Sustainable (adjective): able to be maintained at a certain rate or level. Here’s how to build a sustainable fitness program.
It’s everywhere. “Fitsperation”. The perfect “diet” and workout plan is right in front of you – all you have to do is look at any media outlet. While I encourage anything that gets you to be more active and nutritionally conscious, I wonder how many people actually reap any benefits from all the fads out there.
In six months, will they still be doing this miracle program? How about six weeks? What happens in 21 days, and nothing was actually fixed? How effective is a program if you can’t stick with it, either mentally or physically?
I’ll let you in on a secret. I used to be a fad jumper too.
How to Build a Sustainable Fitness Program
All cardio, all the time. (My elliptical was knocking like a Pinto on its last quart of oil by the time I was done with it.)
Just don’t eat until you feel woozy – then eat a whole bunch so you aren’t hungry again for a long time. (This one actually lasted a while, because I was working at the Olive Garden at the time. Nothing like a meal of 14 breadsticks pilfered from the bread warmer!)
The same four weight machines… Every. Single. Day. (In my defense, I didn’t know how to use any weight machines at the time, including the four I used every day.)
Atkins. (Because carbs are the devil!)
South Beach Diet. (Because carbs AND fat are the devil!)
“French Women Don’t Get Fat” (Really??), which lead to…
Leek soup. (Similar to cabbage soup for those born in the 60’s and 70’s.) (This did make Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs extra funny though – “there’s a leek in the boat!”)
“Body for Life”. (Ok, so at least by this point I had realized strength training is important.)
Insanity – 90 days with Shaun T to rip your kneecaps to shreds, and shred fat along the way!
Paleo. (Seeds and berries are for birds, not humans! Club your dinner and drag it home like a true Neanderthal!)
Ketogenic. (Because basically anything but fat is the devil. I can’t even…)
Among all this, four years ago a picked up a kettle bell. I started listening to my body. I began learning and experimenting. I’ve been at it for four years, 1,460 days, and I’m just now starting to break out of my shell and really hone my skills. I’m incorporating new styles of movement all the time. I’ve learned how to take care of my shredded knees while I train.
Incorporating flow sequences to my training has basically erased my shoulder pain (more on this in the coming months!). I never worry about what I eat, because I know how to feed my body in a way that satisfies my activity level AND my palate.
Four years, friends. And I’m just getting started.
Now that is what we call a sustainable fitness program.