Beware of what in the “fitness world ” is refered to as the “Honeymoon Period” – this is the 6 week time period between New Years Day and Valentines Day. Similar to that blissful period of the Honeymoon in a marriage, in committing to a healthy lifestyle – the beginning is when there is a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. The gyms are bustling, and we are diligently trying to eat right. So what happens? According to numerous studies - by Valentines Day, many people have fallen back into old habits, and the enthusiasm dies down.
The good news is - it only takes about *4 – 6 weeks for something to become a habit and probably less time for us to integrate something so totally that we are no longer aware of it. *Some sources indicated it can take as little as 21 days for an action to become a habit.
So how can you make your fitness commitments last beyond the “Honeymoon Period?” Below are 3 easy Guidelines for Health & Fitness Success:
1. Keep Your Expectations Real:
While it would be nice, there are no magic pills or exercises that will whip us into shape overnight. that said we do have the CA Living:Toned -By -Tonight Workout that will make your muscles look more defined for a big night out On-Demand, and the California Living Beach Body Workout - a terrific 20 minute total Body Workout On-Demand for you to check out when time - or a lack of it is a factor in reaching your short term fitness goals.
Keep your expectations realistic – aim to loose 1-2 pounds a week. You may experience more weight loss early on – which is natural – yet the healthiest weight loss plans will not shock your body into shedding large amounts of weight in an (unhealthy) short amount of time.
The secret is balance – your fitness goals are just one part of your life – and should not consume your every waking moment – nothing should – that would be a terribly unbalanced and unhealthy way to live. Most of us have jobs, families, and many other daily commitments beyond working out. Sure there are celebrities that lose weight or “get buff” for their next film who work at it 24/7 – but unless your planning to audition to be the next “Rambo” give it a rest! Your results will come – in time! By understanding this and keeping things in perspective you will be able to work towards your goals over a longer period of time.
2. Set up a Goal and Reward System:
It is important to have goals like – “I want to be in a bikini this summer,” – or I want to run a 5K or 10K this spring.” By setting up intermittent goals along the way and rewarding yourself for reaching these goals you will keep your enthusiasm high and have mini-milestones to look forward to achieving.
For example, going 30 days without eating junk food, or going down a size in your jeans are reasons to celebrate! By setting up non-food related rewards such as a day at the spa, a shopping spree (please don’t blame it on me), or a movie night out with your friends (hold the butter & salt please!), you will feel good about your progress along the way and be less likely to throw in the proverbial towel.
3. Work in that Workout!
What happens when we say to ourselves “I’ll get to it – right after I do this…or – I’ll do it tomorrow” – the “it” usually never happens because we did not consciously plan it into our daily or weekly routine. Create a schedule that works for you – three days a week – every other day, 30 – 60 minutes everyday – Making exercise a part of your life means making it work with the rest of your life.
The beauty of exercise is you can combine it with things you love, hiking, biking, rowing, walking – I know it’s easy to say and harder to do – but seriously, try scheduling an activity you love once a week. While the winter weather presents some challenges you can swim indoors, shoot hoops, or even play a game of tennis indoors – in Cali anyway! You can also work with a trainer and create a kick-butt workout at your local gym and combine it with a fun spin or dance class to keep it interesting. Try adding kick boxing, yoga, or Pilate’s to your routine – you’ll challenge your mind and body in different ways and meet new people who share similar interests – a great fringe benefit!
All the best with your goals – Enjoy! Aprilanne
Aprilanne Hurley SFN is a Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, author ofThe Party Girl Diet, and the Health Expert for California Living, the Bay Area’s original lifestyle show featuring California’s trends in food, travel, and healthy living. Hurley’s new book, The Party Girl Diet is a healthy, sustainable lifestyle plan combining today’s groundbreaking health and nutrition research with Hurley’s penchant for good living to deliver a revolutionary new diet and lifestyle that lets you “Keep the Party Going…While You Lose the Weight!”
Content on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended to cure, treat, or diagnose any disease or illness. Please consult with your health care provider prior to starting any new diet or exercise program.