The Other 23

When people come to me for their initial assessments, we always discuss their fitness habits and goals. That of course, leads into a discussion about their nutrition habits- undoubtably the most uncomfortable aspect of personal health for people to share. After we work through the initial thought stream of why they came, we talk about the other 23 hours of their days. I ask questions like, but not limited to:

·         How do you sleep?

·         How long is your commute?

·         How many hours are you seated behind a desk?

·         Where do you eat your lunch?

These questions are thought provoking and educational because most don't fully think through the concept that the one hour they workout is just that- 1 hour. We have an additional 23 hours that make up the majority of our day, and we tend to forget about adding in healthy habits to those hours as well. We assume that if we workout and eat relatively well, we should have the healthy bodies we desire. Have you ever come to a point of making positive health changes in your life, remaining consistent in your diet and your exercise regime, yet you don't lose weight or you plateau quickly? If you're eating well, and exercising 6 days a week, why can't you lose weight? There are a multitude of reasons, but most assume they have a medical condition or they are under-training. Truthfully, those reasons make up maybe 10% of the situations. The rest of the people I see, need to add healthy habits in to the other 23 hours of their days. People resist this idea because it seems so simple, but it is the simple truth.

I am sharing this from a place of remembering what it's like to work hard and still struggle…This concept of the Other 23 is how I initially lost my weight, and it's how I keep it off. Back in September, I suffered a pretty bad concussion and whiplash playing goalie for a soccer game in my women's 30+ rec league. It was a fluke, and I paid dearly. From September 2014-April 2015, I slowed my workout routine from 6-7 days a week working out with 2 days steady state cardio, 2 days soccer, and 3-4 days HIIT (Yes- I had a little over train going on), to maybe 4 days a week of walking, weight lifting or yoga (each week varied on how often I did each activity). Recently, as a family, we decided to get UP Bands by Jawbone. I am so competitive that I have to exceed steps of anyone on my team daily. Keeping track of my steps, I realized something profound-- I am not practicing what I am preaching! I work from my home so I have 10 steps to get to the bathroom, 15 to get to my kitchen and 20 to my studio. I don't go anywhere that requires many steps, so if I want to practice what I preach, I need to be intentional about moving my body! Since getting the band, I get up and walk my dog a few times a day, make more excuses to park further way, and I even find time to walk to stores to pick up a handful of items instead of driving. Adding back in these healthy habits also stops me from snacking frequently and are helping my stress level. I use my walking time to listen to podcasts and sermons to widen my mind and maximize the return on time invested. On occasion, I even just take in the beauty of nature around me, which is just another form of meditation and appreciation. Being intentional in my Other 23 in a short 2 week period has decreased my bloating & my weight, improved my sleeping, improved my nutrition, and even gotten me excited about my workouts.

If you are one of those people out there not seeing results or seeing plateauing results, I encourage you to start implementing one new healthy habit into your Other 23 each week.  Here are a few to add in your day, and increase results, and increase your joy:

·         Drink (at a minimum) 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water daily

·         Get up and walk around/pace for 2-5 minutes every 30 minutes

·         Turn off all electronics 30min-1 hour before bed

·         Create a bed time routine to trigger the rest response in your body

·         Have a dance party with your kids to take a break from school work every afternoon

·         Stretch during commercial breaks

·         Read instead of watch TV

·         Take a walk after dinner (it may even stop you from having dessert)

Keep movin'!

LJ Eastmead

ACE Personal Trainer
AFAA Group Fitness Instructor