In 15 years in the fitness industry, I’ve noticed a common theme when it comes to exercise: Frustration.
I’ve encountered so many people who are frustrated with exercise. It isn’t delivering results. It isn’t easy to keep it up. It isn’t easy to stay consistent. It isn’t fun. And these frustrations lead to people feeling worse about themselves instead of better. But as I see it, the true source of these frustrations comes from an incomplete picture of what “fitness” means. If your exercise program doesn’t align with your nutrition and lifestyle it doesn’t align with your life, and frustration will follow.
The elements of fitness - lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise - need to build on one another to add to your life. Let’s touch briefly on each element so that you can ponder whether each is in alignment with the other.
Lifestyle is built on good habits, self-care, and a growth mindset, and forms the foundation of fitness. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Eating meals on a regular schedule. Even being consistent with washing the dishes and making your bed are habits that support your fitness. And, they all require mindfulness to notice their nature (whether they subtract or add to your life) and when/if you’re doing them in the first place.
Nutrition is really about taking care of your insides and adjustments to your diet can affect your well-being more than you realize. Whole foods, hydration, and portion and impulse control are the starting place for good nutrition. But paying attention to how your food makes you feel - physically, emotionally, and mentally - is just as important as what the scale or even an InBody can tell you.
Exercise is the part that requires the least explanation: But that’s still a lot. Does your exercise align with your life? Does your exercise promote physical balance? Is your program designed for you, or is it a cookie-cutter program for general use? Does it make you feel good or does it just make you sore? Do you leave the gym being able to do something you weren’t able to before?
Ultimately, without aligning your lifestyle, to support your nutrition and exercise, you’re opening the door to frustration and doubt. Fitness that allows you to do more - with your body - in your life - takes alignment of all three elements.
About the Author:
Adam is an OPEX CCP coach at OPEX Baltimore South with 15 years of fitness experience ranging from Yoga to CrossFit. He’s also a Certified Nutrition Coach (PN1), specializes in corrective exercise (FMSC) and is a parkour trainer/practitioner.