Thinking about getting fit? Not taking action may be costing you more than you think. | VailDaily.com

Thinking about getting fit? Not taking action may be costing you more than you think.

Rod Connolly
Fitness for Life

Many people have approached me since the recent Vail Daily article regarding our Live It Group Training program inquiring whether this program will lead to the physical and mental changes they seek. In response, I've written this article detailing the productive process people go through to elicit a positive change.

Factor in the cost or benefit of not changing

When we first think about making a positive change we contemplate the cost or benefit of making that change. How much time will I need to exercise? What is the expense of a gym membership or training program? Will this take time away from my family or business? These are all good costs to think about prior to beginning your program. Equally important to consider is the risk or reward: What is the cost of not changing?

I have a longtime client who I guided through a consultation five years ago. He was ready to start getting healthy but decided to wait, as he felt that between work and family, the timing could be better. We met again about a year ago and did a similar consultation. In those four years, he gained weight, increased inflammatory enzymes, worsened his endocrine profile and elevated triglycerides.

I am happy to say he has now dropped 10 pounds and is out doing the things that bring him happiness. He's energized, confident and more engaged with his family and business. What would have happened if he initiated his change five years ago and didn't have to overcome the negative impact of years of waiting?

Get a plan and start it

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We have all experienced what my client felt. I need things to be perfect before I start this. However, this is what we learn this in exercise physiology school: Even a bad plan is better than no plan.

When you are optimizing your time there are only two states: doing nothing and doing something. When we are considering making a change that will make us uncomfortable, we create a third state of mind, a slight nuance between the two predefined ones. It's the state of "almost ready."

"Almost ready" is guaranteed to not benefit you. The most insidious part of this stage is that we don't learn anything. When you start and act on a plan of change, you learn a tremendous amount about yourself and how others respond to your actions. You realize you may have been putting self-limits on your potential. You get valuable information on whether you need to course correct. This feedback information only occurs if you don't wait. You must take action on your plan.

Start spending time with positive influencers

You are making the change for yourself, but it doesn't mean you need to do it alone or without guidance; especially if you tend to be a social creature. There are many ways to get support for your healthy change in Vail Valley. We have numerous cycling and hiking groups, which can provide instruction as well as camaraderie. What is important is that you are interacting frequently with others who also seek a healthier and happier lifestyle.

If you are more of an independent soul, then you can still get the benefit of positive influencers by hiring a coach, or if that feels cost prohibitive, then your positive influencer may be an author. Research one good evidence-based plan that is aligned with your goals and follow the plan the best you can. Research a good plan from a credible source and take action. Often, the best positive influencers come in the written form.

I know many of you out there are considering taking action — I hear from you several times a week. It's been my experience we almost never regret the actions we take, but often the ones we don't. You will love the healthier, happier you. You will feel energized and centered and probably have a few new good buddies as a bonus.

Rod Connolly is an exercise physiologist and the owner of Dogma Athletica. Dogma Athletica is launching its new Live It Group Training — training for life. You can reach Dogma Athletica at 970-688-4433 or stop in at The Riverwalk at Edwards.