It’s time to set, reach fitness goals

Make exercise part of your lifestyle

By Deb Dittner

weightliftingStaying fit is so very important for a balanced and healthy body, mind and spirit.

But I often hear, “I just don’t like to exercise.”

That saddens me becauses I have been an athlete like forever.

And no, I don’t expect everyone to go to the gym every day, or run that three-mile race next month, or learn the latest piece of equipment that gets you toned in 30 days.

But I do say time and time again — you need to move!

Let’s explore how you can achieve your fitness goals:

We are all individuals and what works for your friend may not be what your body requires. There is no best workout routine as advertised in the latest fitness magazine.

The best workout plan is the one that you find and stick to, one that you enjoy and works for your fitness goals. I have a client in this exact same boat. She hasn’t moved in years but understood that was something she needed.

I asked, “What have you liked doing in the past?” She responded with getting a personal trainer. So that is what she did and is now flourishing.

Understand that your fitness routine is for you and only you.

Do not compare yourself with a family member, your best friend, or the person next to you at the gym. Your fitness goals are all about you and reaching for the best version you can be.

Running yourself into the ground is not in your best interest. Will you feel sore after a workout? Yes, possibly in the beginning. Don’t forget you’ll be working muscles that you haven’t worked in quite some time.

A great workout will energize you and challenge you to come back for more the next day.

Is quitting in your future? I truly hope not but there are times that you may feel this way. Some days you may wake up feeling down on the whole movement thing. Granted, you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, but don’t feel that this is a sign of weakness. Instead, keep moving however small that may be, and this too shall pass.

Benefits of weightlifting

Some women fear that they will “bulk up” and not be considered feminine. But don’t worry ladies! Women lifting challenging weights improve bone density, and that decreases the possibilities of developing osteoporosis.

Weight lifting also improves self-confidence, overall strength, muscle definition, and increases fat loss.

Quality and not quantity is what I look for in a fitness regimen. You do not need to be in the gym every day or on the road every day, or lifting weights every day. Time is not the important factor here but what you do during that time is what creates quality sessions.

Eating whole nutrient-dense foods is important in achieving your fitness goals. I’m a big foodie and encourage incorporating six to 10 servings of vegetables and fruits into your daily nutrition. Healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, and wild-caught fish help to balance along with clean, lean protein.

And remember — no one can be “perfect” in what you eat. I once had a client say that she “didn’t want to eat like I eat” even though she didn’t know what I ate on a daily basis. We are all individuals requiring specific needs for your individual health and wellness.

Depriving yourself of a favorite food may only make you want it more so. It’s OK to have that piece of birthday cake or an ice cream cone during the heat of summer. Serving size and portion control is important here.

Having fun with fitness helps in the reduction of stress and improved sleep. Who couldn’t use less stress in your life or a better night of sleep?

Enjoy!

• Deborah Dittner is a family nurse practitioner and health consultant. Her mission is to transform as many individuals as possible through nutrition and lifestyle changes. For more information, check out her website at www.debdittner.com or contact her at 518-596-8565.