Starting on the road to fitness or a healthier lifestyle can be challenging enough.
But staying on that road for the long haul? Well, that can be another issue altogether.
That’s how Clay Lambert feels these days. The 56-year-old journalist is off to a great start in exercising more and eating better. In just three months, he lost 20 pounds and went from 26 percent body fat to 14 percent.
He feels better, looks better, has more energy and is enjoying his more active life.
“But I don’t know how to maintain it,” he says. “I feel vulnerable as far as what comes next. It’s a long commitment.”
Yes, it is. And understanding that just might be essential to his long-term success.
‘Mix It Up’ and More Tips
Anyone who ever has made a good start on a healthy habit can relate. We get so excited about making a positive change that the first rush of success feels like bliss.
After the initial euphoria wears off, what will motivate us?
Here are a few tips.
Remember why you started. Internal goals (you exercise because you love it) will take over when an external goal (like a class reunion) comes and goes. Our clients over 50 want to be fit because of powerful motivators like:
- Spending more time with grandkids
- Sports and hobbies
- Avoiding obesity, medication, and falls
- Maintaining their sense of identity
- Being able to live independently in their own home instead of assisted living
Keep setting new goals. If you’re where Clay is, you’ve already met some initial goals. It was probably fun and exciting. So, do it again with a new target in mind. When you hit a goal, celebrate with a healthy reward.
Mix it up. You might’ve started with lots of cardio, as Clay did. That’s great. Now add resistance and balance training, maybe even some online coaching with me. Get outside and play. HAVE FUN.
Lighten up. Like Clay said, healthy living is a long commitment. You’ll have periods where you can’t do as much as you’d like for whatever reason – work and family commitments, injury or illness. It’s OK. In fact, it’s natural and unavoidable.
Make it social. Work out with a friend, spouse, trainer or small group. The social aspect is valuable, and you’ll be motivated if you know someone is expecting you.
How’s He Doing?
Based on these guidelines, Clay is doing great — and he’s smart to stay vigilant.
He joined a gym with his longtime girlfriend after she received advice from her doctor. The couple enjoy their time together working out and eating lighter meals. Yet they also have their individual goals and new habits.
Clay — a single dad of a daughter in college — rides his bike and enjoys the outdoors. He has built his routines into his workday schedule. He’s having a blast moving more and pushing himself in healthy ways.
“It became apparent that if I didn’t take care of myself, there would be things I wouldn’t be able to do. At 56, how was that ever going to get better if I didn’t make some changes that would last for the rest of my life?”
> If you can relate to Clay’s story, I’m here to help you start your fitness journey and continue it for a lifetime.