Anybody who has played organized sports at some point in there lives has been taught the importance of practice. Shoot a hundred free throws a day, throw a hundred comebacks, practice your curve ball for an
hour every day…..it was ingrained in us from day one when we first ran onto a soccer field in preschool (well, I never played soccer but I’m the exception). Unfortunately, as we get older our appreciation for practice and how it can continue change and form our lives declines. That’s why continuing to practice our career, our nutrition, our fitness, relationships and any other aspects of our lives is imperative to helping us grow and become better, more rounded people.
When is the last time you sat down and practiced your job? Sound silly? Say you’re a lawyer who has trouble speaking in front of people but you have all the knowledge in the world about lawyering (don’t think that’s actually a word), how persuasive will you be to a jury when you’re stuttering over your words trying to defend your client? This is when practice comes in. And it’s not only your job that you need to practice. Staying on top of your health and well being is important for your longevity and quality of life as you get older (and we all get older, sadly enough). But for most individuals, this doesn’t happen automatically. Life pulls you in a million different directions, taking you off track. You get out of college, find a career, get married, find a house, take care of the house, have kids, take care of them, while continuing to keep up with your career. That’s a lot to keep up with, so if your career is not fitness related, it’s very easy for your health to become second fiddle to all of these other things in life. But why? Shouldn’t that be your number one priority? Shouldn’t you want to live as long and as well as you can, without surgery, without medication, without constant doctors visits? Well, all it takes is a little practice.
First of all, when getting back in track with your health and fitness goals, you have to understand that this is not a short term proposition. Getting healthy is a lifestyle change and thinking short term will set you up for failure very quick. This is where good practice comes in. With any part of fitness or nutrition it all about making small changes, one at time so that it becomes a habit. See, the problem is most people try to make a bunch of changes at once. For instance, how many of you have tried to go on a “diet” and reverted back to your old eating habits within a month? See “diet” is short term, and is a bunch of change. Maybe you eat twice a day, lunch and dinner, and lunch is usually fast food and dinner is whatever you find in the fridge at the time. Now, all of the sudden this diet wants you to eat 2 eggs and fruit for breakfast, a snack, chicken breast and broccoli for lunch, another snack and salmon and asparagus for dinner. Do you see how much change that is? It can be overwhelming. Take one step at a time. First start with breakfast, practice eating that for 10 days, make it a habit and move on to lunch. With your fitness, start walking, riding a bike, jumping rope…something. Don’t go to an MMA gym and jump into there class named “THE SUPER INTENSE, FREAKISHLY HARD, NEVER ENDING CLASS YOU’LL TAKE 3 WEEKS TO RECOVER FROM!!!”…..OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point. Don’t immediately jump into the most difficult thing you can find. Start small, practice becoming great at walking, then move onto something bigger like resistance training. And always remember, if it’s important, do it every day!
Hopefully you’ve gained some sort knowledge from this gibberish I send out periodically, but I believe that our health is one of the few things we can control in our lives, so why not be the best at health that you can be? Start small, become the best at that and grow from there. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so patience is a virtue when it comes to health. For any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org.