#5 Is Fun
The 5 Keys To Maintain a big weight loss are:
When it comes to health and fitness, you have choices.
You have to breathe, drink water, and eat enough protein and fat to stay alive, but everything else that you eat, and all the ways that you move involve an element of choice.
A challenge of simply being human is choosing well among the enormous variety of experiences you can have at any given moment.
When I was going through my physical transformation from obese to healthy, I met people at the gym and on-line who had gone on the same fitness journey. The ones who kept weight off long term had developed a health and fitness lifestyle. In other words, they kept following the practices that led to their weight loss in the first place.
What keeps exercisers engaged in their fitness practice for life?
Last week, I read an intriguing article, published by Harvard University. I have copied an exerpt below, and you can read the entire article here:
“No one outruns death, but hunter-gatherers come closest”
October 18, 2021 Harvard University
Keep moving as you get older, says evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman, comparing tribal ‘healthspans’ with outcomes of sedentary Americans
Lieberman, who spoke at a virtual lecture sponsored by the Harvard Museum of Natural History, said he began thinking about the rise of the modern exercise culture while conducting research among native peoples who, though often more fit than Westerners, also often expressed surprise at his questions about exercise and training. He once asked a member of a tribe known for its running prowess about his training regimen, and instead of hearing about intervals and splits, Lieberman was asked in return why anyone would run if they didn’t have to. (Italics mine.)
Lieberman, who published his latest book, “Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding,” in January, realized that what he believed to be a modern concept of exercise was really a Western, wealthy, industrialized concept of exercise. “For most of the world and for most of human history, people exercised because they had to or because it was rewarding for them, as in the case of dancing.“
So the key to maintaining a fitness practice as part of your lifestyle for those of use who don’t have to train to earn a living is to make it rewarding. In other words, you need an element of Fun.
How to choose your fitness practice in a world full of entertaining distractions.
The internet provides us with practically infinite variations of activities that give us little “hits” of reward. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube all use technology that hooks the viewer in and keeps them pleasure seeking for as long as possible.
With all this reward at our fingertips, how to we make sure that enough of our free time is spent in healthy movement? I love music, and I have access to recordings of almost infinite variety on YouTube, Spotify, and Soundcloud. I adore ballet, salsa, tap, and jazz, and I can watch all of these and all kinds of entertainment right on my phone. Even with all of this entertainment in the palm of my hand, I still want to dance myself. I want to play, and the internet provides the soundtrack.
Once Covid hit, it also provided a virtual space for people to exercise on a vastly larger scale. How many people have learned to use Zoom for the sake of fitness alone? Speaking of Zoom, I have recently renewed my Zumba and Zumba Gold instructor licenses, and I will be offering classes on-line. When I first started teaching the Latin dance fitness craze my classes were packed, and I pushed the intensity hard for 60 minutes. Now I’ve designed my classes with the variable intensity that keeps it effective, but fun.
I find the opportunity to dance and enjoy fantastic music to be incredibly rewarding. I get to practice and teach fitness by choice and out of joy, which is the 5th key to permanent weight loss.
I salute all of the clients I trained who fell in love with movement whether it was weight lifting, intervals, Tabata, swimming, cycling or dance. They are the ones who keep the change and maintain their physical transformations.
I want you to find your fun, practice what you love, and fitness will become a part of your lifestyle.
Be well, eat for yourself, and practice what you love.