A limiting factor is any obstacle that stands in between you and your goals.
Have you ever seen a dog fiercely run after a squirrel but is quickly pulled back and choked? It doesn’t know what’s holding it back as it relentlessly persists on trying the chase. So what’s holding it back? It’s called a leash.
It’s tied up, stuck and doesn’t know how to get free.
This is what a limiting factor looks like.
Some leashes are stronger, made of chains and may take more time to break.
Sometimes people think chopping down the tree the leash is attached to is a worthwhile pursuit. Others get free from the leash but are still stuck in the yard and don’t know how to get out. If they did they’d still need a specific destination and a guide to get there. Otherwise, it’s like driving around town with no specific destination. It may be better than where you were but having specific goals and a plan of action can make all the difference, least you return to where you started because it’s all you know.
When all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.
This is where a good coach or mentor can come in, someone who knows the way, who can help navigate and who has been there or seen this before.
Coaches find the limiting factors and remove them to produce results.
The best coaches strategically find the simplest changes that will yield the greatest impact.
Here is a brief overview of some limiting factors people face:
In health and fitness a lot gets blamed on genetics and so the saying goes, “Choose your parents wisely.”
The good news, however, for those of us who aren’t the genetic elite is that at any age and activity level most people can get leaner, stronger, improve conditioning and become healthier.
99.9% of people are nowhere near their genetic potential.
Take some time to look within and ask yourself some questions:
What’s the story you tell yourself? What may be a different story?
Do you believe you can change?
Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset?
Do you have a scarcity mindset or an abundance mindset?
Are you ready to change? Are you willing to change? Are you able to change?
What is your relationship with food like? Is it a friend? A love-hate relationship? Something else?
What excuses do you make?
The mind is a powerful tool. You can use it to change or rationalize (rational lies) to stay the same.
3. ACTIVITY LEVEL
If you live a completely sedentary lifestyle then one of the best things you can do is start being active!
I know pre-diabetic people (about 1 in 3 Americans have metabolic syndrome) who benefit greatly from taking daily walks. Start slow and build it into a habit. If you go from doing nothing to doing something that’s a 100% increase and a great change in the right direction.
I would highly advocate resistance training for building and preserving strength and muscle mass, aerobic activity to improve your cardiovascular health and aerobic capacity, and higher intensity activities such as sprinting, biking, swimming, sled pulling or any type of interval training that’s low impact on the joints.
If you can only walk, start doing that daily.
We Americans are born into The Standard American Diet. It’s also known as The Western Diet or SAD and it’s the saddest diet of them all.
Think a double bacon cheeseburger, fries, an extra large soda and milkshake. (Insert your huge portion, high-calorie, carb heavy, trans fatty meal with entirely too much sodium and sugar here.)
Some of us were raised in the playpens of fast food chains and have been eating this way most of our lives. Humans like the taste of sugar, fat and sodium and so food scientists have designed these hyperpalatable foods to surpass the level of reward traditionally found in nature. They would like to make you an addict.
Heart disease, obesity, and type II Diabetes (to name a few) are among the leading causes of death in American.
So what’s the good news?
They are LIFESTYLE-related diseases. This means that they are an outcome of the daily decisions we make in how we move, what we eat and how we care for ourselves.
Are the foods, exercise and activities you participate in today worth the 30-40 years of life or quality of life they could cost you?
No one can make the change for you but once you are aware, the choice is yours.
You can choose apathy or action. I’m hoping it’s the latter.
Nutrition is by far the biggest limiting factor that people face. If you want to look, feel, and perform better good nutrition is a must. You can exercise all you want but poor nutrition will continue to hold you back from the results you truly desire.
Good nutrition improves nearly every measurable marker of health, from mood and recovery to body composition and performance.
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