Why am I doing this? Understanding the 5 stages of change

Do you ever get to a point along the way working toward your fitness goals where you stop and wonder just what in the heck you are doing? You get to a point where you question yourself, why you are putting yourself through daily workouts, and passing on the second slice of cheesecake. We all get like that from time to time, but it’s what you do with it that really matters!

Just the other day I encountered this with one my clients. I had spent three months training hard with this person when the person hit a mental wall and asked me the “why” question. The person had reached that point, after three months of training, where they wanted to know why they were doing it and if it was all worth it. They forgot why they had started it all in the first place.

There are five stages within change, regardless of what it is. If you want to make fitness, diet, or weight loss changes, you will end up going through each of these five stages:

Pre-contemplation. This is the stage that people are in before they start doing anything to make change. They are likely not even aware that they need to make changes.

Contemplation. This is the stage where they are aware that they need to make changes, and they are thinking about making them.

Preparation. This is the stage where the person combines their intention to change things with their actions to make it happen. This is where they are deciding how they will go about making changes.

Action. In the action stage the person begins to take action to modify their behavior in order to overcome the problem and make changes. This is where they invest the time and put forth the commitment.

Maintenance. This is the stage where the changes have already been successfully made and now they just need to maintain them in order to prevent going back to the old behaviors.

It’s important that you know these stages when you are trying to make changes in your life. It’s okay and completely normal to be in each of these stages. It’s actually important that you go through each of these steps, so you are mentally prepared for the next one. So if you start having feelings and questioning things, remember the stages of change and give some thought to where you are and what lies ahead.

If you start to question what you are doing, like my client recently did, it means it is time to set some new goals, both small and big ones. It’s time to reflect on why you started it all in the first place. You have to remain confident in yourself and keep moving on to the next stage. When you do that, you will in time reach your goals and succeed!

 

Need some motivation? Check out Nike+ FuelBand!

As a certified personal trainer who works with a range of baby boomers seeking to improve their fitness level, I am always on the lookout for those tools and tips that will help give them an added edge. With the Nike+ FuelBand, I think I may have found a great option!

The Nike+ FuelBand is a concept that many people, baby boomers as well as others, who want to reach fitness goals have needed for a long time. It is a new fitness tracking device created by a leader in the fitness industry, Nike. While there may be other fitness tracking devices on the market, the Nike+ FuelBand is well worth considering.

The Nike+ FuelBand looks like a bracelet or watch, but what it does is actually help you get fit, because it tracks your physical activity each day. But that’s not all. Here are the main things that the band does to ultimately help you get fit:

The band tracks your activity throughout the day. It’s going to let you know how many steps you have taken, how many calories you have burned, and what amount of time you were active. For many people, this is crucial feedback in their quest to get fit.

The Nike+ FuelBand allows you to challenge yourself. Let’s say you walk 5,000 steps in one day, but you want to get up to 7,000. The band is a great tool for challenging yourself to do better than you did the day before, to meet new goals.

All of the information collected by the band can be synced wirelessly. They offer a mobile app to do this. The entire process is simple, making it that much more probable that people will actually stick with evaluating the gathered information.

The Nike+ FuelBand has been designed exactly for those who want to become more physically active, making it ideal for the baby boomer. You don’t need to be a top-notch athlete to use or benefit from this fitness-tracking device.

Overall, the Nike+ FuelBand is a quality product with a lot of promise in terms of what it can do to keep people motivated about getting physically fit. The band costs around $150, but for those that will use it, it’s worth the investment. The band gives you the daily feedback you need in order to stay on track, challenge yourself, and meet your goals!

 

January Fitness Fail – The Truth About the Gung Ho Approach to Fitness

By far January has to be the busiest time of year at the health clubs across the nation. Everyone wants to start out the New Year with resolutions to get fit, lose weight, and live a healthy lifestyle. That’s great, it really is! But what happens is that people usually take what I like to call a “gung ho” approach to fitness, and that isn’t exactly the best route to take!

The gung ho approach is when you have someone who has not had exercise be a part of their life and then overnight they dedicate an hour each day to it. Sounds like it might be a great thing, but in actuality, it tends to backfire. As a personal trainer I’m the gym a lot and see this happen. People start out all gung ho, working out like crazy.

