I would love to say that getting fit is easy so stop being lazy and just do it. The fact is, the ease of it varies from person to person. The effects of exercise is, indeed, inevitable but for most people becoming healthy and getting in shape is easier said than done. Granted, there are those people who wake up before sunrise with a smile and manage to get a nice workout in followed by a healthy wholesome breakfast without ever having any trouble at all. These are the people that some of us would like to kick in the head and call an over-achiever but instead of bashing them for their freakishly weird love for everything healthy, we have to observe what their habits and take from it pieces that will help us develop better habits overtime.
Learning to be healthy is just like learning any other skill. It takes time, practice, commitment, education and a willingness to do it. The things about exercise and fitness is that visible changes won’t come immediately and because of it its hard to keep at it. Here are my top 5 ways to STICK with exercise once you made it to the starting point.
- Make Realistic Goals That are Attainable NOW- Yes, I want you to push yourself to get past uncomfortable moments but progression is key. If you know you hate running and have always had trouble with it, don’t set a beginning goal of running 4 miles every day of the week. That is insane. Instead make weekly goals for yourself. For example week one could go like this ” I will run 2 laps around the track 4 days this week.” and week two could be a progression from that like, “I will run 2 laps around the track 5 days this week” or “I will run 3 laps around the track 3 days this week (notice u took off one day but you ran further.. Good job
- Get a calendar and/or journal just for your workouts.- Write down exactly what you will do. Don’t just start a workout at home or at the gym with out knowing whats going to happen or when it will be over. I mean you could run for 2 minutes on a treadmill and be over it if you left it up to your emotions to get it done. Hold yourself accountable. If your calendar says you are going to do 15 minutes on a treadmill and 10 minutes of weighs. Do that and only that AND GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE to get on with your day. Good job.
- Schedule in lazy/chill days– and NO this does not mean go eat yourself into a coma because you workout well on prior days. This lazy day is just simply a day where you won’t workout. You can lay on the couch and be a bum or you can go talk a walk in the park if you want to. Whatever you want to do, you do it because you stuck with your fitness schedule up to this point and you deserve a chill day. I take them all the tim. My number one rule is never go 2 days without working out, you should adopt that rule. The point is this, don’t feel bad if you relax or don’t workout one day. Not Working out is a small part of your workout regimen. Leave it to the fitness freaks to work out 8 days a week.
- Track your progress. It’s good to keep record in your fitness journal of everything so that you can see your improvement when you might not see a change on the scale. If you know that you couldn’t walk 1 flight of stairs before and now you can walk up 3, that deserves praise GO YOU!. If you could only do 3.5 jumping jacks but now you can do ten.. that’s big and you are on your way to doing even more. Even if you have not reached your goal yet, recognized that you have been consistent and you do see changes.
- Get a support group: It could be your family, co-workers or friends. It could be a virtual group of strangers or a actual group that meets every weekend at a coffee shop. To have support makes a world of difference. To be among people who can relate might be the push you need to stick to it. If you don’t have people interested reach out and ask around. There are many people working toward a fitness goal that can back you up. If all else fails and no one wants to hear your frustrations and struggles in your journey, remember ME. Write me, email me, tweet me, post comments on this blog so that your fellow “movers” can join in on the convo.
Remember, Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.