Dawn of the New You – Routine, determination and hard work are keys to making sure that you are building a lasting relationship with physical activity. Read my steps below and see if any of the questions/concerns that come up resonate with you.
With today’s hectic lifestyles, exercise is one of the main things we shove aside because there’s ‘always tomorrow’ to get around to it. Here is a list of ways to get around busy schedules, PTA meetings, and the likes so you have NO reason not to incorporate it in your life on a daily basis!
Make the Commitment
You will NEVER regret a workout but you will regret NOT working out. Exercise is one of the best ways to get that natural ‘Endorphin’ high and become a fitter, healthier individual. You just need to rank it high enough on your todo list ensuring you don’t bail when it suits you.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were you expect a tough road ahead of you but have the determination and will to succeed. No one can travel this path for you, every step forward is an achievement but the opposite applies as well where every setback is heartbreak.
Remember you don’t need to complete an insane workout or lose 20 lbs your first week, you just need to GET STARTED!
Priorities - Can you afford to skip it?
We know that we need to eat, sleep, cleanse ourselves etcetera. But what about events and activities that can reduce stress, make you look and feel healthier, and overall, boost self-confidence?
These are my tips to help organize your schedule where ditching physical activity will become a distant memory :
- Diarise: If you find you cannot keep track of your day, buy a diary. In fact, I have one better for you utilize the daily planner on your phone and schedule an exercise session a few days a week to start off with.
- Short and Sweet: As I mentioned previously, you don’t need to throw everything into your first workout. Rather keep it short and intense. 20 or 25 minutes is more than adequate to start with and it’s short enough where you don’t feel the need to question yourself on how you’re ‘going to find the time.’ When you’re short on time, quality over quantity counts so plan your exercise session in advance in order to maximize the benefits of your workout.
- Prep clothing and accessories: I remember spending most of my childhood being late for school. It didn’t help that my dad was always late himself but I just added to an already existing problem. Being late never helps anybody least of all you. Prepare your gear the night before. Shoes, clothes, music (iPod / mp3), a water bottle, and a towel. Get that bag into your car before you go to bed and you’re sorted. Murphy’s Law states “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” Preempt the situation by being prepared. That brings me to my next point.
- Prep your food ahead of time: As you have already done with your gear, doing things ahead of time saves time. Where you can, cook ahead and freeze it. Bases, soups, and stocks store well, so do chop up fresh fruit. These can save you anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes alone and you can have a fully prepared meal in a quarter of the time!
- Family time: If you have kids/siblings/pets (pets are family too), try to keep active on the weekend and make sure it’s an activity YOU ENJOY. No one likes doing things they hate, especially on the weekends. This is a key way to not only keep fit but bond with your family and/or loved ones.
Gym or elsewhere?
Since you’re just starting off perhaps a gym contract scares you:
“Will I be able to make it a few days a week?”
“I’m going to pay $XXX a month, every month for a year at least. Do I really want to do this?” “What if I don’t enjoy it?”
“What if I don’t see the results I want?” “I’m selfconscious”
Hey, we have all been there at some stage. We have all had moments that made us question ourselves at some point in life where we needed to find an alternative route to achieve the desired outcome. If a gym contract turns you off, perhaps look for a gym that offers a monthtomonth membership or look for outdoor groups that take part in group activities e.g Yoga.
If you dislike the social scene at this stage where you feel all eyes on you, try investing in a few good pieces of equipment that can offer a wholesome workout within the comforts of your own home. Make sure that you consult a knowledgeable professional who can assist you and not one that merely wants to make a sale.
These days we have personal fitness consultants who are able to train us in the privacy and comfort of our homes…where we can feel safe and secure knowing we’re not going to be judged. Not only do they know what they’re doing, but they offer programs/routines that should ensure good change based on your body type.
If you are familiar with exercise forms and techniques there are many free tutorials online (Bodybuilding.com, Youtube etcetera) from verified health professionals that provide great workouts, valuable tips, and solid techniques to achieve certain results. Anyone with a smartphone can access great programs, just find the one that fits you and you’re on your way towards a fitter, healthier you!
There are also numerous outlets available (online and instore) where you can purchase DVDs containing complete series on how to maximize your workouts to target all those troublesome areas, whether it’s weight loss, muscle gain, abs of steel, or something that helps you to burn off steam there is something for everyone out there!
Saying “I Can’t”
I don’t know how to do this / I’m not equipped to do this / It’s too much / I’m too shy / I’m too old!
