Fitness for WHO?

There are thousands of articles, programs on T.V., talk shows, and infomercials telling us about fitness and usually the author or speaker comes with high credentials; so why are they different and how come they don’t always work for me?

There is a simple answer. It is fitness programs are not “one size fits all.” The key is to find out what works for you. Personality traits, background, work load, schedule, stress levels, heath issues, medications, workout goals and intensity, psychological perceptions and issues are just some of the factors that should come into play when developing a program for you.

This may sound difficult, but if you take the time to let it develop it is not. With all of the different things we see and hear on a daily basis about health and fitness, we sometimes try to force them all to work together. We want the new, old, fun, quick, latest and greatest fitness ideas to fit together perfectly in a perfectly idealized package, but what usually happens is it all becomes an “ill” and uncomfortable fit. We find we can put up with it for a while, but then suddenly it is like putting too many springs in a jar and it explodes everywhere.

Finding the right fitness program is a process and you need to be patient with it. Do you become a professional or an expert overnight? No. It takes time. So here are a few tips to help you become a professional with yourself.

First, and most important, you need to know you…What do you want? Are you active? What are your goals and what type of exercise do you want your program to consist of? The most common mistake I see is that a program is not consistent with the goal or desired outcome. Imagine going to law school to become a doctor or going to basketball practice to become a better golfer. Sounds silly, right? But I see it day in and day out.

Next you want to ask, who is the speaker talking to…who is his or her intended audience and what are their goals? Are they consistent with yours? Also, ask the five essay questions; who, what, when, where, and why? These simple questions will usually tell you if you should even continue listening or reading. From here you can start developing your program.

If you chose to use a personal trainer make some additional inquires. I never put a client with a trainer without first finding out about the client and his/her lifestyle. The initial consultation is the most important conversation before beginning a fitness program. There are a lot of good trainers but that does not mean they will all work for you. It’s the same principle for choosing “workout buddies.” Make sure you are a good fit. How many times have you tried working out with a friend and then you both quit. One is more motivated or your desired goals differ. If you like swimming and your friend likes running, your chances for success are greatly compromised.

Last, be very weary of anyone who promises you great success with little effort. Health, fitness, and well-being are like most things in life. They require time and commitment. There are few get rich quick plans or healthy “lose weight fast plans” that truly work. From an overall health standpoint it is acceptable to lose 2 pounds per week. Can you lose faster? Yes. We are all aware of the weight loss in the biggest loser and you can also lose 16 pounds or so by swimming the English Channel; take steroids to gain muscle faster; get rich quick by winning the lottery, but for most, these are not likely options. Choose your fitness goals, commit to them and then allow yourself the appropriate time to attain them.

Then get active! Do what you enjoy. If you do not enjoy physical activity, get a trainer for motivation. Just about every professional athlete uses a trainer and most professionals in the work force have managers, mentors or advisors to motivate them. I am sure I am capable of doing my own taxes, but I don’t have an interest. I want to use my time doing other things I enjoy so I have a C.P.A. Fitness trainers enjoy training and have an interest in helping people like you achieve their ultimate fitness goals…and after all, isn’t it always best to learn from a teacher, not a salesman?