You knew I was going here. 😉
We all know there are myriad benefits to being healthy and active. Most of us aspire to being healthy and fit and feeling great, but most of us never attain to this aspiration because we don’t take the steps necessary…instead, we make excuses (and maybe some of them are valid!).
I am not happy being out of shape and wow – has my body changed a lot since having two babies in two years! From here my options are: 1) I can continue feeling discouraged and unhappy with my body, or 2) I can get after it, doing my best to make great choices for a healthy, disciplined lifestyle.
I don’t mean to suggest any of us become obsessed with exercise or eating perfectly, but if having more energy, losing a few pounds, gaining in strength and confidence and keeping up with your kids is important to you, then living a healthy lifestyle must be a priority.
What is your goal? Do you have a goal of a healthy weight? Maybe increasing your endurance or strength? Write your goal down, know what it is specifically (and measurably, if possible) and make sure it is a reasonable, attainable goal Ask a close friend or family member for input. You’ll need their encouragement along the way, so make sure they’re in agreement with you! One of my goals is fitting into my old jeans. Another one is being able to run a 5k and enjoy running enough to play sports again.
What do you need to do to make it happen? To make fitness a priority, you’re going to need a plan. Walking over your lunch break? Joining a gym and finding some group exercise classes ? Enlisting a friend to workout with you? For me, this is getting to the local YMCA four times a week with Friday as an optional “flex-day.” I also purchased Jillian Michael’s 30-day Shred to be able to work out from home for those days when life just throws a wrench in the normal schedule. I am also thankful for some friends who are willing to take classes or walk with me on certain days.
What (if any) lifestyle changes are necessary to make this a consistent habit? Maybe you desire to be more active but just can’t find the time. I understand. It is so hard when life is busy and full! But if you want to develop a consistent habit, you may need to make lifestyle changes. Perhaps you and your spouse need to take up a new recreational hobby together. Schedule your workout in and have a back up plan in case things come up. Make sure you’re eating healthy so you have strength and energy to really push yourself when you get to your workout. The best time for me to work out is 6 a.m. – before my family is awake and before distractions of the day have a chance to usurp my grand intentions. I have also resumed using myfitnesspal most days to track progress, calories in/out, etc. I don’t check in every day, but it helps to make sure I am moving in the right direction. Check it out!
What do you need to say ‘no’ to? To make room for working out you may have to skip other things. Some of your leisure time may need to be spent in different ways. Maybe those overtime hours are not compatible with a healthier lifestyle. If you’re not finding room in your schedule for exercise, something has to go. I have started going to bed much earlier so I can wake up happily at 6 a.m. to work out. This means we are not staying up late watching movies or hanging out with friends past about 8 p.m. (when we put our kids down for bed anyway).
What about when the ‘slumps’ come? Have you ever been discouraged because you just didn’t follow through on a resolution? We all go through “slumps” and lose a bit of momentum — and that is when we need our friends for accountability, and perhaps a change of routine! If you normally clock a half hour on the elliptical, challenge yourself by swimming laps. If you are getting bored with your weight circuit, try a dance workout (Netflix has some fun instant play exercise videos!). I have recently done cycling (almost died. seriously!), Zumba, walking outdoors, all 3 of the 30-day Shred routines, alternating muscle groups and mixing it up with cardio, etc. Meeting a friend to exercise makes it so much more fun and I have found that I push myself more!
One other thing? It may sound funny, but it’s true. I pray that God would help me in this. If I rely on my own strength I probably won’t keep this up through the month of January. But I trust He can help me to press on and make the most of the workouts and learn to listen to my body and eat healthy. I’ve also asked my mom and husband for their prayers. It may sound silly, but if it’s important to you it will be important to those closest to you.
So there you have it! A few of my ideas for exercising with No Excuses! What do you do to stay healthy and active? How about when you face the ‘slumps’?
Let’s get after it! God bless you!