Hell yes! Too many adverts boast that ‘fat loss’ results are the only reason for embarking on a fitness programme. Don’t get us wrong we all want tangible results, but these are not always as clear cut as a percentage fat loss, or a few inches lost on the body.
As Fitness Coaches we encourage our clients to work to bring all aspects of their life back into balance. Fitness improvements, which are associated with personal goals, can be measured by many markers, some tangible, others not so, but these may include:
• an improvement in your stress response and recovery to situations
• reduction in resting heart rate
• achieving a ‘personal best’ time in an event, challenge or on a piece of fitness equipment
• reduction in high blood pressure to normal
• being able to stretch through an increased range of motion from start point
• reduction in medication for non communicable diseases such as T2 diabetes
• postural improvements
• sleep pattern improving
• understanding your moods and balancing them better
• better energy levels
• achieving more in life on a general day
We are rarely surprised by what our clients say to us during their sessions, sometimes we have to pause to consider our responses, other times we respond with a knowing nod. This week was a real eureka moment from one client and we were elated.
She is in the throes of managing an immense project that has been tacked onto her normal workload. An expectation of her being able to complete it, without extra support, time or cash recompense would normally leave most of us de-motivated to dig in to say the least.
We asked her how she was doing with all the different facets of her life at the moment and her response was one of a huge smile and quite simply the best testimonial a fitness coaching business would want. It went along the lines of:
‘I don’t feel stressed; I am managing my reactions to the situations better and this is all because I now exercise regularly, eat a better, more balanced diet and make sure that I sleep soundly’.
Many facets all pulled together to give her a better sense of equilibrium. She has re-taught herself that the bigger picture is improved by taking a bit more due care and attention: personal responsibility.
Human beings are not robots that exist on a prescriptive eating plan that eliminates too many foods for too long. Obviously cutting back on processed foods and simple sugar based foods (takeaways, ready meals, choc, cakes, crisps, & booze) and adding in more fresh produce is the most balanced approach to eating healthily. As is portion control. An 80/20 rule for someone that includes a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise and activity in their daily life is a good approach to take to create new, easy to manage and live by ‘rules’.
Don’t be fooled by thinking that your only option is to target Jessica Ennis abs. For the mass population, who want to live life every day as happily & in balance as possible, to get anywhere near these role models ‘quickly’ is likely to kill any joy that you have in your life! Jess herself would tell you that she trains hard – and has done for many years – but also eats sufficient calories from a good balance of food groups.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Quite simply there is more to fitness than fat loss alone.
"They helped me set realistic goals, with challenging yet achievable milestones"