FROM OUR EXPERIENCE AS FITNESS PROFESSIONALS, SUCCESSFUL CLIENTS...
1. EXERCISED ON NON-PERSONAL TRAINING DAYS.
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention recommends an adult from the age of 18 to 64 to exercise a minimum of 150 minutes per week. If you personal train twice a week and warm up 15 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical (as advised before your training sessions), you are logging 120 minutes. This falls short of the CDC’s minimum recommended amount by 30 minutes. Adding two more planned activity days with the duration of at least 30 minutes per workout to your weekly calendar surpasses the amount to control or prevent disease. Successful clients did more than meet the minimum guidelines. Remember, minimum efforts equal minimum results! If you only want to control or prevent disease 150 minutes will do; however, if you want to change your body composition by losing body fat – you will have to do more.
2. HAD A VISION FOR THEIR HEALTH.
A high percentage of my client base was white collar. Their profession required some type of formal (college degree) or professional (certificate) training meaning most demonstrated the ability to ‘start’ and ‘finish’ over a required amount of time. Successful clients were able to transfer this same attitude towards their health and wellness goals.
3. CHOSE TO LEAD, NOT FOLLOW.
The major characteristic of the most successful: They did not allow the Western culture dietary and physical inactivity habits to dictate their lifestyle. Yes, they occasionally ate pizza, burgers, ice cream, cookies and skipped a workout (or two); however, overall they consistently chose to be change agents. They kept preparing healthy meals at home and doing lunges, while being teased by co-workers, friends, and family for being radical.
4. MADE EXCUSES TO BURN CALORIES.
On more than one occasion, I’ve heard from successful clients that they walked the dog, took the stairs, and did sit ups while watching television, played with their children/grandchildren on the floor, or joined their community co-ed softball team.
5. CONTROLLED THE CONTROLLABLE.
Any lifestyle change is challenging. The longer you’ve practiced behaviors you would like to change; the more difficult it may be modifying them. It takes determination, discipline, hard work, information, and planning to achieve most goals. All five of these attributes are within your control.
6. SHARED THEIR LIFE WITH THEIR SUPPORT SYSTEM.
Transparency is key in getting the help you need. The more you share (food journaling, family and work life, etc.) with your trainer, the more he/she can help you. If your job is demanding and your kids and spouse are highly dependent, your trainer should know. All information helps with setting reasonable goals. Also, everyone in your circle of influence should be made aware that you are striving to live a healthier lifestyle through diet and exercise. Positive and negative energy will help hold you accountable.
7. RESEARCHED AND GATHERED CREDIBLE INFORMATION TO SUPPORT A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE.
Ask questions based on research. Whether it is something you read in a fitness magazine, daily newspaper, or WebMD; quiz your trainer. Successful clients maximize their access to qualified resources and take ownership for their health, which allows autonomy.
8. CHANGED THEIR DIET.
Last but not least, they do the inevitable; they stop eating and drinking unhealthy on a regular basis. Although increased activity will benefit you, it’s not the overall formula. Essentially, your diet is more (or equally) important than the number of calories burned during physical activity. In my opinion, it’s easier to reject a 500 calorie muffin than burn 500 calories in a 45 minute workout. Combine the two (diet + exercise) for long term success.
IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY, I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO IMPLEMENT THESE PRINCIPLES. THEY WILL SUPPORT YOU TOWARDS REACHING YOUR GOALS PERTAINING TO PHYSICAL FITNESS.