5 Steps to Get You Off of the Sofa

By on August 25, 2016

We all know the benefits of working out and eating well, but when it comes to our health, knowing and doing — especially doing over the long­term — are two very different things! Sure, most of us can be dedicated for a few days — sometimes a few months — but long­term change is a whole other ballgame.

Here are five of my tried and true “Kathleen approved” tips to help you connect the dots between wanting to make a health change and actually making it.

1. Own your health choices; take the time to actively “set yourself up for health success” — the key words being own and actively.

You are an adult; take responsibility for your health choices. Adopting a healthier lifestyle isn’t a passive process. If you don’t take the time to set yourself up for success, you might as well be setting yourself up for failure.

2. Always have a plan…and then a back­up plan.

For example, don’t decide you are “destined” to be inactive when you have a busier­than­normal week. Instead, use my “piggyback” strategy. Pinpoint daily, non­negotiable habits that you already do, then turn them into a workout: turn your daily dog walk into a jog or interval workout or have meetings with your colleagues while walking.

As for nutrition, decide in advance how you will handle every event. When going to a restaurant, read the menu online and decide in advance what you will order. Going to someone’s house? Offer to bring a healthy option. When in doubt, opt for a lean protein and lots of vegetables, never eat while standing, use a smaller plate when possible, and be mindful of your portions.

3. Stop trying to follow someone else’s version of a “perfect” program; put together a unique and realistic plan tailored to fit your individual lifestyle realities.

The plan should take into account your goals, your health history, your lifestyle, your finances, your genetics, and your unique relationship with food. You can stress eat or binge eat out of loneliness on any diet — lots of people overeat gluten­free cake and Paleo treats. If you don’t become aware of your eating patterns, your personal food habits will simply follow you from nutrition program to nutrition program.

4. When you fall off your health horse, don’t allow that not­ so ­great choice to spiral into multiple unhealthy choices.

Instead, learn from your unhealthy decisions so you get back on a more informed rider. Did you let yourself get too hungry? Were you emotionally eating? Did you not take the time to set yourself up for success? Make a mental note of what went wrong, then proactively avoid those situations in the future.

5. Some movement is always better than no movement.

Every bit of motion adds up, and every situation can be reframed as an opportunity for movement. Can’t do a full workout? No problem, do 10 minutes. When it comes to exercise, getting started is usually the hardest part so use my 10­minute rule. Tell yourself you have to do something for at least 10 minutes. Anyone can do anything for 10 minutes. If after 10 minutes you want to stop, fine. At least you will have done something. Once you start you will usually end up doing a full workout.

Basically, stop waiting for the “perfect” day to start moving. Get up and go for a walk!

If you found these tips useful check out my upcoming book Finding Your Fit: A Compassionate Trainer's Guide to Making Fitness a Lifelong Habit. The book hits stores October 1st, 2016.

For more information on how to put together your unique recipe for health success, check out my website kathleentrotter.com, or Follow me on Instagram, Facebook (www.facebook.com/KathleenTrotter), Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/KTrotterFitness), or Twitter (@KTrotterFitness), or order Finding Your Fit here https://www.amazon.ca/Finding­Your­Fit­ Compassionate­ Trainer’s/dp/1459735196/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471442 503&sr=1­1

About Charleen Wyman

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Kathleen Trotter—Personal Trainer

    • Charleen Wyman

      September 4, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      Congratulations on your new book! We’ve always bene honoured to have you as one of our contributors. Thank for all the ways you contribute to making Canadians lives healthier!

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