Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fitness Cramming Time!

Reading an article from Brian Grasso, founder and CEO of the IYCA, about cramming inspired todays blog post!

Do you remember how you were as a kid in high school or at university when you studied for your exams? Were you the person that prepared weeks in advance for a big exam and throughout the year took pages of notes that you reviewed on a daily basis? That way you made sure that whatever you learned stuck with you and you wouldn't forget it.

Or maybe, like me, you were a student you was a master crammer! You rarely took notes in class and when it came test time you were up all night studying a whole years worth of material in just a few hours? You studied to the point where if you put anything more in your head it would explode!!
During the test you regergitated everything that you studied a few short hours ago and as soon as the test was over, everything that you had learned would quickly left your brain. This is the way that I got through university! I enjoyed my classes and do still remember some things but the bulk of information is still floating around the air of Grand Junction, Colorado.

If we relate this to our health and fitness, what kind of correlations do we see? Our society now is one that wants a quick fix. We spend months and years giving our bodies the wrong things and not treating it in the best way and we expect that we can change all of that over night!

  • The magic pill that will shed 100 kgs in just three days!

  • 3 minute abs, no wait 2 minute abs, no even better 30 second abs.

  • The apple diet that will detox your body while helping you to drop 15 kgs in a week, just like Gwyneth Paltrow!

  • 20 kgs of muscle by drinking nothing but protein shakes for a month!

I am sure you can fill in the blanks with many more fantastical examples. We are almost all guilty of opting for the easy quick fix! But like cramming for the big exam, if you do get results, do those results last? What has suffered as a consequence of this quick fix solution to all of your problems? You might have lost loads of weight in no time at all but how are your energy levels, are you able to control your food cravings?

The solution is to take a longer term approach to your health and fitness. By making those small changes you are creating those good habits that will add up to big results in the long run! Take weight loss for example, a realistic weekly loss would be about 1 lb. If your goal is to lose 15 pounds of fat you are looking at four months of healthy weight loss to reach your goal! With weight loss happening consistently over time you are able to sustain the results because you were able to create those great habits and won't result in gaining it all back after a week or two of not sticking to "the plan."

Take for example my fitness levels! I am not saying they are amazing but I feel that I can maintain what levels I have without training intensively every day. I didn't get where I am at today by a few months of hard core training! It has taken me several years to improve upon my fitness levels and build a good level of mobility, flexibility and strength. I have had some pitfalls on the way but because of that good base that I created when I was a kid I am able to get back on track a whole lot easier! The knowledge that I built up along the way has seen to that.

My take away point is that if you are seeking a change in your overall health and fitness levels do it in stages. Learn along the way and exchange your old habits, that got you nowhere but another trouser size, for new, life changing habits. If you don't, you might continue to face an ongoing battle of fitness cramming, via fad diets and magic pills, with results that balloon more than Oprah Winfrey!!

FITfully Yours,

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