It’s been about five years since I started working in the health and fitness industry. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to train youth athletes, collegiate athletes, your regular average Joe, and even a number of professional athletes.
With experience comes knowledge, and also insight into how people approach their fitness goals.
For elite athletes, there is almost always an unrelenting desire to better themselves. They spend hours a day, everyday, dedicated directly to their sport. It’s amazing to witness, but at the end of the day only a college or pro athlete can afford to train that much. For a working adult, the reality is an hour a day is often all that can be spared.
However, that is enough to achieve the body you want.
Where I see many people go wrong, and why most of our population is not in shape, is that exercising is seen as a sacrifice.
The fact is that exercise is an investment. It’s an investment in your well-being and your quality of life, and like with any investment, it takes time to accrue and show its worth. An elite athlete looks the part because it’s their full-time job. It’s unrealistic to expect to look that way overnight.
I don’t care who you are, if you are beginning an exercise regimen for the first time or getting back into a routine you used to adhere to, it is going to take months, sometimes years, to look the part. That’s where a lot of people get discouraged or decide it’s not worth it.
They focus on what they see and not the whole picture; how they feel and how their body is adapting beneath the surface. It really is a lifestyle choice, because it encompasses not just working out, but also how you eat, the daily choices you make, and eventually the decisions you make in other aspects of your life.
If you buy into the lifestyle, it means being health conscious throughout the whole day, every day. I am not one of those crazy fanatics who won’t drink some beers, get an occasional ice cream, or never miss a day in the gym, but when I do those things I am aware of the repercussions and how to minimize the consequences.
If you are going out to the bar with friends, don’t miss the workout that day, or at least leave enough time the day after to sweat out your hangover. If you want some ice cream that day, make sure you cut out unnecessary calories earlier in the day. Going to miss a workout? Be extra nutrition-conscious that day. Simple things, but they all add up.
My biggest piece of advice if you are trying to become the healthiest version of yourself is to enjoy the process. Take pride in making healthy choices. You are given one body to carry you through this wild, and often unpredictable ride we call life, so why not take care of it? Take pleasure in all the things you can achieve by living a healthy life, and understand that it’s not just about exercising, or eating right, or any one thing, but rather a product of them all working in sync.
The key to success: strive to be as healthy as you can be, one day at a time.