Have you ever heard that you cannot pour into another’s cup if yours is empty?
Plainly put, you cannot help others unless you have taken care of your needs first. In regard to training, that translates to counting on those who have experienced personal growth and education in the area of exercise and nutrition. Everything I have learned in fitness and nutrition came about trying to help myself. Through that, I am able to share the wealth, so to speak.
My fitness journey began as a means to improve my physical strength and endurance, as well as my mental well-being. It began as a hobby reading magazines and perusing the shelves at Borders (R.I.P.) or Barnes and Noble before I was even aware of online fitness forums. Eventually I took courses to become a certified personal trainer and returned to college to earn a bachelor’s degree in exercise science.
With my continued education and experiences, I am able to make more informed decisions for my own health, and therefore am in a better position to counsel others on how to improve their own fitness in regard to habit, lifestyle, nutrition and training.
That is not to say that my experience is that of another person. Everyone’s path is going to be different in regard to maintaining their health and fitness. Each person’s journey is going to look different due to starting points, family and work obligations. I do not expect everyone who begins training to devote as much time as a professional athlete or an actor whose sole job is to resemble a Marvel comic book hero. Those both require hours of training and likely a nutritionist or chef on staff. While the majority of us do not have the time or resources available to train or eat like that, it does not mean we cannot improve upon current habits and manage our expectations for what real world progress or results look like.
Sleep is important, proper fuel is a must, and as we all know, we need to exercise to maintain our heath to reduce our risk of disease.
Other individual factors include current activity levels, age, height, weight and sex. For example, each person will require a different amount of calories according to size and energy expenditure. A server or bartender will have a much higher calorie demand than someone parked in front of a computer all day. What works to strengthen and challenge one person, may be too much or too little for someone else due to current fitness levels. It is very personalized. Exercise should also be enjoyable and sustainable for the long haul. I see routine exercise just like regular tooth brushing, as it is something done repeatedly and often to see results.
It is my mission to help each of my clients take in enough calories, get enough restful sleep, and feel good after workouts to become stronger over time. Ask yourself if you are currently achieving any of this with your current exercise routine. If not, it may be time to reevaluate your nutrition, exercise routine strategy and frequency.