Don’t let paralysis by analysis keep you from starting an exercise regime
In the age of information, where facts, opinions, and studies are just a google search away, we are bombarded with information. This overload of information when trying to make a decision leads to a problem we like to call “paralysis by analysis,” where you become paralyzed from action because you are overthinking it.
Have you tried to buy a new computer lately? How about a new dishwasher? Planned a vacation? If you are anything like me, you have probably spent countless hours reading reviews, comparing items side by side, and generally fretting that you are going to pick incorrectly. This overanalysis is not only a waste of time, but creates unnecessary anxiety that can stop you from actually making a decision.
We find the same paralysis by analysis occurs when people try to decide on an exercise training and nutrition program.
Should my training program be: Zumba? Boot camp? Train to run a 5K? CrossFit? Pure Barre? Yoga? Pilates?
Should my nutrition program be: Low fat? High fat? No carb? Paleo? Zone? Atkins? South Beach? The Skinny Bitch Diet? (That’s apparently a real thing).
So when faced with too many choices what do most people do? They go the way of the ostrich and put their head in the sand. They choose nothing. Choosing nothing when you need a new dishwasher will only lead to dirty dishes. Choosing to do nothing when it comes to your fitness and nutrition leads to a myriad of preventable illnesses, and a shortened life expectancy. Your life could literally depend on you taking action.
And truthfully it doesn’t matter what type of training and nutrition you select as long as you can answer yes to the following criteria:
1. Do you feel better both physically and mentally?
2. Does your program make you measurably more healthy than you were before you started?
3. Is it a routine that you enjoy and therefore will stick with?
Everyone is going to have a different opinion about what’s right for you, but the only opinion that matters is your own. You need to pick a program that will make you a healthier version of yourself, and when you find something that does that, stick to the program.
Because of the abundance of choices, we often times don’t give training programs and nutritional lifestyle choices a fair shake. If we dislike an exercise class, we never go again, and move on to the next option on the list or back to doing nothing. It takes 30 days to create a habit, so when trying new exercise routines, and nutritional changes, you need to give it at least 30 days (truthfully three months is better, but people are afraid of commitment).
As owners of a gym ourselves, we are of course, slightly biased to our strength and conditioning system, but at the end of the day everyone who owns a gym, fitness studio, yoga studio, etc. should want the same thing for their clients. They should want their clients to feel better, look better, move better, and perform better. So, as long as you are in the hands of someone who cares more about you than their bottom line, it’s hard to go wrong. As fitness professionals we are all fighting the same battle against the couch, processed foods and sedentary lifestyles. Truthfully, no matter what training option you select, we as fitness professionals will be thrilled, as we have won one small battle vs. our enemies.
So if you are ready to make a decision about a training program, here is what you need to do:
1. Stop watching Youtube videos and start your training program.
2. Call the facility or coach where you would like to train.
3. Schedule an appointment.
4. Show up for that scheduled appointment.
5. Commit to 30 days of the program.
6. After 30 days, ask yourself the three questions in our program criteria (above).
7. If the answer is yes to all three, keep trucking. If the answer is no, figure out why. If it isn’t going to work, move on to your next option.
I believe that Nike said it best when it comes to making decisions: “Just Do It.” So do it! Do anything, make a choice and make a commitment to a program. At the end of the day, making a commitment and picking a training program is simply committing to prioritizing caring for yourself. Make a commitment to a better you. You are stronger than you think you are.
Makenzie Eshelman owns Defiance Strength and Conditioning. You can reach Makenzie at 970-948-2695.
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Glenwood Springs City Council member Shelley Kaup says she will seek reelection to another four-year term to one of council’s two at-large seats in the April 3 election.