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Photo: Michelle (l, PhillyFIT Challenge Team Member) & Jami (Publisher)
By Jami Appenzeller, Publisher, PhillyFIT
If you’re like me, you might be happy to hear that we are not alone in your defeatist attitude. If we could just convince ourselves that there really IS time, today to exercise then we could hop back on the bandwagon and get our butts back on track! Even if you adopt five of the ten tips I’ve outlined, that’s great!
A great fitness program is certainly within reach - but once we start….how can we keep that momentum going day in and day out. How can we learn NOT TO QUIT!?!
To help stop failure in its tracks, I jotted down some of my go-to tips that keep me going. I hope it helps you too! It’s not rocket science, but rather rocket fuel.
Listen, I mean it! And ditch the memory too. It’s normal to have a mental image of yourself when you last exercised like a fiend, but if that image is from high school, you could be in big trouble. Even if it’s from last year—forget it. Don’t take up brain space with blurry images of your glory days. Starting today, make new memories and be happy with your current state!
We already know you don’t have the time, so make an appointment with yourself every day. You wouldn’t cancel an appointment, why would you cancel on yourself? Aren’t you important too? Believe it or not, it works. Try it. It’s a mind game that capitalizes on everyone’s inner-ego. Sorry, campfire not included.
Do much less than what you’re capable of, initially. Take a 20-minute walk if you’re returning to exercise. You might feel like it’s not enough, but it’s a good start. Just show up. Go to the gym, class, or the park. Once you’re there, it’s hard to say no. 98% of life is showing up. Slow and steady just might win the race after all.
Run while your daughter rides her bike. Go to a local track and let the kids play their own games. Walk/jog with your spouse or significant other. Sign up for a local 5K. Swim laps in your backyard pool with your son and his friend. Celebrate with a little something low-fat but still special...after every activity. I’m loving Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies right now. They have real chocolate chips. Yay.
Their names aren’t Samantha, Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte. Get to know Motivation, Inspiration, Determination, Conversation. Surround yourself with friends who think positively and live large. (How do you think he got the name Mr. Big anyway?)
When the going gets tough, remember that you have survived 100 carpools, 305 loads of laundry (this month), 41 baseball games, 230 dinners and one family vacation. What’s the big deal? Don’t beat yourself up if you need to lean on a few Advil. The average working mother completes 112 acts for OTHER PEOPLE each day. Wow.
It adds a little meaning to your everyday workout knowing that you are exhausted (and burned a ton of calories) being on your feet for a super good reason. Feeling good about yourself often leads to wanting to do more “things” that make you feel good, like working out! Pay it forward and you’ll see the ROI.
Be proud of your accomplishment. Take in all the sites and smells that the new season brings and be an inspiration to others. There’s just something about “getting out there.” I always see things on my journey that I never saw before say in a car or riding my bike. Plus you never know who you might meet (they have the same interest!) Hmmmmm…
You know what a healthy eating pattern is, just do it. Start with today. One day at a time. If you limit your calorie intake, you will not have enough energy to work out and your metabolism will slow down. Understand your energy cycle better. There are peaks during our days - even during the week. I have found that truly eating several healthy, small meals all day long help me keep my energy up for a post workday workout. A super light dinner after a workout, with as little fat as possible, really works for me. And it can’t be much past 6:30 p.m., or it really is too late to eat.
Reconnect with your inner child! Jump up and down after you met a personal goal. Savor your victories with a little dance. You can exercise to become a better exerciser…or you can exercise to become a better mother, a better father, doctor, teacher, or a better friend – or you can exercise to become BETTER. Be proud of that accomplishment. Don’t give up on yourself. After all, it’s never too late to be that healthy person you might have been.
Okay folks, it’s fall – my favorite time of year. If you skipped my top ten tips, know this – you can totally make up your own tips. What works for me might not work for you. As long as your body, mind and spirit are all aligned, then that’s what’s important. If you feel yourself slipping and need some motivation think about life expectancy – which I didn’t really outline in my ten tips.
Wanna live longer? Studies show that exercising will in fact elongate your life. Leisure-time physical activity is associated with longer life expectancy, even at relatively low levels of activity and regardless of body weight, according to a study by a team of researchers led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The study, which found that people who engaged in leisure-time physical activity had life expectancy gains of as much as four-and-one-half years! Geez, that’s nearly five more years to spend with your grandkids or future grandkids. five more years!!!!! And hey, that’s five more years of more exercise. Wow.
Happy fall and see you at the Bash!