We have all noticed the increase in awareness and attention health and fitness sweeping through our country Nigeria and the world as a whole. Many people think it’s a craze, a short phase that will soon pass.
“This fitness too will come and go”
This is a statement I hear all too often. If you think this way, I propose you consider having a change of attitude. Let’s do things that will help us live longer, healthier lives. Exercising is not easy, especially for beginners. Most gym enthusiasts will admit that even with their experience, there are tough days. What makes the difference is the approach one has towards working out.
Many people join a gym or begin a fitness routine and quit before (or after) achieving their goals. They return to the lifestyle that got them there in the first place. As a country, we need to look at things differently. We need to make good, lifelong habits.
Let’s take lessons from other aspects of life. Get rich quick schemes do not work; get fit quick schemes will not either.
So, would you like to push through the times when quitting seems like the best option? Do you truly desire to look like your favorite sexy celebrity? Want to grow into old age, feeling strong and healthy?
Here are 5 basic guidelines I recommend. Follow them and watch your life change for the better.
Have a Reason for Exercising
Are you exercising to build muscle or to lose weight? When you begin to notice the muscles or the flatter stomach region, you may begin to feel accomplished and have less motivation to continue. Beat that feeling by working out because you love the feeling post-workout. Exercise because you have become stronger, you have become good at it and want to get even better. Do it so you can motivate others and someday change someone’s life. These are ways you will increase the chances of imbibing the lifetime fitness attitude.
Learn About Your Body & Love it
No matter who encourages you, forces you or advices you to lead a healthier life, at the end of the day, it will be your decision to eat healthy and get off the couch and exercise. You know your body best and should love it enough to make it feel great, day in, day out.
Set Reasonable Targets
Many of us expect results in unreasonably short times. We exercise for two weeks and expect perfectly sculpted abs or expect to lose 5 KG. Ask yourself, “Did it take 2 weeks to gain the weight”? Instead of setting unrealistic goals, set goals like how many times per week you expect to exercise. Change bad habits and give yourself time to attain your goals. Just enjoy the fitness journey.
You Are What You Eat
You will get out what you put in, so ensure you pay attention to what you eat. I propose we forget dieting; they are so hard to follow anyway. Instead, eat healthy, fresh food in healthy portions. Instead of eating mounds of jollof rice and pounded yam, let’s eat more moi-moi. Eat smaller portions of foods high in carbohydrates and more proteins, vitamins and minerals. As a country, we need to outgrow the impression that eating more than we require makes us seem wealthier. Also make a habit of drinking water throughout the day, especially with meals. A balanced diet is important and your body will thank you for it.
A good network of friends (keyword: good) with similar goals and interests is always a great way to stay motivated and feel like you are a part of a team.
Joining a class, fitness group or sports team/community will give you a sense of responsibility wherein skipping will be frowned upon. Today with social media, there are many challenges to partake in, ways to share your progress/tips and accounts to learn from or simply admire/get inspired by. There are more fitness apps available than we can possibly use. I recommend these free apps: Nike+, MyFitnessPal and Jefit.
Fitness for life is the goal, one step at a time we can achieve it, together as a nation. #FitNigeria
FitNigeria is a health and fitness initiative, focused on motivating and encouraging Nigerians and members of the larger global community to get and remain fit and healthy. The Fitnigeria team consists of workout and food enthusiasts who want to share experiences, recipes & exercise tips. Follow and interact with us on twitter and instagram: @FitNigeria. For healthy, tasty food recipes, check out their blog: www.fitnigeria.blogspot.com.