ALL YEAR LONG

Im­por­tant to think about ac­tiv­ity, healthy eat­ing 365 day of the year

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE IS­LAND - Ryan Cairns

Im­por­tant to think about ac­tiv­ity, healthy eat­ing 365 days of the year

Sad to say, but sum­mer is about half­way over.

Have you been work­ing on your win­ter body? I mean to say, have you been eat­ing, drink­ing and not ex­er­cis­ing enough? Have you let your sum­mer body go a lit­tle bit. Maybe a lot.

We shouldn’t have to talk in terms of sum­mer or win­ter bod­ies. There should just be your body. If you have been adding a lit­tle fluff to your­self, it is never too late to turn it around.

If you find your­self con­stantly strug­gling be­tween adding body fat in the sum­mer and los­ing it in the win­ter, you aren’t alone. If you are the type of per­son that gains body fat all the time, then you def­i­nitely aren’t alone. Don’t panic, I am here to of­fer some ad­vice. The bad thing about ad­vice is that it only works if you put it in ac­tion.

A lot of peo­ple look at health and fit­ness wrong. Most peo­ple who aren’t ac­tive think that if they can’t com­mit to work­ing out for an hour of their day, there is no point. This couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth. You just need to move more.

It doesn’t mat­ter if you do an hour or you break it up into five to 10 min­utes at a time.

Don’t know what to do? The an­swer is any­thing. If you are re­ally new to fit­ness, just start by stand­ing up and sit­ting down (squats) as many times as you can in a short pe­riod of time. Take the stairs up and down for five min­utes. Go for a walk. Don’t use not know­ing what to do as an ex­cuse. Move more, com­plain less. It works.

Take the ad­vice from me know in­stead of your doc­tor telling you have some lifestyle dis­ease like type 2 di­a­betes. As you get fit­ter, then you can make the ex­er­cises more chal­leng­ing.

My sec­ond bit of ad­vice would be to then change one be­hav­ior — just one. Don’t over com­mit. So many peo­ple try to do too many things at once and they end up giv­ing up on all of them. Pick one thing and fo­cus what­ever will power you have at it. If just mov­ing is your one thing, do it.

Some other ex­am­ples may be fo­cus­ing on eat­ing health­ier. You could also have your mo­ti­vat­ing mu­sic playlist made ahead of time. Try get­ting your work­out clothes laid out the night be­fore you have to get up early to ex­er­cise. You could have a healthy pre- or post­work­out snack al­ready pre­pared. You could try get­ting more sleep. You could even do some­thing as sim­ple as drink­ing more water. The goal is to fo­cus on one thing at a time un­til it be­comes a habit. Then you can start on the next one.

Healthy eat­ing isn’t al­ways so easy when you are so used to eat­ing un­healthy food. Peo­ple get ad­dicted to sugar and junk food. In a per­fect world, peo­ple would se­verely limit their in­take of junk food. Soda pop alone is ter­ri­ble for you. If soda pop can take rust off of metal, it prob­a­bly shouldn’t be in­side your body.

If you find that you are re­ally strug­gling to kick the junk food habit, try adding more food to your diet. Yes, I said more food. Not just any food though. The food has to be healthy. If you can’t re­sist that greasy burger or fin­ger lickin’ bad chicken, eat it. If you are go­ing to eat it any­way, you may as well add some nu­tri­ents into your life, too. Add a small salad. Add some fruit. Add some real food.

Your body ac­tu­ally wants real food. It doesn’t want some­thing made in a fac­tory from God knows what, shipped from who knows where and stacked on a shelf for­ever. Hope­fully you can re­train your taste buds to crave the good stuff. Even­tu­ally, the goal is to eat more good stuff and push out the bad stuff.

Lastly, be­com­ing a health­ier ver­sion of you is a jour­ney. That sounds, but it is true. Just look back at your last 10 years. What “quick” fixes have you stuck to? What di­ets can you say were suc­cess­ful long term? What fit­ness pro­gram got you amaz­ing last­ing re­sults? I’ll bet this hits home for a lot of peo­ple read­ing this. Start slow. Take the time to learn to en­joy the process.

This isn’t about get­ting sum­mer ready. This is about how you choose to live the rest of your life. You can be some­one that has life in your years or you can be the per­son that can’t bend down to tie your shoe laces. It all comes down to de­ci­sions. I have seen peo­ple who weren’t ever sup­posed to walk again now able to do back flips. I have seen peo­ple with lifestyle dis­eases com­pletely re­verse them. How bad do you want it? It’s not easy, but you also aren’t alone. Ask for help and start your jour­ney.

Ryan Cairns is a cer­ti­fied per­sonal trainer from Char­lot­te­town. He cur­rently lives in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia. You can read his col­umn monthly in the Guardian. You can reach Ryan at ryan­cairn­spt@gmail.com, or on in­sta­gram @tat­tooed_pt.

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