Heck, you can’t even get a treadmill at the gym half the time in January because it’s so busy! Usually there’s not a free weight in site during this month either. Everyone is working out frantically, pushing their limits and hitting the gym. Fast forward to about the third week of January, and it seems like everything in the gym is available! What happened to everyone?

What happens, year after year, is that most people start out with the best of intentions and then tend to falter as time goes on. They give up, they decide it was too hard, too time consuming, or too something else. There are as many reasons for why they quit within the first few weeks as there are people who sign up to begin the gym membership each January.

The gung ho approach is all about being overly excited in getting started in fitness. While I want you to be excited about working toward fitness, I don’t want you to go gung ho on your approach. It fails, and with it, so will your goals for fitness. Instead, you need to have a plan that will be long lasting. Change little things at a time, such as the way you eat, and start working out by easing your way into it. Not everyone is at the same fitness level, or has the same goals, so not everyone can start out doing the same thing.

The best way to assess this, and get off to the right start, is to work with a personal trainer. A personal trainer will evaluate your current level of fitness, determine reasonable goals, and develop a plan to help you get there.

When you take a more reasonable approach to fitness, you are more likely to still be in the gym come February. And once you reach those goals, you need to find new ways to challenge yourself in order to remain interested and motivated. That’s another area that a personal trainer can work with you. So forget going gung ho and throwing yourself into the gym full force. Instead, have a plan that will be effective and you will be successful at!

 

 

5K Season is coming

5K season is coming.

I know as soon as it starts to get close to 5K season, I have notice a lot more people running outside.

It is great to see people outside and having fun but I know, well over half of them will have to stop running because of some nagging injury.

If you do not want to be the half that is injured, let me show you 3 ways to do that.

 

 

Step #1 – Start Off Slow

I know, we all know this but most of us do not follow this, but our bodies need to.

When we start running, we feel good and we think of how fast we were able to run before and we want to get back to that level right away but we need to prepare out bodies for it.

If you head out and start running at the level that you were running before, you will get injured.  Start off a notch or two slower then last year and give your body 2 to 4 weeks to build up to last year, then you can pick it up the pace.

Step #2 – It Might Be 5 K season but Your Joints Aren’t warmed up to it the idea yet

It might be 5K season but it takes a few minutes for your joints to warm up.  If you do not wait for them to warm up, you can increase your risk of injury.

At the start of your run, give your ankle, knees, and hips about 5 to 10 minutes to warm up.  You do this by running a little slower than you usually do.

This will loosen up the joints and warm up the muscles leading to a better run and less likely to get injured.

Step #3 – Little Stretch Afterwards

The debate on when to stretch has been decided, stretch after your run.

If you stretch before, it will affect how well run.

If you stretch afterwards, it will help you recover for your run and get your body ready for the next days run.

The Last Word on Running Injury Free

Now get out there and run but remember the three little tips that I gave you.

Running is such a great thing to do but being injured is not.

Remember to start off slow, warm up your joints and stretch after your run.  I know if you do these 3 things, it will keep you running all 5K season.

About the Author

Rick Kaselj is a personal trainer in Vancouver, Canada that specializes in designing exercise programs for clients recovering from injuries.  Rick has trained thousands of clients and completed his Master’s of Science degree focusing on injury recovery and exercise.  Rick shares with other fitness professionals and exercise enthusiasts, the exercises he uses to prevent knee injuries and overcome knee injuries in the Knee Injury Solution program.

For more great injury free info click here 

Evening Eating Holding You Back? Regain Control!

As a personal trainer who specializes in working with baby boomers, I can tell you that there is a common story that I hear among my clients. Many of them report to me that they do perfectly with their fitness routine and following a healthy diet all day long, and then it all falls apart in the evening. Sometimes they are reaching for quick bites of food to hold them over until dinner is done, while others come home stressed out and ready to reach for whatever they can get their hands on. Whether you are an emotional eater or running short on time, there are ways you can re-gain control over your evenings!

