Exercise and Lifestyle change opportunities for 2016
By John Bauer – January 5, 2016
Considering changes in 2016?
The last few days I have published a series of posts on three successful change articles, strategies for implementing change in 2016, and most effective changes in 2016. If you have not been through those yet, you might want to take a few minutes to read at least the last two before proceeding.
In those posts I suggested you implement a new small change every three weeks that you felt you could accomplish on a scale of 1 to 10 ranked at least a 9 or 10. I further suggested that in order to see quick results and give yourself positive motivational reinforcement that you implement dietary changes first. Later in the year you could begin to work in exercise and lifestyle changes.
Should you implement changes faster?
Many, many of you will find this methodology too slow for your liking. I advocate in general that we are all individuals and all have different capacities to implement change successfully. The risk in going faster is that you bite off more than you can chew and then give up by becoming a bit overwhelmed.
As long as you recognize the risk and can truly pace yourself to manage it I completely agree that you can implement changes faster. The first way I would suggest doing this is to implement two changes every three weeks, one dietary and one exercise or lifestyle related.
The important thing to remember is that ultimately this is a life – long journey you should be embarking on, not some “program” that you will complete and go back to the old ways. With that perspective, it becomes a little easier to take it slowly enough to really make it a permanent change in your life.
Exercise suggestions for starting to make changes
There is no need to invest huge money early on – I am suggesting 3 twenty minute cardio sessions a week and one twenty minute bodyweight exercise session a week. Putting those in place takes care of two to four of your 17 changes for the year and gives you a decent base to start from without a lot of initial investment.
There are tons of cardio videos on the web, when I started I would often do a walking session with a Leslie Sansone video – really got my heart rate up and broke a sweat. However, I encourage you to experiment and look to find one you really enjoy doing. Here is an example of what I am describing:
As far as bodyweight exercise suggestions, I covered those in quite a bit if detail in this prior post on bodyweight fitness – quick and easy. There are literally thousands of routines also on the web, find one that fits and try to hit all the major needs, a push exercise for upper body, a pull exercise for upper body, a core exercise, a shoulder exercise (push and pull) and a leg exercise or two.
Lifestyle changes to consider
Number one on my list (see my Lifestyle page) of effective changes is to get your sleep taken care of. This is the big one – there are so many hormonal issues from not getting proper sleep which sabotage your other efforts it really is the most important lifestyle change. My two big “rules” are to be consistent about when you go to bed and get up, at least as much as possible, and work with your body to figure out the optimal amount for you, with a minimum of 6 1/2 hours and a maximum of 8 hours.
There are a number of strategies which can help you naturally if you have sleeping issues, as many of us do when we get older. I use a timed release dose of melatonin before bed and sleep quite well – this did not use to be the case as I would often wake part way through the night and not be able to fall back to sleep.
Two more changes very worthy of consideration early on are stress reduction and learning. Again, stress causes huge hormonal issues which work against you if it is not controlled. So, to keep from conflicting with your other changes, find some ways to get perspective on the day to day stressors in your life and work on management techniques to help reduce them. It is worth remembering this axiom from my Secret to Happiness post: “We cannot choose the events around us, but we can choose our reaction to them.”
I strongly believe that lifelong learning helps keep you mentally fit – get away from the TV for some time every week and read a book, follow a blog, research something which interests you on the internet, work on new projects or learn new hobbies – all of these qualify under this general heading and are highly recommended to consider.
I hope these four posts have helped you decide to implement at least some changes in 2016 which will be with you for life. Do it on your own, or do it with the help of coaching, do it fast, do it slow, just do it!