Fall into Fitness, by Bob Amic, CFT, ISSA

all into Fitness, by Bob Amic, CFT, I.S.S.A.

Summer is winding down and fall will soon be upon us. The kids are back in school and you think you’ll have more free time to hit the gym. But with all of the sports, homework and other activities, how much free time do we have? Of course, “I don’t have the time” remains the number one excuse why people don’t exercise. But it’s really a simple process. You have 10,080 minutes in every week. Working out 4 hours a week is only 2% of your time. You have 98% of the week for everything else. So let’s stop this “time” excuse in its tracks and make time to get your fall fitness and healthy eating plan in place. It’s easy to do and you only need to “just do it” in two easy steps…….

1) Create a balanced eating plan

With summer cookouts, beach drinks and vacation eating binges behind you, it’s time to focus on your diet with a protein-packed, calorie-controlledmeal plan. A healthy eating plan that provides enough calories to fuel your workouts, but the right energy deficit for weight loss will help you to lose those extra pounds that you packed on at summer parties.

  • Calculate your calorie needs. Figure out how many calories you need each day to stay healthy. For best results, you should also find out how many carbs you should eat each day and the right amount of protein to eat each day. There are numerous websites with detailed calculations to help you determine your caloric needs.
  • Plan healthy breakfasts. A healthy breakfast is low in sugar, filled with fiber and packed with metabolism-boosting protein. The internet is full of recipes and tips to make a 300-calorie breakfast in under ten minutes.
  • Plan a healthy lunch. Your lunch choice can make or break the entire day’s eating plan. Why is this meal so important? We often eat lunch on-the-go or when we are at work and we make distracted decisions. Your best bet is to make a healthy sandwich or pack a fitness-friendly lunch at home before you head out the door.
  • Plan healthy dinners. Many evening exercisers are too tired to make a healthy dinner when they come home from the gym. So your best bet is to have a healthy dinner planned in advance. Many fitness programs detail how you can make an entire week’s worth of meals with a few basic groceries and just an hour of preparation.

2) Create a balanced workout plan

Even the most disciplined exercisers struggle to complete workouts if they are not planned in advance. So if you’re serious about getting in shape this fall, create a workout schedule for the 2% of your week. I also suggest including your healthy meals on your workout schedule to create a complete, well-balanced healthy fitness plan.

  • Include three types of activities for improved fitness. There are three basic kinds of exercises you need to include in your fitness plan. You don’t have to do each one every day, but your complete plan should include some cardiovascular activity, strength workouts and flexibility training on a weekly basis.
  • Make sure you exercise enough. To change your body you need to allow for enough time to exercise. Do you know how long your workouts should last? The answer varies from day to day and person to person, but generally speaking, I suggest a one-hour workout session, four times a week. There’s your 2%.

Now that you know what to eat and which workouts to do each week, it’s time to put the complete plan into a schedule. Create the schedule on a paper calendar, your smartphone or online. I have a Fitbit that I wear that links to my IPhone and laptop. I can input my workout and eating plan and keep a close eye on where I am and where I’m going in relation to my plan. Your schedule will remind you of your commitment and provide the motivation you need to make real fitness changes this fall.