Even if someone does limit their emotional eating or “bad” eating to the evening, it may not seem like a lot of time, but it can still wreak havoc on ones health and wellness goals. Grabbing the wrong snacks, for example, can end up serving up more calories than you expected and help you to pack on the pounds.

Here are the top five reasons that I find people tend to ruin it in the evenings, and what you can do about it:

Stress. Many people are emotional eaters when they feel stressed out. Rather than take the day’s stress and reach for food as a soother, find something else to do to relieve that stress. Try addressing the stress issue with journaling, taking a weekly Tai Chi class, or just taking a 15 minute mental break to sip some green tea and clear your mind.

Tiredness. When you are tired you are more likely to reach for snacks that you feel will give you some pep. But those foods are often loaded with calories. Instead, be sure to get plenty of sleep at night, take a short 20 minute power nap during the day (if possible), and eat a healthy diet. If you are eating a healthy diet, you are likely to feel more energized all day long.

Hungry. If you find yourself ravished in the evening, you are more likely to reach for just about anything you can get your hands on. Eating healthy balanced meals and snacks throughout the day can help keep you from becoming overly hungry.

Being unprepared. When you don’t know what you will be doing for dinner, or lack the ingredients on hand to prepare anything healthy, you will probably forgo the diet and eat anything. You can avoid this by always having your dinner planned out and making sure you have all the ingredients on hand to make the meal.

Lacking time. Feeling rushed and that you don’t have the time to prepare a healthy meal can make people just start grabbing for anything. If you feel you will lack time in the evening, prepare your dinner earlier in the day, or make it on the weekend and put it in the refrigerator or freezer for during the week.

It is also important to make sure you reach for healthy snacks during the day, which will help you avoid a lot of the issues mentioned above. Stick with eating things like carrots and hummus, natural peanut butter and apple, low fat yogurt, almonds, or a healthy nutrition bar. Just be sure to watch your snack portion sizes, keeping it to no more than around 100 calories. By following these tips you can turn your ruined evenings into fabulously fit ones!

The Benefits of TRX and the Baby Boomer

As a baby boomer you may like the convenience of having an exercise system you can take with you. One that will allow you the opportunity to work your muscles, boost your metabolism, and that is easy to use. Well, that’s where the TRX Suspension Trainer comes in handy!

The TRX Suspension Trainer is a good pick for those baby boomers who want a convenient, easy to use, muscle-building piece of equipment that can be taken anywhere. If you are familiar with resistance bands, you will have an idea of what the system is like. You can do some of the same exercises on it as you can resistance bands.

At around $200, the TRX Suspension Trainer comes with a host of benefits, including:

It is lightweight, making it easy to carry around. You can take it with you when you travel, so you always have an effective way to get your workout in. It can easily be stored as well.

Using it is simple. All you need is a closed door to hook it to. The video it comes with shows you different exercises you can do. Once you get used to them, you can take it anywhere and do them on your own.

This system is also good for helping to improve balance and flexibility. Many baby boomers struggle with balance issues, so doing exercises that help to improve it is recommended.

The TRX Suspension Trainer will give you a good, and effective, workout. It will work all the muscles in your body, helping to build muscle, as well as boost your metabolism. It provides a total body workout, yet it’s a small portable system.

It can be used for any fitness level. So although some avid athletes may use it in a class at the gym, it is also a solid pick for baby boomer’s looking for an effective exercise system at home or for traveling.

If you are like most baby boomers, you could benefit from a convenient exercise system that can easily be stored, as well as used for traveling. Some gyms also offer it as group exercise classes, where you can get the chance to try it before you buy it. The TRX provides this and more, making it worth considering. It will give you the chance to do hundreds of different exercises, working everything from your abs and glutes to your hips and thighs.

 

Top Fitness Tips Learned in 2011 (and How to Make it a Great 2012)

One of the many benefits of being a personal trainer is that I get a chance to keep up on learning lots of fitness tips, news, and information throughout the year. One of the benefits of keeping a blog is that I get a chance to share that information with all my readers, both baby boomers and beyond. Throughout 2011, there were several key fitness tips that I picked up that I think can help you make 2012 the best year ever!

