Ask the Expert: Setting goals for your personal fitness with Tim Sitt

We’re three weeks into the New Year, which means many of us are starting to struggle with staying on top of our fitness goals. Finding motivation and maintaining a routine can be hard, so for this week’s Ask the Expert session we invited author, personal trainer, and child and family therapist Tim Sitt to answer our users’ questions. Tim is the author of Move or Die: How the sedentary life is killing us and how movement not exercise can save us. This book introduces movement as a mindset that focuses on the skills of becoming aware of rigid and unhealthy patterns, exploring choices and moving towards healthier possibilities. Tim teaches people and organizations to prioritize physical and mental health, and his ThinkMOVE program can benefit almost anyone living and working a typical sedentary culture. He has embarked on an adventurous journey to change the prominent sedentary culture to help businesses have happier and healthier employees. Tim’s background as a Personal Trainer and Child and Family Therapist makes him well suited for promoting physical and mental health.

Here are the highlights from our webchat with Tim Sitt. Please keep in mind all user participation is anonymous.

Finding motivation

QUESTION — “How do I get motivated to want to start?”

Tim Sitt — “Many people search for motivation ahead of taking action, and it works much better the other way around. Decide on what your goal is and try to be as clear and specific as you can. Most people say they would like to have more energy so they can do better at their jobs and with their families, as an example.

Then decide on one small thing you can do daily or 3 times this coming week to get started. It might be going for a 10-minute walk every day. When you experience success with doing something that you said you would do, you can then build from there. But the main idea is not to take on too much too quickly and have lofty goals.

It also helps a lot to do things in a group setting and with friends wherever possible. Your motivation will grow the more you take action and as you feel the difference by engaging in more exercise.
If you take the pressure of needing to get motivation first, you remove what is a self-sabotaging contingency.”

Understanding intermittent fasting

QUESTION — “What is your opinion on intermittent fasting?”

Tim Sitt — “There’s a lot of great research showing that periods of fasting are actually good for your brain and body metabolism. We have evolved to be able to survive without food for periods of time between hunts, so it’s definitely something worth giving a try. Psychologically, there are benefits in experiencing and realizing that you can skip a meal and still function. We are all naturally addicted to food, as we need it to survive, but to be able to take a break from eating and to allow our bodies to reset and to be mindful about the choices we make about food is healthy as well. Some protocols call for fasting two times per week for up to 16 to 24 hours. There are many ways to do this, but I would start slowly maybe skipping one meal and seeing how you feel and then expanding from that. As far as diets and any changes in food intake, consult your doctor and know that what works depends on the individual and their specific health needs. I have utilized fasting three times a week for periods between 10 to 16 hours and it’s helped me maintain a healthy weight and high energy.”

Optimizing ergonomics

QUESTION — “What is your opinion about exercise balls as office chairs?”

Tim Sitt — “They are not a practical sitting solution for the long term. There are ergonomic chairs out there that support healthy positions.  Ones in particular that do not have an upper back support, but that support the lower lumbar and are designed to give the legs and buttocks the freedom to move. The seat itself can swivel in many directions allowing for some mobility exercises in the day. Generally, the issue is not so much what to sit on but that we all need to move frequently throughout the day. So getting up every 30 minutes and doing some form of movement is your best bet!”

Don’t miss our next Ask the Expert session!

If you weren’t able to catch our webchat with Tim Sitt, you can always sign in to your LifeSpeak account to read the transcript. And be sure to log on February 18th at 12PM EST to chat with psychologist and author Dr. Joshua Coleman, who will be answering your questions about creating harmonious couples relationships. If you don’t have a LifeSpeak account, please have your HR team reach out to us about your company subscribing.

What is Ask the Expert?

Our Ask the Expert sessions allow our users to have regular access to our experts in real-time, which allows them to have their pressing questions answered. This opportunity provides our users with practical and easily implemented tips to help them make real changes in their lives. To learn more, don’t hesitate to book a walk-through.