We all know the importance of staying active and we can certainly name a long list of benefits associated with increasing our physical activities. Why then if we know the benefits that there are still so many of us who fail to prioritize it. Is it due to lack of time or lack of motivation or both? Only you will know the answer.
Let’s take a moment to not focus on being fit or getting stronger but to just know how a simple act of movement if done consistently can make you happier. I truly believe that if we are happier, we will be healthier. If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, getting moving might be the best thing you can do to start feeling better again. Stop making exercise a bigger task than it is. You don’t need to go to the gym or change into a fancy exercise outfit to be active. The key is to move a bit more, sit a bit less and stand a bit more. As humans, we like to go on the road of least resistance, and we like to stay within our comfort zone. However, if our comfort zone is not serving us, we need to change whether we like it or not and the only way to create any lasting change is to focus on our mindset shift.
Take a sheet of paper and write out answers to the following questions?
- How am I feeling right now? Tired? Sad? Moody? In pain? Low energy? Lack of focus?
- When did I start to feel this way? A year ago, 5 years ago or you don’t even remember?
- What are the consequences if I continue with my sedentary lifestyle?
- What are the benefits if I start and maintain an active lifestyle?
- List out all the obstacles and excuses that will stop you from taking action and create solutions to overcome them.
- When do I want to get started? Set a date and time and stick to it no matter how difficult it is to start. You don’t need to be good to get started but you do need to get started to be good at it.
- Map out a realistic plan/routine that you are willing to do and able to do. If you can’t or detest running, don’t say I will run 30 minutes every morning.
- Take out your planner and schedule it NOW. If it is not SCHEDULED, it will not be DONE.
- Ask a friend/spouse/neighbor or even your kids to keep you accountable.
- Stick to it for 30 days straight and you may start to fall in love with your new routine.
If you are not ready to take the leap with a plan as per above and want to keep it simple, the following suggestions are a great way to get started.
- Take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators
- March on the spot when watching your favorite TV shows
- Park further away in the parking lot
- Get off the bus a stop early and walk to your destination
- Turn on your favorite song and just dance (it doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to dance)
- Have fun and play with your kids (tag or catching ball)
- Find a walking buddy or accountable buddy
- Go out for an evening walk with your kids or spouse
Last but not least, remember it’s about progress and perfection. Celebrate your small wins, if you notice you sleep better, you smile more, then you are on your way to staying active for LIFE.