Here are the top fitness tips I learned throughout 2011:

Taking a break can be a good thing. It can help you to get re-focused, so that you come back fresh and ready to get down to business. Taking a vacation or small trip, for example, will help you reflect and remember that you are not a human “doing,” but rather you are a human “being.”

Getting a tune-up can be a really great thing. By a tune-up I mean a massage, acupuncture, or some other type of activity that helps you feel great. After all, we take our cars in for a tune-up, so why not take in ourselves? It will help with recovery, mind clarity, and overall wellness.

Making health and fitness a lifestyle is crucial to long term success. One effective way you can make your fitness goals a long term lifestyle is to work with a personal trainer. The support, guidance, and accountability is extremely important and effective.

Trying something new can be a great way to clear the mind and help you feel good. For example, this past year I went to the symphony for the first time. I found that I enjoyed it! It’s important to try new things and remember that variety is the spice of life.

It is important to find things you love to do and then do them during the week. This will help you to take care of yourself and your passions, so you can give more of yourself to others.

Just because someone takes a step backward doesn’t mean they have failed. Two steps forward, one step back, means you still took a step forward! Don’t get caught up in what you are not getting. Instead, focus on the fact that you trained four days, for example, rather than focusing on the fact that you are not at your goal yet.

You can’t out-work bad nutrition. If you consistently eat poorly, it will catch up with you. It is essential to eat a healthy, balanced diet to have overall wellness.

Whether you are a baby boomer or not, or you are seeking weight loss, or just want to adopt a healthy fitness lifestyle, you can increase your chances of success in 2012 by keeping these points in mind. This year, success can be all yours!

Why People Fail at their Fitness Resolutions (and What to Do About it)

Have you ever watched the Allstate advertisement about jogging mayhem? If not, check it out. This commercial always makes me think about why people fail at their fitness resolutions. It happens each year as people set them with the best of intentions. If you check out the Allstate ad, you will see that the driver is distracted and not paying much attention to his mission. The mayhem causes him to fail. But once you know about the things that can help make you fail at your fitness resolutions, the better you will be at addressing them!

Just picture your New Year’s resolution. If it is like millions of others, it is something along the lines of the idea that you are going to lose 20 pounds, be in great shape, take a vacation, and be the envy of all your friends. And yes, even be able to keep up better with the grandchildren. Sounds like a great resolution, right?

But before you know it, things happen. You get sidetracked and forget about taking that walk to burn extra calories. You reach for a second helping of the mashed potatoes and gravy and add on a slice of cake for dessert. Before you know it, you can’t even remember all the details of what our resolution included! And no, you are not forgetting those details because you are a baby boomer. Most people forget them, regardless of age!

Here are some of the biggest reasons why people fail at achieving their fitness resolutions:

Not having a plan. Those who wonder aimlessly around the gym tend to get bored and quit after a while.

Not measuring goals, such as taking a picture for visual evidence. What you can do is find a picture when you were at your best, as well as one the way you look now. This will give you something to work toward. Plus, it shows you have done it before.

Not checking process accurately. The scale is not a good way to gauge your success, believe it or not. Instead, you should get body fat checked every two to three weeks.

Not being held accountable. Most people try to go it alone, and when they have nobody to be accountable for, they tend to cut back. Way back.

Having the “holiday hangover” as I like to call it. This is where people try to do everything in one day. Rather than that, change one thing a day, such as your creamer in the coffee, or working out for 20 minutes, then increasing to 21 minutes the next day, and to 50 minutes by the end of the month.

Working with a personal trainer can help to address a lot of these problems. A personal trainer can help you create a plan, measure goals, check progress, and help hold you accountable. Be sure to work with a personal trainer who you feel comfortable with. And if you can find one that specializes in baby boomers, it’s even better! When you address the issues above, you will be much more successful at being successful with your fitness goals this year!

 

The HCG Diet and the Baby Boomer

As a personal trainer, there are many questions that I routinely get from the people with whom I work.. One that I get over and over is about which diet program people should follow. You have probably heard all the buzz words as well. Everyone wants to know what I think about Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, low carb, high carb, and even the grapefruit diet. You name it, and someone is looking for my opinion on it!

