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Guest Blog Post, Tim Cortazzo

posted on December 2, 2019


Today we have a guest post from our friend and owner of FSQ sports, Tim Cortazzo. Tim trains athletes and non-athletes in Trafford, PA. I have been friends with Tim for many years and I have always respected the work he does with everyone he trains. So here is the post from our friend Tim.

“5 Things you can do RIGHT NOW to get on track to a healthier lifestyle”

What does the term “Healthy Lifestyle” mean to you? For some, it’s a strict, clean diet and 7 days a week at the gym. For others, it’s simply doing enough during the week to enjoy pizza and beer on the weekend. Either way is fine! However living a sedentary lifestyle where you don’t take care of yourself is not. Let’s be realistic, we all know the steps to follow to get on track to a healthier lifestyle. Its pretty simple, eat better and move more. I also feel like the majority of the population WANT to be healthier. But why don’t we all actually follow these simple steps. There is more information available today to help people get healthy than there has ever been. However, there are still over 90 million people in the US who struggle with obesity. 

These numbers are even more staggering (according to HHS.GOV):

  • Less than 5% of Adults in America participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
  • Only 33% of Adults in America get the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
  • Over 80% of Adults in America do NOT meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle strengthening activities and more than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.
  • Reducing the sodium intake in America by 1,200mg per day can save up to $20 BILLION a year in medical costs. 
  • Reports project that by Year 2030, half of all adults in the US will be obese. 115 MILLION PEOPLE PROJECTED TO BE OBESE!!!

I’m not using this article and platform to spew out stats about how unhealthy we are. I’m also not using this as a way to revolutionize a movement against fast food chains and pizza shops. I simply want to figure out a way to help as many people as I can by getting them started on the right track to feeling better and taking control of their health.

“GETTING STARTED IS THE HARDEST PART”

I don’t necessarily agree with this quote. It seems that gyms are crowded with New Years Resolutioners each and every January. I think getting started is pretty easy. SUSTAINING is the hardest part. It’s the reason people fall off the wagon so quickly. Maybe the available health information is just overly crowded. It seems like a new diet, Netflix show, or workout fad hits the market each week. With this type of overload, I’m not sure people actually know where to start with their diets and training. Hopefully this article can help jumpstart your journey to a healthier life!

 

  1. MAKE A PLAN FOR SUCCESS

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Yes goal setting is an important part of this. But if you don’t have the road map, it will be a lot tougher to get to your destination. Take your time planning out your journey and refer back to it often! Set realistic short-term goals and write down the necessary actions you must take to reach these goals. Also set a timeline. If you don’t have a timeline, then your plan will be a free-for-all. Celebrate (but not too much) every time you hit a milestone! Use these short-term goals as a path to your larger, long-term, ultimate goal. Another important part of achieving your goals is developing the habits and skills necessary to reach the goal. For example, if you want to lose 10lbs, you must acquire the skills necessary to lose 10lbs. These skills may include “Meal Prepping,” “3 Days a week at the gym,” etc… To acquire these skills, you must develop the habits necessary to get better at that skill. “Waking up on time,” “Consistently getting to the grocery store,” etc… I find a flow chart to be the best way to accomplish the tasks at hand. This basically gives you a step-by-step guide to navigate. Here’s an example of a flow chart you can follow to start crushing your goals: 

  1. MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

We are all limited to 24 hours in a day. If you add it all up, we have 168 hours each week. How we choose to spend that time varies. If you can spend just 1 hour each day working on improving your health, you will more than likely be setting yourself up for success. 7 HOURS A WEEK!!! Make these 7 hours a priority. Let’s check out an average time breakdown for a working adult and see where we can fit these 7 hours. Feel free to plug in your own schedule.

-56 hours of sleep (average 8 hours each night)

-50 hours of work (commute included)

-14 hours of eating (assuming 2 hours each day spent eating)

– 5 hours of personal hygiene (hopefully at least that…)

– 7 hours of working on your health!

