Exercise, Fitness Goals, General Health, Motivation

Let’s Get Moving: 5 Tips for Getting Back into Fitness

Help, I’ve Fallen off the Exercise Wagon

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How to Ease Back Into Fitness

If you just spent the last month like I did: (a) With a piece of honey cake in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other, (b) Doing an exercise routine exclusively made up of balancing hot dishes on one arm while walking laps in and out of the house, (c) where regeneration activity included multiple hours seated in meaningful contemplation or reading, or… (d) All of the above, plus sullen concerns about your lack of energy and expanding waistline…Then you will want to read on about how to bounce back into working out.

First: Let’s get real about expectations. You will want to pick up where you left off. This generally means you will want to return to the couch (Remember a body at rest tends to stay at rest from physics class in High School?!?) or, You will want to become the quintessential weekend warrior and jump headlong into intense cardio and double sessions in the gym. I want to take this moment to help you pause and do neither of those instinctive but completely unproductive impulses.

Instead, follow my

5 tips for getting back into exercise and fitness in a sustainable way:

1. Prepare for success. Lay your workout clothes and sneakers out before you go to bed. Schedule the workout in your planner and block out interruptions. Do that workout before you have time to think about it…because thinking during the next two weeks (your break back in period) will only get in your way. We want this on auto-pilot because deciding to work out and actually getting there is the hardest part. Short-circuiting the decision part is key. So stack that workout habit on top of some other firmly established habit (like waking up in the morning) and do it in a way that keeps it front of mind- i.e. having the sneakers in your visual space or the phone appointment alarm.

2. Begin the way you mean to go on. Plan on ONE thing you can stick with consistently FOREVER. Maybe that’s a 10 minute walk. Maybe that’s a 10 minute walk three times a week. Maybe that’s a 10 minute walk plus 20 situps and 10 modified pushups and a stretch. Pick that one thing you could reasonably, easily stick with for the rest of your life… and do it consistently for the next two weeks.

Resist the urge to give 110% these first two weeks. You want to work out to a point where you notice there was something happening but not so sore you can’t move (and sometimes you can’t tell because soreness doesn’t kick in until 24-48 hours after, so it’s ok to do a little less than you think you can that first time.) This is NOT the time to push your limits. You do not want to miss a workout these first two weeks. Consistency IS success. Soreness is not the indicator of success. I’m fairly certain you didn’t plan to go on needing to hold onto the walls easing yourself onto the toilet because …leg day.

3.Figure out your WHY and write that down. Why do you want to get fit? Want to not die so soon? Write it down. Want to look awesome for your niece’s wedding. Write it down. Need to get up the stairs without passing out? Whatever that “WHY” is, figure it out now, and write it down. Read what you wrote down often. Put it in your phone. Make a collage about it. When you have a meaningful reason, you can withstand the discomfort of making space in your life to commit to it.

4. Have Fun. The more fun you have while doing the workout the more you will stick with it. Maybe you fell off the wagon because you were bored. Then try something new- a new class, a new sport, something which used to make you smile but you gave up years ago like dancing in your bedroom like Madonna to show tunes.

5. Get support. Need a sports bra, get it. New sneakers? Need to dial a friend, a counselor, a coach, a trainer? You can’t do this alone. You need support so plan that out. Register for a class or take that walk Wednesday with a friend. Call a trainer or a sports med doc or a physical therapist if needed, so you can move better.

Periods of time off can break a plateau and even help reinvigorate your excitement and desire to exercise. Observing the Jewish holidays practically enforces a degree of moderation, and even regeneration (a key component of fitness), so don’t sweat it. It’s an overall sedentary lifestyle that becomes detrimental for our wellbeing but following these tips will allow you to ease back into sustainable exercise.

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Another version of this article appeared in LA Jewish Home October 20, 2022 (a newspaper serving the Greater Los Angeles Jewish Community)

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Body Image, Fitness Goals, General Health, Motivation

Unlimited

Even if right now you are living with pain, obesity, gut disorders, sleep issues, low energy, or simply not feeling strong confident and energized much of the time, that doesn’t have to be how you feel forever. Everyone deserves to feel good in their body.

However, sometimes its FEAR that is holding us back. That F.E.A.R. serves a purpose …that is, until it no longer serves us. F.E.A.R. is an acronym which stands for false evidence appearing real. I’ve also seen it listed as F.A.T. False info Appearing True… What are some of these false beliefs?

  • Aches and pains are a normal part of aging.
  • I can’t afford the time or money to work out regularly
  • I’ve tried EVERYTHING when it comes to exercise but nothing works for me
  • I don’t have good genes for working out so I’ll never be good at it
  • I’m likely to get hurt if I work out and I don’t like feeling pain

Just look at some of these… are they real or have other DECISIONS been made which makes these appear like facts when in reality they are temporary.

