A couple of days ago, we looked at the blue print of an over all healthy life. Today we are going to start evaluating our schedules to see where we can begin exercising. It will feel good to get a little physical movement started before we start talking about modifying your eating patterns. As we saw in the previous post, there are lots of things to consider in pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Once you get an idea of your over all picture according to the “Blue Print” post, then your challenge will become how to start making individual changes required in order to reach your goals.
When I began to revamp my lifestyle, big results did not happen over night. I did not start on New Year’s Day and have it figured out by the time of the Super Bowl; it took a little more time than that. But what did happen is that I started making small changes, and that turned into bigger changes and eventually, the big picture became what I wanted it to be. Good health and being fit is a journey that we stay on our entire lives. Now that I have reached my fitness goals for the first time in my life (yea!), I am still analyzing, tweaking and fine-tuning to make it better. This is an on-going process. Improvement comes step-by-step, inch-by-inch.
Be in this for the long haul and not for short-term gratification. If you pursue this for a short-term gratification as in, “I want to lose 5 pounds in 1 week”, and then you are setting yourself up for frustration, and for failure more than likely. Then you might get discouraged, chuck the whole thing and we don’t want that to happen! Since I am (ahem) older, shall we say, the mere goal of losing weight to “look hot” wasn’t enough to motivate me. No matter how fit I got, there is no way I would rival a 25 year old. Both of my parents had a heart attack within 4 months of one another and I knew I wanted to be healthy, with the side benefit of looking good in my clothes. In order to succeed in starting my journey, this is how I had to think about it:
Rather than make your goal to lose a certain amount of pounds, make your goal to exercise more and to eat healthier, then the results will come.
If you focus on making your goal to “lose 25 pounds by swimsuit season”, then you could put a mountain in front of you that seems too big to climb, especially if you already have a lot of irons in the fire. Your goal can be to “exercise more and eat healthier, because I would really like to lose 25 pounds”. That is okay because the focus is still to make the lifestyle change. It is the lifestyle change that will bring results and the wonderful by-product of your effort, which is losing that 25 pounds.
Include Exercise in Your Schedule this Week:
Look at your calendar and find three time slots where you can get schedule just 15 minutes of exercise. The whole key to this is to get used to including exercise into your schedule. They say (whoever “they” are) that it takes 21 days to start a habit; and I say it takes a little longer than that to solidify one. If you are slammed, which most of us are, scheduling an extra hour to exercise 3 times a week would seem very daunting! If you start out seeing this as a schedule overburden, then you might not start at all. 15 minutes is a lot easier to pencil in than an hour. You know you can do 15 minutes. If you start by telling yourself that you “only have to do 15 minutes of exercise”, then your schedule is unthreatened. Once you get started, then hey, you may very well be encouraged to add another 15 minutes while you’re at it, but it is not required. It’s your choice. Anybody, even you can find 15 minutes to exercise. You may want to shoot for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. That way you can avoid the Monday over load and get your week started before you begin something else. Evaluate your workflow, and then schedule the best time to exercise.
Choose Your Exercise Activity
Take another look at your schedule, time of year and the weather and decide what your first exercise strategy is going to be. Those who live in the N.E. US, or the UK might not have an outdoor option at this time of year unless you like jogging in show shoes. People in southern California probably have more outdoor options in the winter. You could very well live close to a mall and can walk inside, and I mean walking continuously, not shopping or eating the Cinnabons in the food court; or you may worship at a large church that has an indoor walking program. Your kids may have the X-box or a Wii, which you could use to do some indoor exercise in your own entertainment room.
Do you have a good stereo or an iPod? Then consider turning on your favorite tunes and dancing for 15 minutes. What a fun stress release that would be! You wouldn’t even have to leave the house. Start looking at your options. You don’t have to go out and automatically sign up for a gym membership. See what you like to do and how it fits in to your busy life. Try out your options before you buy, this way you won’t feel trapped. The key is to get moving first just 15 minutes, 3 times a week. The workweek starts tomorrow. Schedule your exercise. Begin now, and the results will come!