Summer is gone but you haven’t given up on getting in better shape! So, now what?
Do you join the nearest gym, hire a personal trainer, etc? The way you begin a transformation or healthy journey can make or break you. A slow start adds frustration and decreases motivation which is a sure fire way to stop progress while a quicker start will do the opposite.
7 Things to focus on so that your first 30-days are successful:
1. Talk to your doctor. Your doctor has knowledge of how good/bad your blood work is and what is important right now and what can wait a little later. Plus, they may be able to refer to you to a place that can help you get to your goal.
2. Come up with a realistic goal. After speaking with your doctor you are then able to be very realistic about your health goal. Now it is time to be realistic about how to go about it. It would be awesome to start a daily gym routine but if you have not stepped inside a gym in awhile that goal is just a set up. Start small then build up.
3. Find a professional. There are a lot of great programs and equipment out there which is good but at times it can be overwhelming. Meeting with a health coach or personal trainer can help steer you towards your goals. They can also make sure your goals are realistic. Here’s a link to find a certified professional in your area.
4. Find an accountability partner. In our ever increasingly unhealthy world, starting a health journey by yourself is extremely hard. Your accountability partner (spouse, friend, professional or social media group) is someone you feel safe with, someone who will encourage you to go to the gym, eat more vegetables, etc.
5. Apps, apps, apps. Enlist your phone or tablet to help you meet your goals. There are free and affordable mobile apps available to help you exercise more and track what you are eating. In my opinion, a good one is MyFitnessPal. It helps you track the calories you eat, how many nutrients you’re getting in your diet, how many calories burned during exercise, etc. Other great apps include calorie king, Nike training club, Fooducate, etc.
6. Clean out your environments. Our environment is anywhere that our physical body will be. That includes our home, job, car, football field, school, mall or any other place. If we keep junk food in our environment, then we will eat junk. Plan what you will eliminate AND add to your environment to make it as supportive as possible.
7. Avoid gimmicks. Gimmicks are things that make big promises but deliver little results. They range from the detox tea that promises a quick 10 lb weight loss to a pill that promises to rev up your metabolism and burn nothing but fat from your body.
In the short term gimmicks work because they induce a sudden change to the body but prove to be unsustainable over time.
M.Brandon Howard is a ACE Health Coach, Therapuetic Exercise Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. He’s also a Contributor to Healthyblackmen.org.