Some people tell themselves that joining a weight loss or fitness camp only means one week or one weekend of exercising. This could be our brain’s way of convincing us that the challenges ahead are easy. True enough, underestimating the challenge of a fitness camp gets us to make that first step to health and wellness.
Once we get in, the need to commit to a new lifestyle becomes constant. This is because a holistic fitness camp does not only hand its participants a set of exercises and exercise machines. It should aim to study each participant’s habits that contribute to his or her current physical condition.
Does the participant smoke? How does he or she order when in a restaurant? Which activities does he or she consider fun?
A good way for a trainer and for a participant to keep track of such habits, and to maintain their commitment to the participant’s lifestyle changes is to keep a photographic journal of each meal the participant takes, and of the physical activities the participant does. Some weight loss camps hand out diaries where participants can write about their experiences, what they did, how they feel, and especially, what they ate. However, as they are written from the participant’s point of view, these experiences might be different from what actually happened. Twenty laps in a pool, for example, could be exaggerated to thirty. And a big starchy meal could be written down as a light snack.
Another way to truly commit to a fitness camp, and to the new lifestyle that comes with it is to condition your body weeks or days before the actual camp. You can do this by doing a variety of simple exercises regularly for short periods of time. Do lunges and bends for thirty minutes each morning. Or jog around the block after work. This way, you and your body will not feel jarred when the first day of weight loss camp starts.
Remember also to take things in stride. Lumping together all those exercises and all those lectures on nutrition can be overwhelming. It can be so overwhelming that most weight loss boot camp participants forget to breathe. Breathing helps our blood circulation. It also helps us relax and be comfortable with whatever activity is put in front of us. Breathing also helps us pace ourselves. The fitness camp is not a race after all. Having the fastest time does not count. What count are that each participant is able to do activities, and that each participant is able to move all the parts of his or her body for a well-rounded exercise.
This is, in essence, what fitness camps can do that exercising on your own cannot. The trainers and your fellow participants will encourage you to do exercises that you thought you would never enjoy, along with exercises that you do enjoy. Someone who only does yoga, for example, could benefit from jogging or cycling. Someone who only jogs could be encouraged to cross-train.