With the new year often comes reflection, introspection, and commitment to do things differently this year than the last. Diet and exercise are frequently among the ‘things’ that individuals set out to change. As both are largely within our individual control, these changes have the potential to have a profound effect on both how we feel day to day and on our long term health. The problem with these commitments, or resolutions if you like, is that they are often require too big of a change to be sustainable. Few people can go from a mostly sedentary lifestyle to exercising 5 days a week with the primary motivator being that the calendar year rolled over. Similarly with diet, it is difficult to go from a flexible or non-existent eating strategy to strict one that requires a whole set of new habits in order to be successful.
Regardless of the time of year, FiT coaches encourage their clients to make the minimal amount of change for the maximum result in any or all domains of our health hierarchy. Presumably, the goal of either endeavor, improving exercise or eating habits, is to improve one’s health, physique or both. Exercise and eating habits seem like a logical place to start but that’s not always the case. In order of priority, FiT encourages looking at your health holistically, starting first with eating strategy, then sleep hygiene, then stress management, exercise prescription and finally, self care. Evaluating your habits in each of these areas could prove helpful in figuring out where to start or how best to continue your journey towards improved health and wellbeing.
How to determine if your eating strategy works for you:
- Do you feel satiated after a meal without discomfort, gas or bloating?
- Do you feel energetic throughout your day without supplementing energy with caffeine?
- Are you a healthy body weight?
In looking at sleep hygiene:
- Do you wake up feeling fully rested and refreshed?
- Are you averaging 7+ hours of sleep per night?
- Do you easily fall asleep and stay asleep?
- Do you feel able to confidently navigate the ups and downs of everyday life without feeling overwhelmed?
- Do you consciously allocate time for recovery aside from sleep – ie. meditation, massage, deep breathing, recovery workouts, infrared sauna, immersion tank, etc . . .
- Do you have a healthy support network to handle life’s challenges?
- Are you aware of and actively managing the physical, mental, & emotional stressors that could compromise your health?
- Do you consider yourself to be physically active throughout your daily life?
- Do you feel your body is strong and coordinated enough to perform the activities you want to do?
- Are you satisfied with your mobility and flexibility?
- Would you describe yourself as aerobically fit?
- Do you find time to do something that is re-energizing or rejuvenating daily?
- Would you say you have good, healthy, enriching friendships outside of work?
- Would your friends describe you as a happy, joyful, & caring person?
If your responses were no, or not so much, to more than one question under any tenet, this would be a good place to focus some attention and we are here to help. There is a wealth of information and a ton of support available to you here at FiT. If you prefer to figure things out on your own, our trainers can help hold you accountable to the changes you are endeavoring to make. If you looking to make significant changes and would like more guidance, coaching and support, our Elite Plus program is worthy of your consideration. Whichever path makes sense for you, taking the time to assess where you are at in each area is a great place to start. The next steps are to then experiment with changes to your habits, analyze their effect then make adjustments that continue to move you along the path to improved health and wellbeing.