Too often, we allow things to get in the way of sticking to our fitness resolutions. But don’t give up! There’s still hope even for those who haven’t set foot in the gym in weeks and have already fallen back into old, unhealthy habits. Board Certified Nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS – known by millions as the Rogue Nutritionist – says starting an exercise program is easy. Sticking with it is the challenge!
He has identified the top four reasons that people abandon their fitness strategies, and reveals his best advice for overcoming them.
1. Your warm bed is more enticing than working up a sweat. “Get an accountability partner,” advises Bowden. “One big reason that people who use personal trainers get better results is that they are committed to showing up for the work outs. So make a verbal commitment to another person to be at the gym. Studies show that people are more likely to follow through on a pledge when they actually make the statement out loud and have something at stake.”
2. You’re too stiff and sore from the last work out. “While some people like that sore feeling because they think it means they accomplished something, most of us could do without the pain. Add ribose (aka D-Ribose) to your exercise program if you don’t want to be burdened by overwhelming muscle soreness and stiffness. Ribose is a natural sugar that our bodies normally make and use in producing energy molecules (ATP), but we can’t save them up. It’s not like rollover minutes. There’s no ribose savings account. You can’t store them for your next work out. That’s why you need supplemental ribose which can be found in some sports nutrition bars, energy drinks and nutritional supplements. Just make sure you are getting two to five grams at a time.”
3. You’re too tired to work out. “Studies show that if you’re dehydrated by as little as two percent, it can lower your performance. Thirst is a lousy indicator of your need for water. By the time you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Nearly every metabolic process in our body requires water. Picture two bodies of water: One is a cool clear mountain stream that is constantly replenished; the other is a stagnant pond that is full of algae. Which one do you want to represent your body? Be proactive and constantly top off your water supply.”
4. You don’t have the will power to stick with a fitness routine. “If you haven’t developed a habit of fitness, you are far better off exercising early in the day. Experts now know that self-control, or will power, is a like a muscle that can fatigue. Study after study has demonstrated that if you use it a lot during the day, you may run out by the time the evening comes. That’s why people frequently overeat when stressed. If you don’t have the fitness habit, going to the gym requires will power and a certain amount of discipline. If you wait until the end of the day, your “will power muscle” has been fatigued. Go early in the morning until it becomes habit. Plus there’s a side benefit: Now you’ve raised your endorphins, and those positive feelings will spill over into other things throughout your days.”
Bowden believes that anyone can use these suggestions to overcome the typical obstacles keeping them from getting fitter and healthier. “You don’t need expensive equipment or iron-fisted willpower. You just need to be prepared to move beyond the things that have tripped you up in the past.”