Health Journey: Exercise Edition
If you're like me, you dread "working out". Growing up I never really incorporated regular exercise into my life. Now as an adult trying to juggle new responsibilities, trying to establish this new habit seems daunting. Here are some small changes I am incorporating in my daily life to get moving and healthy!
Disclaimer: The following advice is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Seek professional help for any concerns. You can read more about our medical disclosures here.
One way I try to live a healthier lifestyle is by walking more. For my job, I spend long hours sitting down at a desk. I also stay busy either doing customer service or personal projects, both of which can keep me so hyper focused that I neglect to stretch my legs! I am afforded mini-breaks so I set a 15 minute timer on my phone and take a walk. Since I work at a school, there is a track outside not too far away. I never regret going out! I get to see wonderful creatures like blue jays, rabbits, cardinals and even a hawk once! I also listen to music or podcasts which helps me to decompress. This incentives me to get up and go out!
But in those moments when I am glued to the screen, it is good to have someone that lets me know that I need to get up. This brings me to my next point-
Get an Accountability Partner!
My co-worker is wonderful for this. We take turns taking walks and remind each other if the other has not yet. This has been especially helpful when work gets slow and the day feels like it is dragging on. By taking a walk on those dreary days, it helps change ones head space.
My fiance, David, is also a great accountability partner and success story. Like myself, he had gained some extra pounds throughout college. However, that changed when he started running and eating better. Now David has a running/strength training routine which sometimes overlaps when we hangout. Instead of waiting for his workout to finish last week, I joined him!
Good company brings out great virtues.
On days when the pep-talk just is not cutting it, sometimes you have to make a deal with yourself and make the task seem less daunting by lowering the bar. Instead of doing cardio for 45 minutes like you planned, try to find some other activity. Tell yourself to do a couple of push ups or crunches. Hopefully, by doing this, you will find getting started much easier. Personally, I have an mini elliptical I can pull out and easily spend 30 minutes on.
Now I don't advice turning "lazy workouts" into a habit because not only will it not give you a proper workout but your mindset that working out as a tedious task will perpetuate. In the end, you will fall back onto old habits and will have to start back at square one.
In order to make new habits a person needs to make their tasks simple, short, and accessible. Maybe driving to the gym is asking too much but walking in place in front of the T.V. for 15 minutes is more feasible. Now I do fully expect myself to "up my game" so to speak and workout more intensely as time goes on but I think it's important for someone to just start from where they are first.
So what is a small change you can do today, right now, to help you live a healthier lifestyle? Now think even smaller and do that!
Take care and good luck on your healthier living!