Most of us try to find a way to fit fitness or exercise into our lives. If you listen to anyone that has had success in becoming healthier, they all say that they completely changed their ways and formed new habits. So, reality has to set in for us, that if we want to get healthier and feel better, we have got to change how we are currently living our lives. It's amazing just how much what we put into, or do with our bodies, has to do with how we feel.
Our habit of staying up too late and barely functioning on 5-6 hours sleep has got to stop. Our eating for convenience instead of health has got to stop. Putting our health and wellness last on our priority list has got to stop. We need to regroup, make a commitment to ourselves right now.
Make the commitment to be a stronger, more balanced, healthier version of you.
Use the tools you have in place but haven't reached for yet. Just suck it up and be that person that says " I was hurting my body and it wasn't working, now I'm taking care of myself, I'm on the path to better health, I'm happier, I feel better, and I'm awesome. If you don't know how to exercise, ask! Healthy people love to share the joy.
Here's some quick tips to help you flip that switch and get get on with it.
Tip # 1 | Plan your week in advance
Write down on your calendar when you plan to workout each day. Now, before you start with excuses about kids, work, busy and blah blah blah..... Just get a pencil and start writing. Have some type of strategic outline for the week for how you will fit life around 15- 30 mins of exercise 5 days this week.
Tip# 2 | No fast food
Eating out is a last resort unless what you are intentionally eating is better for you than what you could have prepared for yourself. No breakfast sandwich, no veggie sub, no big slice cause it's quick and easy.
Try this. For two weeks and I'll show you that more than likely, you will not die from not eating fast food.
Tip # 3 | Be mindful of what you eat
There are so many different ways to get the skinny,or the fat, on what we eat today that everybody has a better shot at eating healthy.
Take and interest and know what you are eating. Develop a rating system for your food. Make it so you can just look at most foods and know which side of the force they are on. If you don't know, check it out and eat with intention.
Tip # 4 | Experiment with food
Once you know what you are eating and where it comes from, decide if you still want it in your diet.
As an exercise, I sometimes will ask clients to take milk and bread totally out of their diets and see how their body reacts. After the initial cravings are gone, clients usually are pleased with a little weight loss from the amount of sugar we just took off their daily menus.I'm not saying milk and bread are bad for you, but sometimes we have that glass of milk and toast in the morning out of habit and there are healthier choices that will lead to some weight loss. Play with your menus, be in control of what you eat, try new things and shed old habits.
Tip # 5 | When you don't feel like it.......suck it up!
Of course you don't feel like it! At first. That's why it's tough. That's why there are so many of us at risk for heart disease or diabetes or just feel terrible all the time. Sooooo many reasons. It hurts, it's scary, I can't, I don't know how, it makes me uncomfortable..... The list is endless.
Just do it. I think I had a shirt late eighties that said that. Still true.
Go on auto pilot. Let your commitment to yourself guide you on the path that you know you need to be on. Do this all the time. If you miss once, so what, next time just do it better.
Tip# 6 | Surround yourself with the vibe
Create a network of people that know about, and support your decision to become healthier. Get rid of the nay sayers and don't allow them project their own fears onto you. Stick with strong, positive people and find some mentors or roll models. Have magazines, pictures, even posters are great to remind you constantly of your mission.
Tip# 7 | Remember the six components of health and work on them daily
- Physical Health
- Spiritual Health
- Emotional Health
- Mental Health
- Environmental Health
- Social Health
Tip# 8 | Have FUN!
Take time to make play your exercise. Join a game of frisbee at the beach, grab a stick next time you see some kids on the street playing ball hockey. Shoot some hoops or kick a soccer ball at the local playground. If you walk up to any group of kids and ask if you can play with them for a bit, 9 times out of 10 they'll welcome you.
I'm lucky to work in the fitness industry. I see people at all levels of fitness and health. From the beginner that's just starting and figuring out what type of exercise they want to do, to the elite athlete that is trying to beat their personal best. Whatever the level they are at, I salute their effort and determination, and I'm happy to some way be part of their proccess.
Keep moving and grooving!
Contributed by Sean Downie, marathon runner, fitness professional and Manager at Spartan Fitness, Dartmouth