No one starts at the top and sometimes you can get to the top of your fitness game, and injuries or other issues occur that send you right back to the beginning step. I speak from experience when it comes to being knocked down from an injury and although the setback was difficult, I never gave up. When it comes to our exercise programs, we can put so much pressure on ourselves to do too much too soon, and with that come discouragement and frustration. When we approach our fitness and nutrition programs with a progressive attitude, it is a more realistic way of adopting a healthy lifestyle. Progressive simply means starting where you are, accepting where you are, doing what you can, mastering what you are able to do, and then moving forward to the next level of whatever type of exercise program you have enlisted yourself. It also means forgetting any comparisons to others because they are not you, and your program is your program. The comparison game can cause us to get off track with our progressive program and being on alert to squelch our inner competitive nature will be important, especially when we are “newbies” to fitness.
Progression is what will get us to the next level of fitness without injury and with a healthy body and mind. For example, you want to master a pull-up and for the very first time you try to lift yourself on the bar, you are stuck. The pull-up is one of the hardest body weight exercises to perform and to believe your first time out you will be able to accomplish one is unrealistic. Those who can do one or more pull-ups have been doing this exercise for years and have built the strength in their back muscle to the point of being able to perform the exercise. A great way to start the journey of being able to perform a pull-up is to modify the movement using a leg spot, bench spot, a Gravitron, TRX straps, or having a spotter help lift a portion of your bodyweight as you pull up. As you are consistent in your modification of the pull-up exercise over time, you will be able to “progress” to performing the exercise without assistance. Another great example is long distance running. I for one would not be able to bust out a marathon like I have been doing it for years without proper training and starting from the beginning. It truly is all about persistence, patience and progress.
Progression can also be applied to implementing healthy foods into our nutrition. Begin slowly by eliminating one thing like soda, and replacing it with more water intake or herbal tea. Over time and as unhealthy foods are eliminated and replaced with healthy food choices, you will be able to progress to a 80% to 20% clean eating program without feeling deprived. Life is already hard enough without making a healthy lifestyle feel like a burden with unrealistic expectations. Applying the “progression principle” to our workouts and daily food intake creates a positive outlook mentally and physically. We all like to feel accomplished with our programs and to celebrate every moment we take steps that lead us closer to our goals. The good news is that progression is what will get you there.
|Stay Healthy ~ Darla|
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