You have no excuse when it comes to taking that first step towards a healthier version of yourself.
Include these simple steps to get yourself on that train to health and wellness:
Have someone as your buddy on your journey. It can be a family member, friend, colleague etcetera. The idea is to mentally know you’re safe > it’s not just you anymore, there is someone out there who knows they need to keep you in line if you go overboard.
- Be accountable
This is your life. These are your choices. You need to take ownership of both successes and failures. Remember, the point is to gradually integrate this into your life you DO NOT need this to become a lovehate relationship. Just like you know you need to fill up on gas or you need to shop for groceries, make looking after yourself a must-do rather than a maybe.
- Have a plan
Not everyone knows what to do. Don’t be ashamed there are many professionals out there whose job it is to see that you attain the results you’re looking for. Remember this is your body. You need to be pleased with the end results.
- Keep records
This way you know if things are working out or not. Keep track of your food, exercise, time spent on x,y and z.
- Use your judgment
Low fat / fatfree etc., is not the best thing. Far from it in fact. The more processing a product undergoes, the more you need to wonder if this is as natural as it claims.
- Read, Read, Read
I cannot stress this point enough. If something claims to be exactly like chocolate mousse with 1/100 of the caloric content, ask yourself: “what did they do to make that?” Be a discerning shopper, lookout for toxic chemicals like Aspartame, Ace K (Acesulfame potassium, Acesulfame K) these ARE not healthy no matter how appealing the advertising might be.
- Fads don’t last
Understand that this is a journey and not a short ride. Prepare to commit to change and accept that TRUE results take some time it didn’t take you a month to get here so it’s not going to take a month to go!
- Too old? Never
With age comes wisdom, experience, and a few not-so-great things. Incorporating exercise into your routine helps to keep certain agerelated illnesses at bay, keeps your body limber / more flexible, and overall offers stress relief.
- Women Empowerment
Women are predisposed to certain conditions like Osteoporosis and a key way to hold this condition off is to add weight training to your life this is important for increasing bonemass density.
In it for the Long Haul!
For those of you undertaking this journey for the first time or those who have tried it before, remind yourself that this needs to be a lasting change.
- Do not expect it to be easy, do not expect everything to fall into your lap or off your waistline.
- Do not blame yourself over and over again take it 1 day at a time.
- Maintenance is key: Get yourself into a routine.
- Create a Vision Board Whether this is a tangible board or something online, create a board of your goals and remind yourself every day that you have what it takes.
- Set Milestones: Reward yourself with something (not food) that you deserve for your accomplishment.
- Eat more Organic and FreeRange Detox your body (forthcoming article) and try to include more organic and freerange produce/meats/dairy in your life. As mentioned previously, the less processing/tampering of your goods, the healthier it is for your body.
Look out for factory-farmed produce “bargains” are not bargains when it costs you your health and vitality.
- Be Honest If you’re not honest with yourself about yourself, don’t expect change to occur. Telling yourself that you have done shopping, run after kids, gone to work, walked to my car / out the door / walked to work = exercise done is not okay. You need to exert more than your usual amount of energy to create a positive chain of events. The above does not count since these are everyday occurrences. Being honest means that you can’t lie to yourself about something you didn’t do because you have a life and responsibilities. Everyone does. You need to adjust and adapt.
- Be Realistic Every “body” is different. You may not have the genetics needed to look like the pictures you admire / envy but that doesn’t mean you cannot achieve everything your body is capable of.
- Evaluate Assess whether your steps are working for you. Look at yourself instead of the scale measure your progress with clothes and how well they fit instead of hoping for a lower number. What worked for someone else may not work for you so expect a period of ‘trial and error.’
Now that you have read this post, ask yourself whether you really are doing enough to make IT happen. Giving your all literally means EVERYTHING, EVERYDAY. Can you look at yourself in the mirror and honestly say “I have given it everything I have and it has never worked for me”?
I believe, both in my professional and personal capacity that if we actually gave our all where health and wellness is concerned, we would be considered well off, both as individuals and as a planet. While this is a journey that you undertake, helping/aiding others along the way helps you grow as an individual. I have had clients that decided to become health professionals based on their experiences with me if that isn’t a compliment, I don’t know what is!
I look forward to hearing from you, if you have any queries, concerns, or tips to help your fellow reader, please do share. I appreciate tough questions and encourage you to take a hard look at yourself and your life.
We always have room for improvement, your health is one of the best investments you could ever make…are you ready to start your journey ?!