What a glorious time of year here in the Midwest! This is the perfect month to address another great habit: moving. No, not as in moving to another house or part of the country; moving YOU!
Now, please don’t do the eyeroll and start telling yourself a story like, “I don’t have time.” You haven’t read my blog yet, so hang with me here.
You can have success with moving even if you feel like you don’t have time (which is never true), don’t belong to a gym, hate to exercise, only do “a little something” a few times a week, don’t have the proper fitness attire, etc. How do I know? I have clients who are right there with you and they are successful with this part of my program!
Here’s how it works: think of activities you enjoy. I’ll help you: dancing, gardening, skating, golfing, volleyball, running, walking, yoga, swimming. Keep thinking of things until you have a list of two or three. You may even be one of those people who enjoys going to a gym to do an “official workout.” If you are, that is great too. Almost everything counts here.
Now, look at the week ahead, beginning today. That’s right, not Monday or next week, TODAY. Let’s say you like to walk. Maybe you even have a dog that likes to walk that you can take along. Decide when you can take a 5-minute walk today. That’s it—5 minutes.
Tomorrow, do the same thing. Or pick something else you like to do and schedule the time to do that. Obviously if you like to golf, you will spend more than 5 minutes. Walk more than you ride in the cart.
What if it rains for 2 days in a row and you don’t have an indoor mall or other facility to take a walk in? Could you spend 5 to 10 minutes doing some stretches or make up your own Zumba moves to a couple favorite songs?
The idea of this habit is to stop looking at exercise with drudgery and telling yourself the story that you have to go to a gym for it to “count.” Make moving fun and do a little to begin with. It may even seem too easy and you think it won’t matter. That’s okay! It all matters! As you stick with your program, add a bit of intensity or change what you do to shake things up a bit. When my clients and I plan their fitness goals for the week ahead, we make it a goal that works with their life!
Another tip: it is more beneficial to do something for a short time on a consistent basis, than to do it for a long period of time only once a week. (This is the case for lots of activities, like reading, prayer, meditation, weeding, etc.) Walking 5 minutes a day is more beneficial than a 30-minute walk only once a week. Why? Five minutes a day will become a habit, like drinking a glass of water every morning when you first wake up. Taking a long walk once a week—too easy to let it go and skip it. Then you are back to not doing anything at all. And depending on the activity, you could find yourself in pain!
In closing, when you get out of your routine because LIFE took over, simply begin again, and move TODAY.
Important Note: Do not begin a new exercise routine without first checking with your physician!
“Now, I just want a plan that keeps me lean, healthy, strong, and fit. One that’s not based on uncomfortable overeating followed by uncomfortable undereating. One I can just “do” – every day, as long as I want to do it.”–Dr. John Berardi
If you are feeling overwhelmed with how to begin YOUR health and fitness program, send me an email and I will be glad to help you! contact me