearly shows they don’t do the same for themselves. Maybe you’ve been adding a few more salads into your week lately, which is a start, but if you’re still scarfing down pizza, hamburgers, and french fries a few times a week, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Treat junk food as a special treat only and limit to no more than twice a week.
You watch 7 hours of TV a day! The average American spends almost as much time in front of the TV as they do at their jobs! You’re not only not working out, but you actually burn more calories reading a book than watching TV (you shift in your seat more apparently when reading). Watching “The Biggest Loser” is not going to make you a Biggest Loser … just bigger.
You have two modes: diet mode and eat whatever you want mode. When we’re dieting, we’re watching calories, measuring out meals, tracking in a journal, and checking in on the scale. All things to get us moving in the right direction. But then we hit our goal weight (or just give up in frustration) and ricochet back to where we were which is often worse than where we were before. You need to find the happy medium between living like a monk and partying like a celebrity. Try to integrate small changes into your life slowly so that you become more healthy over time instead of just whipsawing back and forth.
You don’t do cardio hard enough. Maybe you actually hit the gym two to three times per week, but you’re not doing your cardio hard enough to make a difference. It might be the same workout you’ve done for months and your body has conditioned to it or might be you’re strolling along on a treadmill with a trashy magazine thinking that this “counts.” If you’re not a big sweaty pile of goo at the end of your workout, it’s not hard enough. Do more.
You ignore weight training. Weight training is crucial for fitness. We need to lift, push, and pull heavy things to keep our muscles strong and vibrant. If you’re just a runner and never do any weight training, you might have strong legs but I bet you can’t even do one pushup from your toes. We need cardio combined with weight training to live a healthy and fit lifestyle.
You hop from fad to fad. Maybe it’s martial arts one month and P90X the next. Or you try yoga for a while, think it’s too slow, and slam yourself around in a boxing gym. While variety is great, it really helps to stick with two to three activities that you enjoy and try to develop them to the best of your abilities. You’ll see greater returns on your time investment and you’ll feel empowered from your newfound skills.
Like many things in life, getting fit is often about focus. By trying to concentrate on making simple changes in just a few areas, you’re likely to see greater results than by attempting a complete lifestyle change. Let me know what reasons have kept you from being fit now or in the past.