For instance, can you really not afford the time or money it takes for an enjoyable workout? Or do you plan and save for other things and not prioritize your health? Could you reframe and exercise in 5-10 minute segments while baby is sleeping if you can’t get in a whole hour at once? Is midlife spread inevitable or a result of unwitting choices made from a lack of information about metabolism in midlife? Have you tried everything? Do you think that genes are destiny or that you can make choices which influence the expression of those genes-choices which can be mirrored by the next generation and become their inheritance?

In what way do beliefs such as these actually serve you? What are your F.E.A.R.S protecting you from? How do they constrain your potential? Do they do both?

I don’t think all limitations or limiting beliefs are necessarily detrimental! Sometimes they protect us from having to face deeper emotions we don’t necessarily want to feel or they allow for comfort. They serve us until they don’t serve us.

Consider unlocking your potential by trying this 7 day Unlimited Challenge. Its 7 days of access to unlimited on-demand classes.

https://me.onpodio.com/GetFitwithKayla/packages
Body Image, Diet, Exercise, General Health

Is Obesity a CHOICE?

Trigger Warning: 

This post involves discussions of Weight. If such topics are distressing or triggering to you please consider employing self-care tools and strategies which may include not reading this.

A February 2021 survey by the American Psychological Association reveals how the pandemic has led to unwanted weight gain.42% of US adults gained unwanted weight during the pandemic.52% of Gen Z adults report undesired weight gain, with an average gain of 28 pounds.48% of millennials report undesired weight gain, with an average gain of 41 pounds.Yet despite these statistics, for better health and a longer life span, exercise is more important than weight loss.

 An interesting new scientific review of the relationships between fitness, weight, heart health and longevity found that obese people typically lower their risks of heart disease and premature death far more by gaining fitness than by dropping weight or dieting.

The review adds to mounting evidence that most of us can be healthy at any weight, if we are also active enough.

Glenn Gaesser, a professor of exercise physiology at Arizona State University in Phoenix (My alma matter, BTW), found overweight and obese people with significant health problems, including high blood pressure, poor cholesterol profiles or insulin resistance, a marker for Type 2 diabetes, showed considerable improvements in those conditions after they started exercising, whether they dropped any weight or not. The studies show that even if no weight is lost, obese and formerly sedentary individuals can  lower their risk of premature death by as much as 30 percent or more.

And now, because the science needs to also explain that water is wet:

“Some past research shows that people who start to exercise rarely lose much, if any, weight, unless they also cut back substantially on food intake because the exercise they are doing burns too few calories and because they compensate for some caloric burn during exercise by eating more calories afterwards.”

This information begs the question: Is Obesity a Choice?

This short answer is..not usually. Sure genetics and bone structure, genes and upbringing play a part. However, some of us eat more and/or move less when stressed or anxious or depressed.. and for others its just the opposite! Some of us find sweet foods satisfying in some situations and salty in others (hint: there are actual biological reasons for craving salty in some situations and sweet in others–and its part of the glorious way or bodies are pre-programmed for survival).

Sometimes people are making choices, but they are only semi-conscious of them-for instance out of self-harm as a trauma response. Other times we don’t even know we are making choices because we are simply unaware of alternatives or we have never been educated about the way that stimuli such as emotions and specific foods trigger different responses within the body that set us up for a cascade of effects that are displayed visually or on our bloodwork results…

Information like how to combine which foods to achieve stable blood sugar and lower insulin response. A sensitive balanced insulin response can increase your sensitivity to feelings of hunger and fullness. That is necessary for true agency in one’s health outcomes (and visual outcomes). Listening to one’s body only works well when the body is working to give us those signals otherwise the whole system is rigged against us succeeding from the start (if our goal is to “listen to the body”).

There is a whole science behind options including which foods to combine or eat and when if you want to decrease cravings overall. Or which foods can make you feel fuller longer or think more clearly or have more energy.  Which type of exercises performed which way for how long will make you hungrier and which will enable you to feel more full after the workout. If you would like to know more about those things, so you are more empowered to make changes smarter not harder,  it is something I coach my 1:1 Private clients on.

Some people say, I can’t train with you Kayla, you’ve never been overweight like me. I have never been you, but there have been times I was overweight (5’5″ 172lb not pregnant, and 175 when pregnant) and I have also been mocked for appearing underweight (young teen), Fortunately I have mostly been in the normal range. I have discovered ways to hack the system both from reading and studying and talking to pros about it to be more stable over time and some of it has to do with hearing relatives who do have a good relationship with their bodies and food while growing up-which helps me reflect back to my clients when something seems off track.  I’ve survived illnesses, injuries, and other setbacks. I’ve had a few pregnancies too…and struggled sometimes there too.  Its important to select a trainer and coach (sometimes a counselor and/or RD) who does get you and who you are comfortable with and have the conversations so it can become more of a choice that your body is rigged to help you with instead of fighting with your body.