Birthdays are a gift.
As I celebrate my 37th birthday this month, my gift to you is to share some of what I have learned along the way.
In no particular order, here are 37 things I have learned since becoming a Personal Trainer. I hope you find some of them helpful.
- Walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise.
- Willpower will almost always fail. Focus on creating habits instead.
- Crunches and sit-ups are about the worst thing one can do to their back.
- Core work should be about training those muscles to work the way they were intended, which is to support your spine.
- A large glass of water first thing in the morning goes a long way.
- Growth truly does happen outside your comfort zone, in fitness and in life.
- Struggle makes us stronger.
- Most people try to change too much too fast and this is why they fail.
- Start small and be willing to wait for results.
- Consistency is the piece many, many people are missing.
- Healthy habits are a lifestyle not a 30 day program.
- Spending a little time on a weekend planning and prepping meals for the week is far worth the time and effort.
- Cardio is overrated. Do as much as you need to and as little as you can get away with.
- Running is a good way to set yourself up to be injured.
- If you want to stick with an exercise routine, find a method of exercise you enjoy.
- You didn’t gain the weight overnight so don’t expect to lose it in a month.
- Extreme diets slow metabolic rate, which is why so many people regain weight after dieting. The harder and faster the results, the less likely you are to keep them.
- Focusing on getting stronger rather than weighing less is a lot more fun.
- If you say you’ll “try” you’re giving yourself permission to fail.
- Showing up is half the battle.
- You aren’t always going to want to, so don’t expect to. Do it anyway.
- What you do every day matters far more than what you do once in a while. (Eat the cake on your birthday, but not every day.)
- Vacations are the exception not the rule and should therefore be enjoyed, but every day is not a vacation.
- If you’re sick and not sure if it is ok to work out here’s the test: if symptoms are above the neck, go. If symptoms are below, it’s a no.
- Don’t expect every workout to be your best. Sometimes it is simply about moving your body.
- Abs are built in the gym and revealed in the kitchen.
- Your body needs challenge to change. You will not keep getting results from the same tired program once you’ve adapted to it.
- Progressive overload is what is missing from most strength training programs for women.
- A woman can continue to workout safely when pregnant if she’s already been doing so prior to conceiving. Women who exercise before and during pregnancy have shorter labors, easier deliveries and healthier babies.
- Scale weight is only one measure of progress, yet it is often given the most credit and attention.
- Most Americans could benefit from eating fewer carbs.
- Alcohol is a priority fuel. Your body will burn it off first which means you’re storing anything else you consume until that alcohol is gone.
- Counting calories and macros is more work than most people need to do for weight loss and can create an unhealthy relationship with food.
- Cutting portion sizes in half is far more effective than calorie counting.
- A good rule is to stop eating at 8:00 p.m. Nothing good happens after that.
- Accountability is one of the biggest keys to success in behavior change.
- Our habits determine who we are. Change your habits to change your life.
Another year older and another chance to learn more and grow. I look forward to continuing to add to this list in the years to come.
What would you put on your list?