People think about health, fitness and performance. A lot. In fact, 66 percent of folks put fitness as their top goal for the year. Problem is, most don’t follow through. Here is a breakdown in numbers:
66: Percentage of resolvers set fitness goals as part of their resolutions.
1 in 3: Number of people who ditch their vows by the end of January. Top reasons include being too busy or not being committed to their goals in the first place.
73: Percentage of those who gave up before meeting their goal.
4: The number of times those same people have given up on their fitness resolutions in the past.
You may be able to relate to those numbers — the inability to follow through and the fears that go along with getting on a fitness program. You just may be ready to do whatever it takes to break through and get your health and fitness in order. But it might just be so overwhelming that we become like deer in the headlights; we stand there instead of doing something.
If that’s you, know that there is help. Today we want to address four of the top challenges folks have when it comes to following through on their goals and seeing improvement in their health, fitness and performance.
1. Sticking to a good diet. Many people say that making and sticking to a diet is one of the biggest challenges in their training and fitness program. That makes sense because if you are just on a diet and not following a way to change the way you eat for the long haul, in most cases, you will end up going back to your old eating habits when you get off your diet plan.
The solution: Fortunately, setting yourself on an eating plan (A LIFE DIET) is the foundation for performance. It should be engrained in the very DNA of your diet plan. If you walk away with anything after reading this post, it’s to get with someone who can teach you to create a eating style that you can do each day for life and help you find what works for YOU. My question for folks (no matter if it’s a diet, a diet system, drink formula, etc.) is “can you do this program for the rest of your life?” If the answer is no, we need to help you find a different way to set up your eating plan. We want you to make lifelong changes, not a quick fix. Find someone who can help you set up your life diet.
2. Planning your training each week. Building a performance plan isn’t rocket science, but it is critical to the success of your exercise program. Embarking on a training program without a fitness plan (some folks call this periodization) is a bit like trying to drive someplace you’ve never been before looking at a map; you’ll get somewhere, but the place you arrive at may or may not be the place you wanted. Without a proper fitness plan, your workouts might not lead toward your end goal.
The solution: Having a performance plan in place eliminates the danger of falling into an “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “that’s good for today” mindset. The plan holds you accountable, so make sure to have it written down where you can access it. With a plan, you don’t just snatch a plan out of the most recent magazine you see or a quick fix program a new celebrity is promoting. You can review what you have set up and, for every element, ask yourself “am I willing to make, and sustain, this change?” If not, modify the plan to a change that you’re better able to handle. Having simple, achievable steps laid out in front of you helps motivate you to succeed.
3. Including flexibility and mobility work in your training. Mobility is our ability to move freely without stress on the body while flexibility is the range of motion of our muscles. The two are not the same, but are not separate from each other; good mobility can assist your flexibility and vice versa.
Keep in mind as we start adding more years to our life that it’s important that we stay mobile and supple. Mobility training can improve the range of motion of our joints and muscles, improve posture, andeliminate aches and pains.
The solution: It’s never too late to start training; your mobility and flexibility is always something you can improve. Start adding simple movements into your program. Many folks will do mobility work before and after their main workout. Get with a professional who can show you a few movements and exercises that will benefit you the most. With better mobility and flexibility, you may also see improvement in your performance with your other activities.
4. Train movement and NOT just muscle; think pattern, progression, plan. The more our performance training includes a variety of movement and coordination of body parts, the better. When we set up training programs, we make sure that we are training a combination of muscles and multi-joint movements.
The solution: We say if you’re on your butt, braced in a machine or on your back, chances are you’re not training movement, but concentrating more on working muscles. When training movement, look for exercises that are done from the feet, you move in multi-directions, have level changes (high to low or low to high) and use your core to be your support mechanism. Also use a wide variety of resistance equipment for your workout: bands, medicine balls, dumbbells, weights, suspension training systems, kettle bells and ropes.
By adding variety into your program and following some simple and basic solutions, you’ll find your way going after, sticking with and achieving all your fitness and performance goals.