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12 Days of Fitness 2014: Day 12 – Making Fitness Permanent

December 21, 2014 0 Comments

(This is Part 12 of a 12 part series to provide you with some helpful health and fitness tips over the holiday season)

Sweat_FitnessSuccess-300x201During the holiday season, most do not even give health and fitness a second glance. After all, it’s a season of hectic schedules and spreading good cheer. Who has time to work out or eat healthy? But in a few weeks’ time, that all shifts to starting the New Year on a high note with a plan for more exercise and eating better. It’s an unfortunate reality that one, most people wait until January 1 to start taking their health seriously, and 2, that it usually all comes to a screeching halt within a month’s or so time. It doesn’t nor should it have to be that way. Too often people focus on perfection rather than making progress and when it comes to our health, it’s all about progress.

The Right Mind Set

How many times have you started a diet and/or exercise program and after may be only a few weeks or days threw in the towel? Often times people jump into a diet and/or exercise plan that is so strict or so completely the opposite of what is realistic for them that they quit entirely, repeatedly blaming that exercise is not for them or that the diet was too unrealistic. Many approach diet and/or exercise programs with an “all or nothing” attitude that sets them up for failure 100% of the time. It doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be that way. You don’t need to be perfect with your eating or your exercise program. That’s an unrealistic expectation of anyone and the person that says otherwise is usually hiding some demons of their own. You just need to moving towards a place better than you currently are and that is what progress is all about.

What is Real Progress?

Any movement in a forward direction is progress. There is no status quo; you are either moving forward or you are moving backwards. It’s as simple as that! That doesn’t mean there is no room for error. It just means enjoy life and all things in moderation with an eye on a greater pursuit – your health and well-being. It’s too easy to get caught up in the “I can’t eat that” or “I need to exercise more” mentality when the focus is on negative behaviors as opposed to positive, progressive ones. If you can consistently aim to eat better and regularly exercise, you’re making progress that can be more easily stepped up in times for more specific goals, such as preparing for a wedding or that summer vacation. Haphazardly piece mailing your nutrition and exercise is not going to cut it and is like climbing an oil-slicked slope – you might interpret you’re working hard but you’re not going anywhere!

The Secret to Progress

The secret is simple – make your diet and/or exercise the rule, not the exception. Good nutrition is something you need to work at daily; not weekly, or for a few months or for some unrealistic specified amount of time – DAILY! Same with exercise. It doesn’t need to be done in large chunks of time or with the pedal to the metal. It just needs to be consistent, not here and there, and in accordance with your goals. Do your best to be better and at your own pace. Keep a visual of this by keeping a food journal, or even making yourself a chart and document every time you eat a healthy meal and/or got a work out. At the end of the week, add it up and see if it’s in the majority or the minority – it becomes the rule, not the exception.

Accept and Learn From Mistakes

Don’t hide from your failures. Learn from them so that you are continually prepared for any situation. When you do get off course, don’t waste time and energy beating yourself up for it. Learn from what happened, and just move on without looking back. Many of us are so scared of failure that messing up makes us afraid to keep trying, and makes us question ourselves. After all, true success is just choosing to never give up, no matter how many times you fail.

Best to you and your families for a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy New Year!


Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.



About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

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