Let me begin by defining who this blog is for.
This blog is for Tim.
Tim is employed at a non physical job where he is seated the majority of his time. He hasn’t worked out since college when he would go to the gym with some buddies, ride the bike for 10 minutes, do a few sets of bench press, add in some sit ups, and go home to drink beer and watch football. Since then (and it’s been at least a few years), he has become almost completely inactive.
Through his inactivity and lack of dietary awareness, Tim has become overweight, his body hurts, and he is tired all the time. He has finally gotten to the point where he wants to make a change.
Before Tim signs up for a “6 Weeks to a 6 Pack Boot Camp” I want to give him 3 simple steps that are essential when beginning a health journey.
1. Drink More Water
I used to never drink water. And honestly I felt bloated quite often. I was scared to drink too much water, for fear of becoming more bloated. But you want to know the cool secret?
Drinking more water relieved the bloating!
Here are a few other things water can do:
- Controls your appetite. – It’s zero calories, but helps fill you up!
- Keeps you energized. – Water is essential for most bodily functions. Without it we can feel fatigued and get headaches.
- Helps transport waste materials and toxins out of our bodies. – No need to hold onto those!
- Can increase the rate at which you burn calories. – If you weren’t convinced yet, are you now?!
Here are a few ways to add more water into your life:
- Pour a glass before you go to bed and leave it on your bedside table. Before you even get out of bed in the morning, drink the entire glass to rehydrate after you’ve been water deprived all night.
- Drink one glass before every meal. This will help to control your appetite so you don’t overeat, and it’s an easy way to remember during the day. (You are always going to eat your meals, now just add water!)
- Carry around a water bottle. Having it in sight will remind you to hydrate!
- Find a water infusion that tastes good to you. This could mean putting lemons in your water, or oranges, or basil, or turmeric, or cayenne pepper, or strawberries, or, or, or . . .!!
2. Replace Your Unhealthy Guilty Pleasure with a Healthy Guilty Pleasure
We’ve all got one. It’s the late night potato chips, or the candy, or the cookie dough ice cream.
The end of the day is often the hardest for people to resist temptation. I read somewhere that this is an effect of us constantly saying “No” all day. We say no to the donut, no to the lunchtime coffee cake, no to french fries at the bar. By the time we go to bed, our willpower is drained, and it’s much harder to say no.
That’s when we open that top shelf and have “just a handful” of chips.
The most effective way to prevent this late night indulgence is to eliminate our temptation foods from the house. However, that’s no fun. And it leaves you feeling deprived and craving those foods even more!
So instead of removing all of your guilty pleasures, try replacing them with healthy guilty pleasures.
For example, I like a little something sweet every night. So I buy the Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Squares and limit myself to one or two a night.
Another example is replacing french fries with carrot fries!
There are TONS of healthy replacements for unhealthy indulgences. All you have to do is experiment and learn what works for you!
3. Focus on Mobility First and Add Intensity Slowly
This may be the hardest part for some people. When we first make the decision to work out, we often want to go all in. We want to get the quickest results in the least amount of time. We want to sweat, we want to be sore, and we want to watch as the pounds fall off.
However, I would encourage you to take a step back. Let’s think again about Tim.
Tim’s body has not been active in many years. The most exertion that it has gotten is walking up the stairs from the subway station. How do you think his body is going to react if he puts it through an intense workout designed for an 18 year old football player?
He would be extremely sore, and good chances are that he could injure himself and discontinue his workouts.
Tim needs to get his body used to moving in more ways than just sitting and standing from a chair.
Imagine that Tim’s body is a car that has been going straight for 10 years. The wheels can still turn, but they haven’t done that motion in a long time. If you were driving that car, do you think you would take your first turn slowly or at full speed?
Most likely you would start slow and get the car used to turning side to side before adding speed.
Let’s treat our bodies the same.
If you follow these small steps, I guarantee you’ll be more likely to succeed on your health journey!
Thoughts or questions? Reach out!