Ask the Expert: Tim Sitt on exercise and fitness

If you’re freaking out because January is almost over and you still haven’t nailed your workout routine, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to figure out which exercises are best for our individual bodies, and it takes time to achieve our wellness goals. LifeSpeak expert and personal trainer, Tim Sitt, joined our Ask the Expert session last week to reassure our users and answer their exercise-related 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. He 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.

Here are the highlights from our webchat with Tim Sitt. For our French users, we ran a similar webchat with fitness coach Julie Marchand, which you can access here. Please keep in mind all user participation is anonymous and confidential.

New Year’s accountability

QUESTION — “It’s the same thing every year: in January, my gym is packed with people working on their New Year’s resolution, but then by March they’re all gone. Should I just give up on the ‘New Year, new me’ approach?”

Tim Sitt — “If the New Year is a motivational factor for you, then use it. I wouldn’t worry about what other people are doing. However, it is important to also clarify your motivation beyond the beginning of a new calendar year. Asking yourself, ‘What is my goal?’, ‘How will this benefit my life?’, ‘What negative health consequences am I trying to avoid?’, ‘What positive rewards am I hoping to experience?’. Also, connecting with friends and family and getting support will build resilience to stick with your goals. So instead of giving up on the ‘New Year, new me’ approach, I would add to it so your motivation is stronger.”

Finding motivation

QUESTION — “In the past year or more I’ve been very tired and unmotivated, yet I want to exercise to lose a bit of weight. I sleep well at night for 8-9 hrs, yet I’m still sleepy. I’ve taken blood tests and they have come back normal. I’m trying to find energy to exercise, as I’m sure it will energize me. Any advice?”

Tim Sitt— “Instead of trying to find the energy to exercise, I would encourage you to believe that you will generate energy from exercise. People often say they don’t have motivation and if they had motivation they would do it. The motivation, the positive feelings, and the reward occur after the effort has been made. You will feel better and more confident after your exercise, and hopefully this will energize you to do it again. Start slowly and don’t force anything. Enjoy the process and acknowledge each effort you make.”

Aging and exercising

QUESTION — “Any advice for people over 50? Was always able to keep the spare tire at bay, but ever since I crossed the mid-life threshold, I can’t seem to keep it in check. Great advice about the knees, as mine are shot from years of jogging every day.”

Tim Sitt — “Well I’m not at 50 yet, but I am seeing the slowing down of my metabolism, and what I have found is doing a form of exercise that is new and unfamiliar is a great way to stimulate fat loss. I’ve recently started doing a martial art called jiu-jitsu and am at a weight that I haven’t been since I was in university. So try something new, have fun with it, and if you’re active and keep your heart and muscles moving, don’t worry so much about the aesthetics.”

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 into your LifeSpeak account to read the transcript. And be sure to log in February 13 at 12PM EST to chat with Alyson Schafer, who will be answering your questions about juggling various family demands. 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.