So, what exactly is stress, and why does it make us feel angry, disconnected, and sad? Stress can creep into our daily lives if we feel misunderstood by others and ourselves. If you made a New Year's resolution to lose weight – and statistically 45% of us do – perhaps going from 0 exercise to an ambitious goal of 5x/week at 5am, then first, good for you, and second, there’s only about an 8% chance of achievement. Rewrite that goal, dig in to understand ourselves, and alleviate some of that unwanted, unpleasant, soul-sucking stress.
Jan 22, 2014
Fitness is more than looking good naked. Granted, looking good naked is a welcomed side effect of being fit, but it shouldn’t be your only motivation to put down that cookie and lace up your sneakers. Weight, or more appropriately body fat, is only one measure of your health. It’s the one everyone obsesses about. However, there is so much more to it. Blood pressure, body fat, bone density, triglycerides, posture, flexibility, muscle mass, good and bad cholesterol, even your mental health are things we can observe to determine your overall health.
You have to think of your health as a continuum. Every night you don’t get enough sleep, every day you don’t drink enough water, every hangover, every skipped workout and extra slice of pizza; they may not look like they are affecting you now, but rest assured they are. Everything we do, or don’t do, gradually pushes us toward greater fitness or toward morbidity. Being fit is the best way to protect yourself against disease. It's not just something you do to look good for bikini season.
Fitness is a way of life. It has to be a habit. Otherwise, you’ll never gain any traction.
The next time you feel intimidated by some hoss deadlifting 500 pounds, or that gazelle of a woman effortlessly bounding along on her treadmill, remember that we are not all starting from the same point on the continuum. Fitness is a journey. Everyone’s is different. Regardless of where you are on your journey, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Don’t despair that you’ll never look as good as that hoss or gazelle across the gym. Your workout is moving you a step in the right direction on the health continuum. And the next time you tell yourself you’ll make up for that overindulgence at the gym tomorrow, remember that it all adds up. You can't out exercise a bad diet. All your actions outside of the gym need to support your efforts inside the gym to make any progress on the continuum. Keep moving toward fitness and you'll have much more than a beach body. You'll safeguard your life.
There are a host of resources at Merritt Athletic Clubs that can help you continually progress your fitness. We have excellent personal trainers, group fitness instructors, massage therapists, dietitians, a meal service and even physical therapists, all on site. Improve your overall health by taking advantage of these available resources.
Joanna Meade (view bio) is a NSCA Certified Personal Trainer at the Downtown Athletic Club. She is a Level OneCrossFit instructor and competitor. She can be reached at Merritt Athletic Clubs Downtown Club at 410-332-0906 or click here for a Free CrossFit Session.
Topics: Personal Training, health fitness tips, Merritt blog, Weight Loss, healthy lifestyle, Fitness Tips, fitness, best gyms in baltimore, Personal trainer, New Year's Resolution, Baltimore fitness, get healthy, best fitness tips, diet lifestyle change
"Keeping a strict workout routine at Merritt Athletic Club in Eldersburg of four-hour sessions five-days-a-week, Kendir cut all carbohydrates from his diet and replaced them with protein and vegetables.
One year later, Kendir is now 120 pounds lighter and in the best shape of his life.
“It’s a huge euphoria,” he said. “I can’t even explain how amazing it feels. After 120 pounds, I’m a completely different person.”
The weight loss sparked to a holistic change in his life. Kendir is a lot more confident, those social issues have evaporated, and he feels great physically, emotionally and mentally.
It all began with the New Year’s resolution one year ago.
Resolutions are a big driver of new members at the Eldersburg Merritt Athletic Club, according to programs manager Andrew Dibble.
The gym sees an annual influx of members in the first few weeks of the new year, as people are holding true to their resolutions of weight loss and increased health, Dibble said.
Kendir’s success story is one that can give anyone hope, Dibble said.
“Stories like his are what make people walk through the door every day. It gives that belief that anybody can do it,” Dibble said.
Kendir now works as a staff member at the place he lost all that weight.
As for a 2013 New Year’s resolution, Kendir is still pondering his next self-made promise.
“It’s hard to come up with one, I have accomplished so much in the last year that, you know, what do I set for myself now? So I haven’t set any yet,” he said."
Topics: New Year's Fitness Resolution, health, Weight Loss, merritt athletic clubs blog, fitness, carroll county times, New Year's Resolution, Member Success Stories, diet lifestyle change, lifestyle change, fitness programs
Diets are temporary and, in many cases, when we return to our regular eating habits we gain the weight back that we lost while dieting, if not more. Diets also frequently deprive us of much needed calories and can lower our metabolism. Thus, when we eat things that are not on our diet, we cannot burn off the calories as quickly and effectively. For these reasons, I suggest we “just eat right!”
So how do we eat right? Here are some tips:
• Switch to whole grain rice, breads, and pastas.
• Eat every two to three hours. Your body is an engine; it needs fuel to function properly and at its best.
• Eat at least 5 servings of veggies and fruits each day.
• Consume a starchy carb, fibrous carb, and protein each time you eat.
• Substitute healthy fats for not-so-healthy fats. So, avoid trans fats and limit saturated fats.
• Eat out less. When you do eat out and need fast food, choose restaurants such as subway. For sit down restaurants, look for the low fat menu items or only eat half of your meal and take the rest home.
• Drink as much water as possible! Your goal is to drink more water today then you did yesterday.
• Eat breakfast.
• Don’t buy junk! If it’s not in your house, you won’t eat it.