Staying in great shape in your teens and twenties is all about looking good. General health and wellbeing is mostly an afterthought to the masses that adorn gyms and take to the sidewalks and parks running. Except for those in competitive sports, fitness can be limited to the mirror.
Once the passage of time confirms you are in your forties (how did I get here so fast?) perspective broadens along with parts of your body you never wanted to. Now the guilt of missing a single gym session has been replaced with missing several months or years due to a more sedentary lifestyle and the demands of jobs, families and life in general.
If you struggle to walk up a flight of stairs or find you can’t kick a ball with the kids without getting out of breath the feeling sinks in that it’s time to make a change. Not just for the mirror, but for your health. With the presence of obesity effecting 60% of women and close to 75% of men in the U.S. it seems we’ve never had it so good, yet so bad. They say prosperity is bad for a nation, but there is more to it than that, its choice.
Free will can be a terrible thing, yet it also has the power to set you free. A lot of people blame genetics, long work hours, stress and budget as the main determining factors to why they are unfit and overweight. Yes they do play a role, but so does choice. You have the ability to blame circumstances for all your health issues, and also to compound them by continuing exactly as you are, or you can make a change.
Crash diets, and slimming pills are not the answer. They have been proven time and again to have the opposite effect, creating the yo-yo conundrum, which will replace any weight and health benefits you lost, and potentially even pile more pounds back on. This kind of shotgun approach never creates long lasting results.
Is There An Answer
There is always an answer available to most of life’s issues. It is simple in its context. It is self-control. Discipline in your food choices, and also exercise choices. Willpower only lasts so long, discipline and consistency always foster results. Discipline is not related to speed, it’s more in tune with patience. Crash diets are a knee-jerk reaction against a long standing problem.
Marketing by the health supplement industry preys on our irrational fears and impulsiveness. The desire to lose weight and get in shape in the quickest time possible is a breeding ground for disaster and will only short-change your potential wins. Every day we are under psychological attack from magazine, adverts, and seeing super fit “beautiful” people on our streets, in our offices and on our TV screens.
Inevitably we compare ourselves to them and our self-loathing is exacerbated. If you are overweight this leads to eating some more. Food provides an instant dopamine hit, it provides immediate self-gratification, and then afterwards we slump. This vicious circle keeps you where you are, year after year until you accept what you have become, or decide to take a stand. Just don’t try any diets as they will make you feel even worse after they fail. Up to 95% of people fail at diets for this reason, they are unsustainable.
Dieting is not the answer. Not only are they dangerous but after a while they stop working. As soon as you begin an extreme diet like Keto, your body goes into shut down mode. It thinks there is a famine going on so it does it’s best to protect you by slowing down your metabolism. Slow metabolisms are one of the primers to weight gain.
Home Grown Solutions
There is a lot you can do about it thankfully. Unless you want to progress from being an overweight unfit fortysomething to having diabetes and other health problems you have to take action. It doesn’t have to be drastic neither. Less is more when it comes to tackling the problem at first. By starting with a little bit of exercise in your home, you can then progress onto changing your relationship with food, so you eat less, especially when you feel led by your emotions.
One of the problems people have with getting into shape is low self-esteem and tiredness. One way to beat this is by creating a fitness zone in your home. If you buy a treadmill for home fitness you can begin the road to recovery. No one needs to see or even know about your lifestyle change until you feel confident to address them. A folding treadmill is also extremely small and it doesn’t have to be expensive or even move that fast.
You only need the treadmill to be able to move at a fast walking space. All you need is 5-10 minutes a day, 3-5 times per week to see noticeable results. Results you can feel as well as see. It’s all about HIIT – high intensity interval training. It’s also quite easy to perform. You start out with 2 minutes at a light walking pace. Once warmed up increase the treadmill speed to it’s a very brisk walking pace. Keep it there for 30 seconds, then drop down to walking pace. Repeat these steps so you do 3 brisk walking pace sets – with 3 slow walking pace sets in between. Warm up with a 2 minute walk and slow down with a 2 minute walk at the end. The routine should take 7 minutes.
Great if you are short on time, and not long or boring. Consistency is the mother of all results in this, so stick with it at least 3 days per week. Over the weeks you can increase it to 5 sessions per week, which you may want to as it is quite addictive. You can also increase the fast pace running segments from 30 seconds to a minute and up to 2 minutes over time. Most people though prefer to increase the speed instead of the time, as it is more effective.
You literally can lose loads of weight and also increase your cardiovascular fitness with just 7 minutes of training per day. Nothing extreme. You also have to stop topping up on sugary diabetes inducing drinks, cut back on caffeine. One simple way to avoid junk is to empty it out from all your cupboards, or if you want to go slower, once you have consumed all the trashy types of food in your home don’t buy any more. Not until you can handle it without overdoing it. The power of saying “NO” and living in self-control. All without a crash diet or extreme measure in sight.