We’ve all heard the saying “being fit and healthy isn’t a fad or trend, it’s a lifestyle.” But with so many fads and trends in the fitness and health world changing on almost a daily basis, it’s hard to keep up with them all. Comparable to “get rich quick schemes”, these diet and fitness fads can leave our hopes extremely high. We look to lose the most amount of weight in the least amount of time by doing the least amount of work. What’s good for you one day is bad for you the next. One month it’s all about cardio and the next it’s all about weight training. With so much information out there, it can be extremely intimidating and confusing when trying to get fit and healthy. We jump from one trend to the next so quickly that oftentimes lasting results are rarely achieved.
Implementing healthy eating habits and exercise into your daily life is a struggle for many. Busy schedules and tiring life obligations leave us wishing for a perfect world where chocolate helps to drop pounds, greasy foods are the lowest in calories and carbs give you abs. Unfortunately, it is not a perfect world in which we live and making fitness and health a “lifestyle” is much easier said than done. It becomes a battle between the mind and the body of what we want and what we need.
Personal Trainer TJ Martino has worked in the fitness industry as a personal trainer for over 8 years with an array of clients ranging from your stay at home housewife to professional athletes. He has seen many fitness fads come and go over the span of his career, some in which made a lasting impact and others that changed with the season. When he started out in the fitness world, he went into this career wanting to change everybody but he quickly learned that not everyone wants to change. That is half the battle right there. You have to want to change. TJ explained that there are 5 stages of change and it is important to first figure out what stage you fall into. These 5 stages are:
- You either don’t want to change or you aren’t thinking about it at all.
- You are starting to think about changing your lifestyle of eating habits.
- You decide that you want to change and begin to research and plan how you can do so.
- You implement your plan into your lifestyle to achieve your goals.
- Once you have reached your fitness and health goals, you work to continue upholding your results.
Once you have made up your mind to change and embark on your fitness journey TJ explains how important it is to be realistic of your starting points and your goals. He stresses, “You are not going to wake up an Olympic gold medalist on the first day you decide to start your fitness journey, and this is why so many people get discouraged.” His motto? “Slow and steady wins the race.” He describes how so many people try and change everything all at once, making your body go into shock from what it is used to getting all the time. Breaking these addictions needs to be done little by little.
Addiction? You may be saying to yourself that you are not addicted to anything, but our bodies are addicted to many things that we don’t even realize. TJ emphasizes that breaking these addictions is crucial to obtaining your fitness and health goals. The top 5 addictions that stimulate your brain to want more, cause inflammation and weight gain are
- Sugar – studies have shown that sugar is just as addicting as drugs
Breaking these addictions should not be done overnight, it is something that should be eased into. For example, start your first two weeks drinking more water and being conscious of your water intake. The next two weeks cut back on caffeine until by week 4 you’re no longer drinking it. By supplementing water for the caffeine, it makes the loss of caffeine easier because you are supplementing it for something better, allowing you to sleep better and ultimately making you feel better and more energized. It’s all about eliminating the bad and supplementing it with something better.
When trying to reach your fitness goals and prevent setting yourself up for failure, TJ assures us “those who go too hard, too fast ultimately fail.” He elaborates by explaining how people think that they need to feel like they are dying in order to obtain results, which is not an accurate assessment on their behalf. He emphasizes “by pushing yourself too hard, you risk the possibility of seriously injuring yourself, and your number one goal should be injury prevention.”
With so many different fitness directions, it can be hard to figure out what is best for your needs and goals. Some excel in cross-fit while others can walk into a cross-fit gym and be completely discouraged. It can be hard to gauge what is too much, and what is not enough for your body. This is where it can be very beneficial for you to get a personal trainer to direct you in your fitness journey to reach your desired goals. A huge part of the battle is thinking about what you are going to do at the gym and what exercises you should be doing for each body part. That is why many people are opting for personal trainers or boot camp classes because they don’t have to think, they just have to do and they leave feeling accomplished.
It’s all about getting back to basics with fitness, and finding what sparks your interest whether it’s Zumba, Cross fit, kickboxing, Yoga, one on one training or home workout videos. Whatever it is that makes you want to do it, he leaves us with one last piece of advice which is “Be consistent and just move.”