Bevan James Eyles author of the Fitness Attitude
Liam Butler interviews Bevan James Eyles author of the Fitness Attitude
Bevan has been a world-leading fitness professional and high-level athlete since 1999, and has won the New Zealand Fitness Instructor of the Year title three times. Bevan has travelled the world presenting at fitness conferences, produces fitness podcasts, and is a writer for The Press and The Dominion Post newspapers. He has competed as an Ironman Triathlete around the world, including the gruelling Hawaii Ironman. He is also the owner of New Zealand's top running business, Extra Mile Runners, which caters to all levels of runners.
You explain that a caring nature and desire to help others can play an important role fostering positive fitness attitudes. How can companies use this knowledge to improve the well-being and productivity of their staff?
The best thing to do is cater to the different types of people you have in your group. The fitness industry is not good at this. They (we) cater to people who are already keen and motivated and already have a certain level of fitness. In my business, I look at what we have to do differently to encourage and empathise with people who have never exercised to get out there and give it a go.
What do we need to do differently?
Companies will quite often set up measurement tools that work for a certain type of character i.e competitive, driven types, but, for the person who isn't competitive this can often make them feel threatened and drive them in the opposite direction. We would look at a different way to help motivate those people, a more realistic goal that works for their character type and level of fitness.
Bevan you explain that newcomers to exercise often have a lot of negative emotions when they exercise and these emotions may tell them to give up. What are three things people can do ensure they do not give up on exercising?
First one is routine. Did I get out the door today to exercise? If you get out the door and do a 10-minute walk every day for a week, you will feel successful. As you feel more successful with exercise, you will look for more growth with the duration and intensity, which will lead to the results you desire. But in this first stage just aim to be successful.
Second is finding a level that is achievable for you and set up a pattern of behaviour based on that. Don't focus on the end result. Give yourself the best chance of including achievable, enjoyable exercise in your day. If you aim to high then the negative feelings of failure will surface and you will be defeated before you leave the house. If you know you can happily do a 15 min walk then that's what you should aim for. A 15 min walk each day won't lose you that weight or get you to that higher fitness level but it will allow you to get in to a routine and make it a pleasant experience because you will achieve what you have set out to do. Once you are in a routine and happily doing your 15 min walk you can start to increase the level in a way that you know you can achieve.
Third is to make it easy to get out the door and keep the routine going. Stack the cards in your favour. Choose a time of day that will work and make it more likely for you to go, if you are not a morning person don't plane to exercise before work, you won't go. Chose an environment that suits you, if you are comfortable in a gym, go to the gym, .if that's not for you walk or run in the local park along the beach - somewhere you enjoy being. Make it an enjoyable experience - arrange to meet a friend for coffee after you have done your exercise, make sure you have your favourite music with you.
Bevan you explain that the environment you put yourself in have a huge influence on our behaviour. Often the work of health professionals and caregivers is done in isolation or in stressful conditions. What do you recommend people do to achieve better fitness long term?
The ultimate aim is to enjoy the experience so you WANT to do it. We all know we should exercise, we all know it's good for us to get out there but life gets in the way. If you don't enjoy it then you will allow other things to derail you. If you use the strategies above to get to a point where you enjoy your exercise you will prioritise it. Once you start to get the positive feelings and see the benefits you will want to make it part of your day. So start with an exercise level that works for you and slowly build it up, make sure the environment is enjoyable and put strategies in place to ensure you get out the door in the morning, during the lunch break or stop on the way home from work. Get your gear out the night before so it's all ready to go - whatever works for you. Once you have your strategies in place and your are in a routine and enjoying the exercise keeping to it long term is much easier to achieve.
Since he started his career in 1999, world-leading fitness professional Bevan James Eyles has been driven by one question: ‘What is it that motivates people to develop a long-term love of fitness and how can we teach that to others?' This question led him to discover that success with fitness isn't about a certain exercise or diet plan, but about attitude and behaviour patterns. The people who have a long-term love of fitness have figured out what these behaviours are and know how to use them to their advantage.
In The Fitness Attitude, Bevan shares those lessons with his readers and provides them with a toolbox of strategies that can be used to implement successful fitness behaviours. These range from different ways to motivate yourself, ideas on how to positively enhance your environment, strategies to deal with setbacks, and ways to plan and set goals. Always practical, and full of many examples of Bevan's personal experience, The Fitness Attitude is essential reading for those who want to be successful with exercise, to gain a deeper understanding of the behaviours that create this success, and to enjoy the contribution that exercise can make to a healthy and happy life.
Win a copy of Bevin James Eyles The Fitness Attitude Craig Potton Publishing worth $29.99 plus a FREE* 30 day trial membership at Les Mills, valued at $150!
*Competition closes 13 March 2015. The Les Mills part of the prize is a 30-consecutive-day trial membership, valid at any one of the 11 Les Mills clubs New Zealand wide. Not valid if you have had trial at Les Mills in the past 90 days or if you have terminated your Les Mills membership in the past 90 days. Entry is open to NZ residents only. Standard Les Mills conditions apply. Prize does not include access to Les Mills RPM®, The Arena, or Personal Training. Winner will be contacted from Les Mills by 20 March 2015.
To enter this competition CLICK HERE Competition closes 13th March 2015. Open to NZ residents only.