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Sep 26

PERRY BUCHANAN: Avoid the pitfalls that threaten your fitness program – The Albany Herald

Fall is here! Its an exciting time of year. I personally like it because of the cooler weather, and its before life gets too hectic, as it sometimes does over the holidays. Although fall is known as the season for change, with all we have had to face this year with COVID-19, we are praying to soon return to some normalcy.

I felt it fitting with the change of seasons, to analyze how we can change our ways to succeed with our fitness programs. It is said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This quote has been attributed to Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein and others. It has been repeated by coaches, athletes, dieticians, psychologists, and most recently, political commentators. Regardless of who coined the quote originally, I know I often relate to it. Can you?

Do you set your alarm every morning to work out, but hit the snooze button five times before getting up? Do you give up your sugar addiction every Monday, only to fall off the wagon by Wednesday? Short of giving you an early morning wake-up call, I cant keep you from hitting that snooze button. However, I will outline the major mistakes I have seen over the years of why many fall short in succeeding with their fitness plans. After all, it was Einstein who once said, Knowledge is power and knowing is half the battle.

Mistake No. 1: Unable to decide and act. I see so many people get excited about getting in shape who read, watch, buy and analyze every program pitched to them, but they never act. They so want to find that perfect diet, perfect workout, and the perfect time to start that they become overwhelmed and fall victim to the paralysis of analysis. Think ready, fire, aim! Just pick a plan and begin. You can always tweak things and improve as you go through the process of experiencing and learning what works for you. Just decide on your plan of action and dont procrastinate.

Mistake No. 2: Starting too aggressively. Its good to be motivated, but when we change too many things too drastically, we have a hard time sticking to it. Going from couch potato to exercise nut takes a longer transition. Dont fall victim to the terrible toos: too soon, too much, and too often. Try picking only one or two habits to change at a time. When you master those and have sustained the habit for at least two to three weeks, then pick another habit to change. With your exercise program, dont feel it has to kill you the fist few weeks in order to work. You will not be any further ahead than if you had eased into the program. Make gradual progressions in your regimen as your body adapts. You will also be far less likely to relapse or be injured.

Mistake No. 3: Buying in to every new gimmick, fad and infomercial. Marketing is written to get you to buy, not to educate you to what works. Exercise and proper nutrition can be boring and tedious at times, especially when were just beginning to break bad habits and develop new healthier ones. Its easy to be swayed by the latest, newest thing that promises things too good to be true. Aside from being ineffective and possibly harmful, by constantly jumping from program to program, you never give anything time to work. Consistency and persistence are your keys to success with a sound fitness program.

Mistake No. 4: (probably the biggest hurdle for most) Trying to shape up without shaping up your diet. You do need to expend more calories through exercise, but you cant outrun your fork. If your goal is weight loss, youre always going to be fighting a losing battle if you try to succeed without any modifications in your diet. I assure you, you can eat more calories in five minutes than you can possibly burn in 30 minutes of intense effort.

So, whats your reason for not changing your ways and accomplishing your fitness goals? To quote another saying, Hope springs eternal. So maybe this time you finally will change. Happy Fall!

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PERRY BUCHANAN: Avoid the pitfalls that threaten your fitness program - The Albany Herald

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