How can you stay motivated and maintain your personal best shape all year long?
If your body confidence and attitude toward health and fitness fluctuates depending on the time of year, you’re not alone. Even the most dedicated fitness enthusiasts can struggle to maintain a healthy body composition and fitness level year-round. Changes in the weather and increased family and business commitments are often the main cause of derailing people from their healthy, active lifestyle.
The best advice I can give to help you maintain your personal best shape is to avoid what I call the domino effect. Let me explain. Nutrition and activity go hand in hand. One inevitably affects the other, and it’s a balancing act that each of us has to master. Falling off track with your nutrition plan can make you feel less motivated to exercise. Once you start skipping your regular daily activity, you may feel sluggish and even crave sugary treats to compensate for your lack of energy. We all know that eating more and exercising less can play havoc with your body composition, and make you gain weight quite quickly. It’s a vicious cycle that’s quite hard to break.
Here are some tips that you can use to help you keep your best shape throughout the year.
Weekdays in the office or taking care of family can get quite hectic, so plan to get up early and get your exercise routine out of the way in the morning. There’s a greater chance that lunchtime and after-work commitments will interfere with mid-day or after-work fitness plans, so avoid that by being an early bird for a few weeks. It only takes a few days for your body to adjust to a new wake-up time, so power through the first few difficult days.
Avoid the domino effect by making healthy daily choices and staying active, regardless of the season or your busy schedule. When life does get in the way of your healthy routine, make sure that you get back on track the very next day—so that one lazy day doesn’t turn into a lazy month.
When our bodies are in motion, we tend to feel good and are naturally inclined to make healthier nutrition choices. After all, when you’re slugging it out on the treadmill, the last thing you want to do is ruin all of your hard work with too much dessert. If you’re struggling to be consistent with your healthy eating plan, schedule in a few extra workouts to help jump-start your diet.
Keep your exercise routines interesting and exciting indoors by experimenting with new machines and exercises. If it’s cold outside, you can still exercise outdoors in the fresh air. Just be sure to dress appropriately with layers.
It’s very easy to slip out of your healthy, active routine. Once you stop, it can be difficult to get yourself going again. That’s why I believe that making a commitment to staying active year-round may be the best approach to ensuring your nutrition plan and fitness results stay on track. Use a daily planner so that you can maximize any free time that you have, and ensure that you dedicate a minimum of 30 minutes a day to your physical well-being. Taking a day off for rest is important. But if you know that a lazy day will make you choose unhealthy food options, try to ensure that your rest day is active with a walk or some light exercise.
Don’t get into the cycle of resting and hibernating during winter or lazing in the heat during summer. Instead, do what’s best for your body and stay consistent. If you want to get and stay in shape, you must find ways to stay active year-round. When it comes to getting and staying fit, making good daily lifestyle choices is the most important success factor.
Samantha Clayton is responsible for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Independent Herbalife Members and employees. Through in-person training sessions, educational tools and materials, and her blog (www.discovergoodfitness.com), she ensures that the important role of exercise as part of a healthy, active life is understood by all. She also helps create, organize and promote employee fitness programs and activities as an integral part of the company’s corporate wellness program.
A native of Liverpool, England, Samantha initially worked as a consultant for Herbalife for two years and led the Herbalife24-Fit program, the company’s first comprehensive fitness training program and DVD series.
Before joining the corporate ranks, Samantha was a professional athlete. She represented Great Britain in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Prior to the Olympics, she won two medals in the Olympic AAA trials – a silver medal for the 200m and a bronze for the 100m – as well as a silver medal in the 4x100m relay during the European Junior Championships in 1997. Her personal records include 11.40 seconds in the 100m and 23.02 seconds in the 200m.
Samantha is a personal trainer and group exercise coach through the American Fitness and Aerobics Association (AFAA) and International Sport Science Association (ISSA).