1 hour of planning

2 hours meal prepping

4 hours of physical activity

That’s a grand total of 132 hours each week doing the absolute necessities. That leaves you 36 extra hours to be spent doing whatever else you’d like to do. It should not be difficult to carve out 60 minutes each day to invest in your health. Here are some more tips on how to do this:

  • DELETE YOUR APPS. There’s an app for everything nowadays. More apps = more time spent on your phone. Delete your pointless apps that are eating away at your “you time.” Social media isn’t the devil. In fact social media can be a great tool to stay connected to our friends and the world around us. However, aimlessly scrolling on social media will destroy your productivity. Try to limit your time spent on pointless scrolling and use that time to do something productive for your health. 
  • Set up “out of office hours” for yourself. I understand that people get busy with work. And depending on what you do for work, you may need to be attached to your phone all day. However answering emails and calls all day long will make you feel busier than you actually are. Prioritize the urgent messages and calls and shut it down! It’s ok to set the phone down for a few hours and limit how often you respond. Set up your “out of office” message and enjoy some time disconnected from the world. Just for the record: Absolutely no phone is allowed during your time working out.
  • Workout early in the morning. Lay out your workout gear right before you lay down for the night. Get to sleep an hour earlier than you normally do the night before. Sleep the same amount of time. Wake-up an hour earlier in the morning. Working out in the morning will be a great jumpstart to your day. Training early can boost your metabolism, improve your mood, increase your focus, and improve your energy for the day ahead. You will also feel accomplished after completing your first big task of the day.   
  1. HIRE A COACH

Now this one can be tough! There are a lot of snake-oil salesmen out there right now in the training/nutrition industry. However, there are plenty of really good coaches both online and in gyms that can be a huge asset for your journey. Coaches, whether its for your diet or training, provide structure! They will hold you accountable for showing up on time, working hard, sticking to your plan, reaching your goals, and ultimately sustaining your goals. Here are a few tips for hiring a coach:

  • Ask your trusted friends for recommendations
  • Check online for trusted reviews
  • ASK QUESTIONS!!! How long have you been helping people? What are your professional qualifications? Where did you receive your education and what was your area of study? Do you have any progress pictures or testimonials from clients? What will this process be like? HOW CAN YOU HELP ME?
  • Make sure they are a good fit for you. The worst thing you can do is hire an educated, experienced professional with great reviews IF you don’t really like them as a person/coach.   
  • Check for certifications. This one can be tricky because not all certifications are the same. And with that being said, being certified doesn’t necessarily mean they are qualified. Holding a certificate doesn’t equate to being a good coach. But it does give that coach some credibility and can give you, the client, a piece of mind. Some of the more respected certifications include: 

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)  

American Council on Exercise (ACE) 

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

Precision Nutrition (PN)

  1. JOIN A PRIVATE GYM/STUDIO

Lets face it, private coaches can be expensive and may not fit into your lifestyle or budget. That’s fine! There are plenty of other ways to get the most out of investing in your health. The big, general public gyms can be intimidating. There’s a lot going on. People everywhere, tons of different machines, no structure especially if you don’t know where to start or what to do. Private gyms and studios are a great option to avoid this! Joining a private gym or studio provides a great sense of community. A positive attitude community with motivational coaches can provide accountability and structure to keep you on task. The clients at these training facilities have similar goals and are on similar journeys! There are plenty of different private facilities out there with different types of fitness. Same rules apply as hiring a coach. Ask friends where they workout, check reviews, look for professional qualifications, etc… Most importantly, find what you enjoy! There are facilities that specialize in strength training, yoga, cycling, CrossFit, even pole dancing? (The pole dancing one isn’t for me but hey!!! Whatever gets the job done for you) Try a couple different places and find the best fit for you.

  1. STOP WAITING… START RIGHT NOW!

Don’t wait for Monday, don’t wait for next month, start immediately. Procrastination is your enemy. If you don’t start right now, you run the risk of never starting. The second you finish this article, use your newfound motivation, and go start planning. I promise you wont regret it!

 

 

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