Don’t Chew Yourself Out: Cheer Yourself On!
Do you lack the motivation to exercise? Do you beat yourself up because you know you should be more active, but just can’t seem to fit physical activity into your busy schedule?
We tend to be hard on ourselves when we don’t get around to the important things.
Even worse: we don’t give ourselves appropriate praises when we accomplish our goals.
Where’s the justice?!?
Read on for my personal advice on attaining your health-related goals, and rejoice in how simple it can be.
Focus on the Positive: Start out with accepting a simple truth: one day of exercise a week is infinitely better than no exercise during the week. Simply getting up from your computer every 20 minutes, or taking a walk around the block after dinner each night are steps in the right direction. After all, our bodies were made for walking!
The Ultimate Goal: A 20-minute walk each day is ideal. This is great news! Our bodies were made for walking, and 20 minutes a day is not only good for our lungs, its decreases the likelihood of lifestyle disease. I am also quick to mention that double the exercise does NOT result in double the benefit. 20 minutes is a realistic, and attainable goal. Have a look at this video to see why:
The Parameters: A 20-minute walk doesn’t mean a lazy stroll around the block; it means getting your pulse over 120 beats per minute for at least 20 minutes. To maximize your efforts, be mindful of posture. Focus on your core, keep your abdominals engaged, shoulders back, and chest out. Concentrate on each stride— how your foot hits the ground, how your posterior firms with each advance.
Compete with Yourself: Keep a log of the exercise you do. It’s fun to record your successes. Once you finish your exercise efforts, take 10 seconds to notate the details in a daily calendar. If you feel particularly recharged, or it took huge motivation to get out and exercise, notate that as well. To assist in your game and sense of accomplishment, use this app: It records steps you take, miles under your belt and calories burned for each walk.
Set Yourself Up For Success: Figure out your goals for the month. A goal of 5 days a week of some sort of exercise is ideal. Remember, a full portion of exercise is a 20-minute commitment. If you can’t fit in 20 minutes a day just for you, examine your priorities right away!
Here’s where the fun and sense of accomplishment factors in: At the end of the month, add up your activity and compare to your monthly goals. Because of my sense of competition, I’ve certainly rallied at the end of the month to meet my goals. Bringing some self-imposed competition to your program adds some fun, and a sense of pride when, in fact, goals are met.
Give Yourself an Out: When I’m totally unmotivated, I make a deal with myself….all I need to do is START the exercise. Ironically, this often results in my better workouts!
Share your successes with us!