YOUR HEALTH, OUR LIFESTYLE
By Donold ‘Skilz Fitness’ Chademana
(American College of Exercise Certified Personal Trainer, FIVB Level 1 Volleyball Coach)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge… Hosea 4:6
‘Why should I exercise? The economic crunch is already eating away at the little have I have now’. The most common excuse from contemplating clients.
Well fair enough, do you also realise that our carb consumption in the country is at an all-time high with meat beyond the reach of many. And what are we using to burn all those excess calories? Well, think about it. Our shopping is now the basic mealie meal, rice, pasta, flour, sugar, cooking oil, and so what is our 24-hour meal plan? I will stop there. You still think, physical activity is not for you?
I hope to make Lifestyle Change a priority in your journey to a healthier, functionally-FIT you.
One of the main reasons we start dieting and physical activity is weight loss. Almost always, we are compelled to start a weight loss journey due to a life threatening health episode that is related to, High blood pressure, Cardio Vascular Disease, Diabetes or Lower back pain etc. The occasional drive to loose some excess kilos comes from a push from an image dig by a friend or spouse, that outfit you are suddenly fitting-out of and want to fit back in or loosing a close friend or relative to the so-called ‘Diseases of Civilization’. These superficial reasons are never deep-rooted enough for a more permanent lifestyle change.
A healthier lifestyle is the single most important factor in the incidents of Coronary Artery Disease, Hypertension, Cardio Vascular Diseases, Diabetes, Cancer etc. A heathy lifestyle involves regular physical activity and a decent diet; none of these interventions as one particular ratio.
One of the primary roles as a Personal trainer is exercise prescription and given the benefits of regular physical activity, my first article will narrow down on how to set realistic targets in the journey to behaviour change, healthy living and of course, why not, loosing weight.
Coming out of the gym or a workout drenched in sweat is no licence to eat lavishly soon after, neither is ‘guilt training’ after downing crates of ciders and a truckload of pizzas over ‘Merry Saturdays’ with friends. Oh, and yes, ‘Weekend warriors’, a busy social footballing weekend does not make up for the 30 or so hours spent seated and hunched over your work station from Monday to Friday.
A healthy lifestyle is never an episode, it is a lifelong choice. Here are the facts; at least 150 minutes of light to moderate physical activity lowers your risk of cardiovascular diseases by 20% with even more activity further lowering the risk by 30% or more. Exercise is a critical part of the treatment regimen of Coronary Artery Disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease which are all Diabetes related complications. Regular physical activity, accompanied by reduced sodium reduction and alcohol consumption are all important lifestyle therapies for controlling the ‘Silent Killer’ Hypertension. The impact of exercise on the reduction of Systolic Blood Pressure (that top number on your BP test) is 2 – 6 mmHg with the greatest reduction in Blood Pressure patients. The resting heart rate response to exercise can be noticeable with a few exercise bouts as it can be lowered by about 5-10 beats per minute.
These facts make the Personal Trainers and the Allied Healthcare continuum relevant in your journey through positive lifestyle changes. How? Helping each other to set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic time-sensitive goals and finding safe and effective ways to positive body composition (fat weight loss) and making as functional as possible in your activities of daily living. To make your lifestyle change as permanent as possible, make waist circumference reduction a priority to reduce the risk of High Blood Pressure and Type 2 Diabetes, and getting to fit into that fabulous outfit is a bonus.
Setting Goals is crucial for initial and continued lifestyle change. In this important process of goal setting,
Avoid setting too many goals.
Negative goals are a big NO! ‘I will train five days per week’, is preferred to ‘I will not miss a session with my personal trainer’
Set short and long term goals. Success per each session is always appreciated and will ensure your adherence to the program for long term goals.
Revisit goals regularly, restrategizing is needed especially on those disturbances that pop-up.
So, Process goals, ‘I will train 5 days per week (Frequency) for at least 30-45 minutes (Time) per day using my body weight (Intensity) to functionally move (Type)’.
I will walk/jog at a pace that I can comfortably talk for at least 30 minutes, for 3 days a week.
Why not reward yourself after accomplishing your process goals? Get that nice summer dress that you have been eyeing every time you window shopped or that muscle top you have been fantasising about. You deserve it! That is Behavioural Contracting! These process goals lead you to your product goals. Product goals are those that we aim for, weight loss, well toned body, slim waist, completing a set number of push ups and yes gents, the six pack!
Life is no fairytale so plan in advance to avoid slumping. For example, pack your gym bag in advance if you are going to workout after work or have a functional home workout planned just in case you have to travel to a place where you cannot access a gym or are just too tired to train.
Eating healthy means planning ahead as well, buying your groceries in bulk once in two weeks is more benefial than buying smaller packages everyday. Keep unhealthy food choices at the back of the pantry or fridge. Whole grains over refined foods, smaller food portions at a time and more water.
There are so much more benefits to a healthy lifestyle than just to loose weight; embrace a stress free life, energetic and flawless movement in your routine. Good luck in your brand new Lifestyle!
YOUR HEALTH, OUR LIFESTYLE