Saturday, February 5, 2011

2011 Fitness & Wellness Resolutions -- Three Reasons Why You're Not Noticing Your Health Successes

It's now been over five weeks since your New Year's resolution began.  Surely, you're checking up regularly on your progress, eager to see if your efforts are paying out as you'd hoped.

If you're amongst those that feel that you're not living up to your potential, or if you think that you "just can't" seem to get at fit as you'd like, then here are some possible explanations for why you're actually being more successful than you think:

(1) First, if you're still measuring success solely by what the scale tells you, then you're probably misleading yourself.  If your exercise, diet, and overall lifestyle changed have led you to burn 5 pounds of bodyfat, and also led to a 5 pound gain in bone density, water, and/or lean muscle, then obviously, your weight will be what it was before you began.  THIS IS NOT A BAD THING!  Gaining muscle and bone density is incredibly good, and will prevent future injuries while improving metabolism.  Losing fat, is of course, very desirable for most of us.  For this reason, you can't let the scale be your "be all / end all" when it comes to assessing your progress, because your actual weight is not an indicator of fat loss or improved fitness.

(2) Secondly, if you're judging your fat loss by how well your clothes fit, then understand that this is not always an accurate way to figure things out.  You don't burn body fat in all the right places at all the right times.  For example, you may lose 5 pounds of unwanted body fat, but it may not come from your belly or your butt right away.  In fact, these are sometimes the last places that body really loses its fat, while the calves, back, and legs show faster reductions in fat tissue.  So, if your pants are just as tight as they used to be, there is still plenty of hope: The fat in that area may not come off until later in your exercise regimen.  And, those other areas are gaining lots of muscle, too, meaning that your circumference measurements and the way your clothes will fit may not be much of a noticeable change.

(3) And, finally, there is one more big bad barrier to truly assessing your own health and fitness successes:  Your own psychology.  Some days, we just feel better or worse about ourselves than we do on other days, and those unsightly body parts tend to flow with our feelings, causing us to think that our fitness levels are changing in ways that they are not.  This also ties in with the feedback that we get from people, affecting the way that we perceive ourselves.

So, how do we truly assess our health and physical fitness variables?  The biggest recommendation is to regularly have a Perfect Personal Trainer assess your body composition -- your ratio of fat weight to non-fat weight.  Even if you're not a regular client of ours, Perfect Personal Trainers can come to your home and check this figure to compare to your past scores.  This will help you to understand what lifestyle changes are burning fat and which aren't, and how your body is changing (or not changing) as you move forward with your exercise and nutrition.  We also recommend having flexibility tests for major articulations, and strength/endurance tests.  Again, Perfect Personal Training has top exercise scientists and instructors that are eager to implement these exams with you, and explain how the results can impact your life during the aging process.  We'll compare the results with ACSM norms, using health industry guidelines to assess risk for joint degeneration, metabolic factors, and risk for cardiovascular diseases and interventions.  This way, you'll gain the "bigger picture" relating to where your health and fitness really stand.

Enjoy your weekend!

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