As most of you know, especially if you read my blog last week, I am 35. I am happy to say that at 35, I am in the best shape of my life. Growing up I played sports, but after high school I pretty much stopped working out. In college, I only used the gym as a way to meet people, particularly guys. It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I started working out again and once I hit 31, I became an avid workout and health enthusiast. Because of my hard work and dedication to fitness and health these last several years, I have to say that I believe that I look and feel my best and am in the best shape I have ever been in. While I still have goals for myself and I continue to push my limits in order to see what I am truly capable of, I know that I am in good shape and it feels great!
It is never too late to get into shape, in fact it’s important to eat healthy and exercise. Exercise is an important part of life and a way for us to maintain good health so that we can look and feel better, live longer, decrease risk of diseases, and decrease signs of aging. So finding a workout that’s good for you is critical to your health.
To help, I decided to dedicate this week’s blog to tips for helping you to get into the best shape of your life. These have worked for me and I hope they can work for you too!
Make yourself a priority: Before you begin, you need to first face the cold, hard facts of reality. In order to be successful, you need to commit to bettering yourself and making time for yourself EVERY day. There is no magic pill or wand that can help you. Getting into good shape takes some time & hard work, but I believe you can do it! I know most of you are already thinking about how busy you are and how you don’t have time…. you’ve got work, kids, friends, family, etc. Well regardless of what you have, you have to make yourself and your health a priority. We always seem to find time to do the things that are important to us, so this should be at the top of your list. When you look and feel good, you will become a better mom, friend, spouse, colleague…trust me! Rather than find an excuse, find a way. This may mean that you have to get up a little earlier or go to bed a little bit later, find time during your lunch break, ask a friend to help carpool… whatever the case may be, find the time. Take that yoga class, spin class, go for a run, whatever it is… just do it!
Create clear goals: Do you have clear achievable goals? If you are like most people, you probably don’t. You might have something vague like “I want to lose weight” or “I want muscles”, but nothing else. This type of stuff isn’t going to cut it. If you want to change, you have to have clear goals. These goals should be set according to the SMART criteria, which I have written about in a previous blog. They have to be specific, sustainable, attainable, relevant and time-related. They also need to support the vision that you have set out for yourself. Hint- Use the present tense when writing your goal. Share your goals, make them know. When you put good things out into the Universe, they have a way of manifesting. So share your goals with the world!
Nutrition is key: Providing your body with the proper fuel and the building blocks to force them to grow is crucial. The three main types of micronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
- Proteins are the building blocks that make up your muscles. You need to include a lot of protein rich foods in your diet to help your muscles grow.
- Carbohydrates are the fuel for your body. Glucose is the basic building block of most carbohydrates and the main fuel of your body. It is especially important to eat some carb-rich foods approximately 1 -2 hours before your workout, in order to have the energy to hit your run or hit the weights hard.
- Good fats- research has shown that eating foods that contain monounsaturated fat can improve your blood cholesterol level and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- And as a reminder… it’s important to remember to stay away from sugars. When we take in sugar, it causes our bodies to release insulin, and insulin causes the body to store fat.
Drink MORE water: Drinking water helps curb your appetite, hydrate your body and nourishes you from the inside out, including your skin. You should aim for half your bodyweight in ounces per day.
Find an exercise that’s right for you: Sometimes we don’t know what we want or what we like. So try a variety of activities and see what’s right for you. Try going to a yoga class, take a long brisk walk, go for a run, ride your bike, try resistance training at the gym, weights, zumba, pilates, etc. whatever it may be, just get moving and be sure to have FUN!! We are more likely to stick with something if we enjoy doing it.
Be prepared: Pack your workout wear and gym shoes the night before, pack your breakfast and/or lunch so that you eat right and make healthy choices, double check the gym’s schedule, ask a friend to join you and help keep you accountable, &/or enlist the cooperation of your family to leave the living/family room so that you can do your exercise DVD that evening. Set yourself up for success!!
Find daily inspiration & accountability: I’ll use anything for inspiration – sometimes you need to seek motivation to get that extra oomph for an intense workout. The best workouts have real motivation behind them. And I’m not talking about the kind of motivation that comes from a pre-workout coffee or from watching your favorite TV show while walking on the treadmill… I mean motivation that helps you become excited, passionate, focused, and in-the-moment, so you can make the very most of that day’s workout. To help with accountability, it can helpful to have a workout buddy, or even a fitness coach there to support, encourage, and maybe inspire you.
Today is a good day to get excited about your life. Start moving and creating healthy habits so that you can have a longer more enriched life.