The latest diet that people are discussing is the HCG diet. It can often be purchased online, as well as in chiropractic offices and some spas. So just where does it stack up for baby boomers? Let’s take a look!

HCG, which stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone that was discovered over 50 years ago by a Dr. Simeons. What he found was that it is effective in removing fat storage. Today people are using HCG in order to eliminate their fat storage rapidly.

How HCG works is that when you begin taking it, the hormone communicates with your brain to let it know it is time to release your fat storage. It leads to a rapid weight loss of about a pound or two per day! Over the course of one month, people can lose 30 pounds by following the HCG diet.

The HCG diet is comprised of three main phases:

For the first couple of days you eat what you want and begin taking the HCG drops. This will begin sending the signals to your brain to release the fat storage.

Then for the next few weeks, you follow a very low calorie diet of around 500 calories per day (consisting of fruits, veggies and protein) and continue with the HCG drops.

The third phase is the maintenance period. At this point, you go back to eating a higher calorie diet, while still avoiding sugar and starches, and stop taking the HCG drops after a couple of days.

Does the HCG diet work for baby boomers? The research is out there that shows it does indeed work. It is effective in helping people be able to rapidly lose weight. However, it is a very low calorie diet (that your doctor may even advise against), that many people may have difficulty sticking with for any length of time. And the bottom line is that if you haven’t changed your lifestyle, making sure that working out is a part of your daily life, then how long your efforts pay off remains to be seen.

My professional advice to baby boomers, as well as everyone else, is to not go on a diet, but rather to make lifestyle choices and changes. It is those changes that will be long lasting. You need to focus on eating healthy, which means a balanced diet and sticking with an exercise routine. Following a healthy lifestyle will always pay off, even if it takes a little longer to achieve the desired results!

Busy, Busy, Busy: How to Fit Fitness Into the Busiest Schedule

Let’s face it – we live in busy times. People are busier today it seems than ever before. And all these things that are keeping us busy, busy, busy are leading many of us to feel that we don’t have time for fitness. Well, I’m hear to tell you that you do have the time, and you must make the time because being healthy and fit needs to be your top priority!

 

Let me tell you a story to which I think many of you can relate. Several years ago I was working 12 hours a day in the military, week after week. Yet, I was also a personal trainer and had clients that I needed, and wanted, to help. In addition to all that, I still had friends, family, and a girlfriend I needed to keep up with everything. And as you know, building and keeping strong relationships requires putting in time.

Thing was, I was busy as busy can be, but I didn’t let it keep me from having fitness be a part of my life. And there are several reasons why, which may also work for you, too. These reasons include:

Mindset. Having the right mindset makes a world of difference. You have to think positively and focus on what it is that you want, rather than what it is that you don’t want or all the excuses that you can conjure up. Remain positive and remind yourself of what it is you want.

Forget perfection. If you wait around until the time is perfect in order to start working out and getting fit, it will likely never come. You can’t wait for things to get perfect to start taking care of your health. You need to do it now!

Auto-pilot. Just like you brush your teeth and always seem to have time for it, working out will become the same way. Once you get used to doing it, you will want to do it just like you do all the other daily auto-pilot things each day.

Focus. Don’t make fitness a bigger issue than it really is. Focus on the smaller things that you can do and that are still just as important. Focus on where you are and where you want to be, not any barriers you may come across along the way.

Nutrition. This is a big part of being healthy. It doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. Just plan ahead, even make meals ahead of time, and make sure that the food you purchase and fix are complimentary to a healthy lifestyle, rather than detrimental.

Work out. Being fit requires working out regularly. Make it a part of your weekly routine, just as you will make meeting friends for lunch, getting your hair done, or any number of other things you schedule routinely. Make it happen!

Life is busy, that is true. But being healthy and fit will do more for adding years to your life than will most of the other things for which you are finding time. Even fitting in short 20 minute workouts will help you stay focused and will give you the benefits you need. Remember, it’s about a lifestyle and making progress, not perfection. By making progress you will be stronger and healthier, rather than the other way around!