By Mark J. Mendeszoon
It’s hard to believe that next week will officially be spring. Usually, it is this time of year that people living in Northeast Ohio are ready to move forward, get out of the house and start exercising. Although the majority of people have good intent, many suffer injuries by not taking the appropriate steps to get back into shape safely and effectively. Here are a few reminders to help on your quest to better health.
Set realistic goals and emphasize a lifestyle change and not just a routine. Ask for help as there are tremendous resources out there to assist you establishing a reasonable program and help you achieve your ultimate goals.
Start slowly and remember balance and diversity are the keys to sticking with any program. It is important to realize one cannot “out-exercise” a bad diet. If truly considering losing weight and becoming stronger, it is 80% diet and 20% exercise. Individuals can hold themselves accountable by weighing in every week at set time on the same scale as well as using a calorie tracker or fitness app that will help record caloric intake.
Adjust your diet simply by diminishing the amount of processed foods, sugars, or other “empty calories” which provide very little nutritional value. Increase your protein content as well as your water intake, drinking a minimum 8 glasses of water per day. Diet changes can be very difficult initially, but if you can stick with it, breakthroughs can occur! Usually around the fourth week, changes in weight and energy level will be obvious. Not to mention how clothes begin to fit loosely.
Alternating a cardio program such as walking, biking, elliptical, swimming or running with a strength training program will break-up the monotony of a single type of exercise. Mixing up workouts will help keep things fresh and challenging while the body adapts and physical changes begin to occur.
Do your homework and seek the best equipment and advice to develop the fitness or exercise program that fits your needs and fitness level. There is no one size fits all program. Adjustments must be made to maximize your potential. Realize there are a plethora of different types of gyms, exercise studios and personal fitness trainers to help you achieve your goals. Most of all, prepare yourself to enjoy the journey of transformation. Good luck!