HEALTHY HABITS – EXERCISE
- MOTIVATION + ABILITY + TRIGGERS = BEHAVIOR – You will be motivated to the degree to which you feel comfortable, capable and competent in the activity and your ability to participate consistently. Do not wait for a catastrophic event to force you to exercise as a live or die alternative – be proactive toward exercise.
- How you behave and treat exercise begins with your attitude toward it; a positive motivation, like a new wardrobe or trip, can get you started; but ultimately, you will have to garner the good it’s doing for you into your mantra of getting it done. Pick something you’re capable of accomplishing consistently, and let that be the trigger that fires you into daily action. Notice how you look, feel, think and act, and let those feelings guide you. There will be many days you resent it, but twice as many full of compliments and congratulations on what you’re accomplishing.
- Do what you can – choose sports and activities you have an ability to pursue as well as an affinity toward. See yourself doing them, read how to be better, get a trainer, learn. One client who couldn’t swim, never ran and had no bicycle, wanted to be a triathlete before her 40th birthday. Her attitude and ambition got her to finish two events within a year. Sure, it was work, but with consistent training, a few tears, trepidations and trials she never saw any part of it as being an activity she could not do. She believed, had faith and put one foot in front of the other until she reached the finish line.
- Give yourself measurable goals that add up – so you truly feel you’re accomplishing something – daily walks, weekly workouts, x amount of yard work, exercise classes, gym days, golf or tennis, swimming, sports with children, etc. A good golfer keeps score to constantly be in a state of improvement. Treat your exercise activities with the same attention and take the time to notice and reward the improvements you see.
- Be ready to try something new – Challenge yourself to new classes, workouts, activities. Your body is meant to be in motion. It is not a piece of furniture. It was made to move, it enjoys movement, it thrives and grows and meets the challenges set before it and then remembers past activities so you can build new strengths and try new activities. You lose function when you don’t use functions. The longer you stay away from it, the harder it is to get back to it and the more it goes away which keeps you in a perpetual state of restarting. It’s like swimming backwards, you’re going somewhere, but it’s not where you want to be.
- Be consistent – your body craves it – get through the first 3 or 4 hard days of initiation, and you’ll look forward to it thereafter. There is no reason your workouts cannot be play. Ideas are plentiful, assistance is available, information is abundant, facilities are on every corner. DO NOT HAVE MORE EXCUSES THAN DISCIPLINE!