Priorities in 2016

Priorities are what it boils down to. When I think of fitness, my primary focus was to get a good workout in, and get on with my day. Here are some questions and ideas on getting your priorities straight for improved results.

At times I would make use of the fitness facilities where I lived. In the workout room I had access to a variety of cardio equipment such as a treadmill, bike and elliptical trainer and the usual primitive multi use circuit machine that is often more of a pain to use then anything productive.

Free weights and were my staple there, and I remember one day when I was super setting stationary lunges with dumbbells and hanging leg raises. This was 'Leg Day at Home' at its best. Moving to the sound of my breath, I focused on each rep, making eye contact with the person in the mirror.

The sun is out, and it's a warm Las Vegas day. Training at home is normally a quiet experience since the gym is often vacant. As I finish a set of lunges, in walks another gym fanatic. He sets down his gym bag and does a few stretches before stepping onto the treadmill and stretches some more. As I begin moving into hanging leg raises he looks to me and asks "Do you mind if I turn the TV on?"

"No go ahead, I'm just too lazy." I replied, and continued on with my set, then thinking about how funny my reply was. Too lazy to turn the TV on, yet I am in the gym busting my butt, literally.

Priorities are what it boils down to. For me my primary focus was to get a good workout in, and get on with my day as soon as possible. My peer had the more laid back approach, and chilled with his treadmill and channels.

What Are Your Priorities?

  • Do you often find yourself trying to find the right program on TV before you begin eating, only to find that after 10 minutes of finger twitching there is nothing on and you settle for the usual news? If fitness matters to you, make a point of eating your meals on time and be conscious of what you are eating.
  • If your TV is putting you into a Clockwork Orange trance, and you suddenly look down to see your food is gone, you may feel as though you didn't even eat since your mind was on something else.
  • Whenever possible, try eating in “silence” with either a fitness magazine, or listening to music. Look at your food between bites; enjoy the color, shapes and textures. In doing so you will feel more content at the end of your meal and less likely to want seconds or dessert. 

What Are Your Priorities At The Gym?

  • Are you more concerned about training during peak hours, when the sexy muscle boys and girls are in full motion, than you are for being there training for you? Find a time in the day that allows you to have the most affective workout.
  • Waiting for benches and machines is not affective, and your time wasted will show. If you are motivated by hot bodies then go for it, but make sure that when you are training you can focus on you. It's you that will be at the summer barbecues and beaches and will you be ready?

Do You Make Sleep A Priority?

Did you know that sleep deprivation can result in weight gain in the abdominal area? It's true and something I am sure you are not thinking about when you decided to watch an hour of TV before bed, or when you had the opportunity to nap one day, you opted for getting extra work done. 

Working is great, and playing is great, but getting enough sleep is one of the most important keys to losing weight, lowering stress and building muscle. Aim for seven to eight hours each night and if you need a nap in the day, take 15 minutes and you will feel refreshed upon waking.

Sleep

Recently I moved into a new home, so I no longer have access to the common fitness room I often made a point of using. For four years I took full advantage of the variety of cardio equipment, resistance machines, free weights, and stretching area.  Do you have access to a fitness area in your building? When was the last time you used it? Often I have little energy, after teaching pole dancing 2 – 4 hours a day. But the beauty of cross training has provided me the ability to advance as instructor, sleep better, and overall, become a better person. 

Balance Your Training

Pole dancing is an amazing workout; however I practice what I preach and cross train. Weekly I take cardio kick boxing classes with Romeo Romero, stretching with Jamilla Deville and Nikki Sheppard, and Yoga and Handstands with Jada Fire and Alvin Tam. Discovering fun classes with motivational instructors has been part of the fun, and I have made a promise to myself to take better care of body, mind and spirit throughout my 40s. 

Conclusion

I know that as busy people in a Starbucks nursed society, we may not take time for ourselves and take care of our health. Decades have a way of slipping by, and may not be long before you look back and wish that you made you a priority.

  • Devote 20-30 minutes 3 – 6 days a week to working out.
  • Practice getting eight hours sleep each night.
  • When you are sitting down to eat, enjoy your food with music or a book.
  • While at the gym, workout!

Make YOU a priority. Learn from what you have been doing or not doing, and if your patterns are not helping you reach your goals, change!  I recently read a fun quote and that is, “If you are not happy, move. You are not a tree.” If you are not seeing change and results from what you have been doing the last three to six months, if you continue to do the same things, you will be in the same place in another three to six months. 

WHAT'S YOUR GOAL?

Welcome change, push your boundaries and get to know yourself again in 2016!