Becoming, staying fit exercise in commitment
By Deb Dittner
Getting fit is often what I hear from clients as a New Year’s resolution.
But how often do you start out with good intentions in the beginning of the year to just not doing anything at all come spring?
Getting fit and staying fit is not impossible but it does require a little hard work and dedication to oneself. Initially, you may feel more tired but with time and persistence you should have more energy, improved sleep, and feel encouraged to keep going.
So, what does it take to get and stay fit?
To get the best results out of your body, you first need to look at what you’re putting into your body. That bowl of ice cream every night is not helping your cause but is feeding that crave for sugar and creating inflammation.
Preparation, which I recommend to occur on the weekend when schedules are a bit less hectic, is important for the week ahead to run more smoothly. Preparation takes planning of meals and snacks ahead of time and then following through with commitment. Plan your meals, go grocery shopping for the ingredients, and then prep ingredients so that each meal becomes easier to produce when you and your family are hungry.
Find activities that you enjoy and then stick with it. You may need to try a variety of different activities before you come upon what really clicks for you and that’s OK. Once you find your activities of choice, decide which one you will do on a daily basis and when to fit it into your schedule.
Write it in your planner or use your iPhone/droid calendar to keep you on track. This makes it “real” and holds you to your commitment.
And yes — life does happen. You can be flexible when something comes up but this will also help to hold you accountable. Speaking of accountability, work out or go to classes with a partner. You can push each other to being the best that you can be.
If you take classes at a gym, schedule them into your system a week in advance. No excuses.
Getting fit also has a mental component. Find a time every day to focus on just you — whether that is first thing in the morning when no one in the household is awake or last thing at night before heading off to sleep. Make this a time of reflection of the day ahead or the day that has just completed.
Focus as to where you are mentally and breathe. Finding that peace and quiet inside of you will tone down the chatter of the day.
You can use this time to meditate or incorporate calming yoga poses into your daily routine. Being mindful of yourself is as important as being mindful in what you nourish your body with on the inside (whole nutrient dense foods) and outside (physical activity).
So where do you now fall along in your fitness plan? You’re planning and prepping your meals. You’re scheduling your classes and activities so it becomes routine. You’re being mindful of your foods, activities and you.
Now, look at how far you have come.
If you’ve kept a journal — and I encourage everyone to do so — you can see the journey you have taken. Write down your meals, your activity, and your emotions that happen every day. It takes time to create that routine, and then feel and see the changes that occur.
Be happy with the milestones and celebrate your achievements. Use these moments to motivate you to continue and do even better the next month.
Preparation and dedication is what getting and staying fit is all about. Start at the beginning and work hard up the ladder.
In time, you will see the improvement and results that make life healthy and enjoyable.
• Deborah Dittner is a nurse practitioner and health consultant for amateur and professional athletes. If you’re an amateur or professional athlete looking to increase energy, boost performance and shorten recovery time, check out her website at www.debdittner.com to learn how. If you’re an athletic department head, coach, or athletic trainer, and would like to learn how your team can gain a competitive edge through whole foods-based nutrition and wellness, contact her at 518-596-8565.