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3 ‘Things’ That Hold You Back From Your Fitness Goals In Your 30’s & 40’s Part 2

Part 1 was to tell you about the 3 things holding you back from your fitness and weight loss goals as a middle-aged person. I hate the term, middle-aged but it is what it is. I like to look at things as it’s never too late to make progress and this cliche is true so let’s run with it.

How to eat, or how not to eat.

In this book Hybrid Athlete by Alex Vida, he states something along the lines of, “don’t eat like a dick head”. If you have ever spent some time looking for exercise or health info you have more than likely figured out what is good for you. The reality is, that it’s hard to change the habits we have built over a lifetime. I like to make small changes to my or my client’s diet when things are not going well.

  1. Plan your meals in advance. Prep and pack them for the day. I know you have heard this before but few people actually do it. As I stated in the first post, when we are hungry we are irrational. We make a decision on what to eat based on the way we feel. From my experience, I go for high-calorie foods when I’m hungry. I think of fast food or junk if I haven’t planned ahead.
  2. If you need coffee or tea in the morning as I do, by all means, have it. But learn to love coffee with no sweetener. Some milk is fine. No cappuccino or other fancy-named drinks.
  3. Eat regular meals. If you wait till 2 pm to sit down and eat something you will overeat. There is no regulator when you are irrational/hungry. Intermittent fasters, you can still put on weight if you take in too many calories during your feeding period.
  4. Learn about the 3 macros, Protein, Carbs, and Fats, and the role they play in your body. Counting your macros allows for a visual representation of what and how much you should be eating. There are apps to help with this process, RP Diet and My Fitness Pal. We also need to discuss alcohol in a future post.

Aches & Pains

The good news is that there is something you can do for aches and pains. Pain is associated with aging and the onset of lifestyle pains can start in your 20’s if your lifestyle is less than ideal. If you suffer from any pain associated with joints the best remedy is to get your body moving more. This goes against the conventional thinking of rest your body to heal. However, modern life dictates that we move less which is against the way your body was designed. We have evolved over 2 million years and it’s only been the last 100 years that we started to really use machines for convenience. Now your movement and exercise need to meet you where you are at. You need to take things in a progressive manner in the early stages of your come-back program.

Stress Management

Stress is a good thing for humans. It’s the thing that gets us up in the morning and drives us to work hard for our and families and future. Too much stress is detrimental to your health though so we need to find ways to recognize and manage stress. You are aware that exercise helps with stress management however it can be hard to get yourself to exercise hard when you are stressed. Also, where do you find the time for exercise?

I have come up with a strategy for myself and implemented it for entrepreneurs and executives who struggle with time. I take the approach of, looking at the week as 7 days. Now, most people look at exercise as only a 2 or 3 day week. What this does is, it puts you under pressure if have missed a day or 2 because of your busy schedule. If a program is to work you know you should be exercising 4-6 days per week. With busy clients, we plan workouts on Saturdays and Sundays. We include the wife and kids to make sure they still have family time. This does take some sacrifice but it is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.

Exercise can be a stressful event also. You get tired and sore as you know. Also, why would you do something that is stressful when you are already stressed from work? What I suggest to my clients when they face this conundrum, is to plan a walk for 20-30 min. There is no expectation from the session only to pitch up at the gym to walk on the treadmill or go for a walk at home. What I found is that, once you get your body moving, you start to feel better, your mind clears, and in 90% of cases the person lands up doing more than they expected.

Fitness and getting into shape don’t need to be complicated or perfect. The act of doing and being aware of what you doing is the perfect way to move you forward.

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