Change Your Life One Step At A Time
Change your life one step at a time. Start small when working toward bigger goals
By Christopher Bennett
Special to The Freeman
DELAFIELD — If you want to tackle a big goal, like living healthier, it is best to think and start small.
Every December, as the calendar turns to a new year, gym memberships skyrocket and exercise equipment flies off the shelves. Physical fitness and living healthier are among the most common of New Year’s resolutions.
By Groundhog Day, a lot of well-meaning individuals avoid the gym in favor of junk food, and their exercise equipment is nothing more than a convenient place for laundry.
“I think it’s a trendy fad to say ‘I want to be healthy,’ or start exercising, or cut out some type of junk food or add some type of healthy food,” said Matthew Meyer, a personal trainer and owner of Lake Country Training. Lake Country Training operates out of locations in Delafield and Oconomowoc, and is on the Web at www.LakeCountryTraining.com
“I think some of it is with all those Christmas presents they receive, they also receive an extra couple of pounds, and they realize they need to do some damage control.”
Meyer is an American Council of Exercise nationally certified personal trainer, and has been since 2001. His advice is simple: Start small.
“Think about starting small, and be willing to work,” Meyer said. “Small changes are a lot easier to work on. Five small changes add up to something.”
Focus on getting moving.
Again, think gradually. You will not go from couch potato to marathon runner in one week.
“Start with some type of exercise activity,” Meyer said. “It could be something along the lines of going for a walk. If you join a gym, just get on a piece of cardiovascular equipment.”
Meyer said you don’t need considerable experience with the machine.
“Just get on it and spend a half-hour on the machine,” Meyer said, “Start with something and build off of that. Don’t go on Google and find the hot 90-minute workout and try to do it, especially if you haven’t been doing anything.”
Meyer said it is best to focus on getting some form of cardiovascular activity most days of the week.
Do not ignore your diet
“I don’t expect everyone to have a grilled chicken breast with vegetables and in a bowl with quinoa,” Meyer said. “If you were doing that, you wouldn’t be making a New Year’s resolution for a healthy life.”
Use common sense
Meyer espoused a common- sense approach to eating, and said everyone knows a carrot stick is healthier than Christmas cookies. Exercise in moderation, and stick with it and commit to changing your lifestyle.
“Think about making it a lifestyle change and not a crash course on how much weight you can lose in three weeks,” Meyer said.
This does not mean that one is not allowed fun food, like cheeseburgers or pizza. Practice moderation. Meyer said pizza on Saturday is still OK, but eat one or two slices and not the entire pizza.
If you start small, practice moderation and maintain a positive attitude, your chances at success are exponentially greater than if you set an unattainable goal at the beginning, fall short and become discouraged.
“I always coach people to focus on the positive,” Meyer said. “If you focus on the positive, you can build some positive momentum, and it makes thing easier.”
You might also reach the point where you surpass your own ability and need the guidance of a professional to determine the next step in your fitness routine. Again, this level is only attainable if one starts small.
“Find some sort of realistic expectation in the direction you want to go and go with it,” Meyer said. “Know that you can always master those first couple of things you’re working at and add to it.”
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