Do you have a plan, know why and what you want to achieve in changing your lifestyle.
“The reason I exercise is for the quality of life I enjoy.” Kenneth H. Cooper
As a well-being coach, I often have conversations with clients who recognize they need to change their approach to becoming healthier. Usually brought about because they are not happy with the way they are at the moment. This is generally because of overweight, feeling tired and listless, stressed, drinking every night and possibly recently discovered their current lifestyle is leading to an increase in the risk of a number of health issues; which may cause long-term damage.
Before anyone can start a change process, they have to recognize the need to change, if the need is strong enough they will move heaven and earth to achieve it.
Typical push button moments include:
Close family diagnosis of a life-threatening disease.
Having reached this point you can now determine what your goal Is going to be.
There are many more potential goals than I can list here, so try these for a start:
1. I want to lose weight. Okay, how much?
2. I want to improve fitness. What does that mean? Walk 30 minutes without stopping or just walk the distance.
3. I want to lower my cholesterol level. From what to what?
4. Control my blood sugar. What figures do you want?
5. Get stronger. How will you measure the change?
6. Improve my weight. From what to what?
7. Put muscle weight on. How much?
These are all popular choices and you now need to drill down and decide what, why, the time frame – and decide if it is realistic. The best targets are small ones which you can achieve in a month, because with each is one small step towards larger, long-term Goal.
Once you decide on your targets, write them on a notice as a reminder to prompt you to ‘stick to it.’ Post it up somewhere you can see it.
The next step is keeping track of your progress in the case of fitness you could use this process.
How to Assess Your Progress
This can be completed in several ways, so let’s go through how you can chart and manage your progress.
First, decide the best way to measure any improvement. This will depend on your goal. I will offer a couple of examples which you can adapt to your personal targets:
Keep a diary of how far you walk and record the times (length of the walk). This works wonderfully for your motivation as you see yourself getting out more often and for longer. Chose a route you know and time how long it takes to complete, record how you felt at the end of the time, you can repeat this route each month to check how much quicker you are.
This is my personal favorite. Most people confuse weight loss targets with their total weight, it’s different. The body is made up of skeletal bones, lean muscle, fat, and water.
You can’t accurately assume that what you lose each week is either fat or water or the total because they all interact.
As you lose body fat, your body may increase lean muscle and water, so you think you’re not losing weight, but you are. Time will prove this to you if you stick to the plan.
The easiest method to check this is to use real and accurate tape measurements of key positions around your body
1. Chest, under or over the breast, or midline of nipples for gents
2. Abdominal, on the line of your navel
3. Hips, at the largest point
4. Upper thigh, at the largest point
6. Upper arm
7. Lower Arm
Total up the inches or centimeters and keep a record each time you repeat the measurement, say monthly or every Saturday morning. This will give you a true reflection of your body fat loss, which is the most important one to improve.
If you would like more advice on improving your fitness, becoming healthier and improving your diet, you can find it in my book on How to Get fit, healthy and stay that way, after 40+
I also run short workshops to help people with answers to many lifestyles challenges, such as losing weight, back care, exercise, stress and several more.