Once Again … Happy New Year Everyone!
And in true January style, health and fitness improvements are one of the top resolutions year in and year out!
Why is it then, that (according to a Johns Hopkins University study) fully 93.8% will abandon their goals by the end of the month?
What is going on here!?!
93.8 Quit their Resolution by February!?
Lots of reasons exist, to be sure, but here’s my short list:
1. Actual lack of commitment is a big one.
People considering our programs sometimes fail to enroll because they simply don’t have the time to exercise. Listen, nobody happens to have time for anything. You make time for things, exercise and health included. Further, if you’re really that busy, you really can’t afford not to exercise! Check last week’s blog on commitment.
2. Accountability is another good one.
It’s easy to skip the trip to the gym when you’ve had a long day and would prefer to simply grab a burger and veg out with the remote control. After all, no one will know if you made it in for your workout or not. Listen up again, as my 3rd grade teacher frequently said, SHOWING UP is 80% of your grade in life.
And simply arriving at the club is almost always the hardest part. But if nobody’s missing you there, nobody’s expecting you, nobody’s riding your tail if you miss, well then, it’s just too easy to just drive home.
Having someone hold you accountable is the true secret to success in fitness!
Sure, you need to know a bit about waving the weights around, and heart rate zones, but holding you accountable is key and the hardest part.
3. Absence of a legitimate plan is also in the list.
It’s often said that goals without plans are simply dreams. Any road will do if you don’t know exactly where you’re going. Exercise and Fitness plans have a couple of different levels. On the most basic level, you must have a plan for attendance.
That’s it. Simply how, when, and where will you train? Here’s how.
Your exercise appointment goes onto your calendar in black in and simply doesn’t move.
Your health and vitality are too important. Planning exercise, periodizing your workout cycles, tiptoeing the fine line between over training and intensity are important too, but less important than the immutable appointment.
Libraries of documentation exist on how to exercise, and thousands of fitness professionals exist to demonstrate, prescribe, and observe exercise. Get professional help if you are new to exercise.
Aspire 8 happens to be the Fitness Together programming model these days, but any programming model/plan is better than none at all!
4. But my favorite in a list that could go on and on is the absence of measurable progress.
Indeed, one of the most critical errors people make in January is to monitor their progress with the bathroom scale. While that might be right for some people at some point, it’s flat-out wrong for most people starting a fitness program in January.
Here’s why. Exercising forces the body to adapt.
In fact, the less fit you are the more dramatic the adaptions.
- Your body creates new and more efficient neurological pathways.
- You add mineral content to your bones increasing its density.
- Blood volume increases.
- And yes, you both increase the size of, and add muscle fibers to your frame.
Each ounce of additional lean body mass is living, ‘breathing’, calorie-consuming tissue. Increased strength not only allows you to move more weight and burn more calories when you workout, but the additional lean body mass will also burn more calories when you’re at rest.
You can think of muscle tissue as your primary fat ‘burning’ facility. The more muscle you have, the more fat you can burn!
The trouble is, all this lean body mass also adds to your overall body weight! So while all of that exercise is burning calories and reduces your body fat, that same exercise is offsetting the fat loss with an increase in lean mass! So the scale doesn’t move. Or doesn’t move much,which frustrates a lot of folks and is tops on the list for why 93.8% of everyone who starts January with good fitness intent, drop the goal by February.
Work with a pro to measure, monitor, and motivate you to make this year different from last year!