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Are You Standing on the Fitness Cliff?

It’s that time of the year when you either have or you haven’t…? What am I talking about – well you either HAVE started crushing your New Years fitness goals or you got off to a good start and then somewhere around February 9th (according to a poll done by Gold’s Gym chain) you lost steam…

If you’re the latter this blog is for you. If you are the former – doesn’t hurt to read it in case you lose steam in a month or two!

I was sort of astonished by this date as I always sort of figured people at least stuck with it until around the middle of March! But nope, Gold’s Gym says membership attendance had a steep decline starting in early February!

How can this be? Why? When nothing should be more important to all of us than our health, vitality and quality of life? So I researched the top 5 reasons people fall off the so-called Fitness “cliff”.

Using cliff as an acronym here’s the top 5 reasons.

C – Can’t find the time.
L – Lacking a game plan to keep you going.
I – Ignoring your commitment and falling into old patterns.
F – Frustrated with a lack of early results.
F – Forgetting why you started.

And to this I will add boredom! Even for those who know what to do and have the time if the routine is too monotonous people tend to lose interest in sticking with it!

If you’re one of those who teetered right over that cliff or on the verge right now check out the 7 tips below to help you get back on and stay on track!

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you feel lost as you amble around your gym or even in a group class –ask the teacher or gym staff for a bit of guidance. Trust me, we LOVE to help you, if you will just ask! We want you to succeed and for me personally nothing lights me up more than seeing my clients crushing their goals!

2. Start out small
Don’t go overboard with unrealistic goals – start with small achievable goals and add on as you go this way you’re reinforcing your success.

3. Make it a regular part of your life
Think of exercise as a lifestyle not as a means to an end. But yes, to help motivate you, having short term goals like a fitness challenge or losing weight for an upcoming wedding or class re-union are all excellent fuel for the fire, but you must keep the long term goal in mind.

Fitness is a way of life and does not have an end zone! You’re in it for life!

4. Use the buddy system
This is the perfect way to hold yourself accountable – when have someone else counting on you either a friend or your partner or even your kids, you will be more likely to stay consistent.

Don’t give your self any wiggle room – we are talking about your health here and it matters! So always, always set yourself up for success. And, it’s true everything really is more fun when shared by 2 or more!

And if you are lucky enough to have kids old enough to exercise with you – what a gift for you both. You get to teach them healthy habits while keeping yourself accountable.

5. Don’t beat yourself up if you get off track
I always say this; in fact it’s part of my motto – Forgive Often. So, be gentle with yourself if you miss a couple of days at the gym or your eat like crap for a meal or two or even three, just acknowledge your misstep and jump back on track.

Also be sure to praise yourself for the good things you are doing – i.e. eating better in general – giving up late night snacking – bringing your lunch to work instead of eating out.

6. Embrace technology
There are so many cool and fun ways to be supported on your fitness journey these days from apps, to wearables to online workouts. There really are no more excuses for not getting and staying fit.

Here’s some of my favorites in all categories:

Great useful food apps – recipe ideas, calories and macronutrient counts:
www.epicurious.com
www.eatingwell.com
www.howtocookeverything.com

Wearable devices for tracking your steps, calorie burn and heart rate:
www.fitbit.com
http://explore.garmin.com/en-US/vivo-fitness/
https://jawbone.com/store/buy/upmove

Great websites for activity tracking, food tracking and community forums:
www.myfitnesspal.com
www.sparkpeople.com

Excellent streaming daily online workouts:
www.dailyburn.com
www.befit.com

And finally if all else fails YouTube is an excellent resource for everything from meal prep to how to’s for new workouts and even to get answers to burning questions like “what are the best six pack exercises?”

7. Put it in writing
Write your goals down in black and white! But also attach a date to them – these shouldn’t be just be open-ended goals. Make them finite.

Once written down, print them out and plaster them everywhere – in your bathroom, as your computer screensaver, in your car etc.

8. Keep it fresh to avoid boredom
I say it all the time – MIX IT UP! Take new classes, get outdoors – use nature as your gym – do pushups on a park bench, sprint up stadium stairs, hang a rope or TRX around a tree and hang, climb, pull, press. Get creative!

Download a fitness app with daily workouts and take it to the gym with you. Come to my Burn60 class and get a fun beating☺ (www.burn60.com) but whatever you do – DO NOT get complacent about your health and your fitness. Do whatever it takes to keep that spark alive. It matters!

With the above tips in mind, if you just want something simple and basic to get you started – it doesn’t get more basic and simple than this! You can do this indoors or outdoors and all you need is YOU! Treadmill is optional!

1 Minute jacks
1 Minute squats
1-minute pushups
1-minute dips
1 minute Plank

Repeat 3x for 15 minutes of work

Jump on a treadmill OR do the same routine on a track or anywhere outdoors:

Warm up for 2 min
1 minute easy
1-minute medium
1 minute hard
Repeat 3 times
If you are still feeling strong and want more or as you get more fit add the below:

Add 2 sets of
:30 easy
:30 medium
:30 hard

Next up I will be sharing some quick ways to exorcise the kitchen demons — I’ll be talking kitchen makeovers and will share a couple of my go to meals in my next blog.

Till then stay on track and avoid that fitness cliff at all costs!

Move More. Eat Better. Forgive Often.