As a fitness blogger and coach, I hear all kinds of excuses about why people don’t like to exercise. And believe me, I’m not one to judge – I’ve probably said many of those same excuses at one point or another. I knew I should be working out regularly. I mean….it’s good for your heart, your mood, you weight, blah, blah, blah. But that wasn’t enough to get me motivated. I was very fortunate that up until my early 30s I was quite skinny. But I wasn’t healthy. I had poor eating habits and a non-existent workout routine. The idea of getting out and running or lifting weights was less than appealing to me. Not to mention that I had no idea what to do with any of the equipment at the gym so there was no way I was going there and make a food of myself. But as I got into my 30s and my metabolism slowed down, my poor eating choices were starting to catch up with me. It was time to face it and start doing something. So I did.
I made a small change. And then another. That was it. Nothing dramatic. Nothing profound or earth-shattering. Just one small change followed by another. Over time I was living a healthier more active life…..and loving it. If I can do it, anyone that wants to can too.
So if you sound like the old me and want to change but don’t know where to start, consider these 3 things:
1. Start small. You’ve probably seen the recommendation that we need at least 30 minutes a day of activity. With an already packed schedule, this might sound overwhelming. Thirty minutes of exercise a day is definitely great but some movement is always better than no movement. Rather than starting out at 30 minutes a day, work up to it. Make it a point to do 5 minutes of activity today….or 7….or 10. Just do something. After making a few minutes a day a habit, it won’t be that much harder to increase the time you move each day. There are tons of videos online and smart phone apps that can lead your through a short workout in your own home. Or get out for a walk. I recently started offering a free 30 day fitness and nutrition challenge based on this principle. Each day, I send out a quick 10 minute workout video. With all of the different workouts available, you’re sure to find something you enjoy without investing a lot of time. And you WILL see start to see results!
2. Get a workout partner. Accountability is huge! It’s easy to cancel on yourself by talking yourself out of working out but you’re not as likely to cancel on a partner, especially if you don’t have a legitimate reason. Having a set time to workout together is a great way to get it done and spend some time with a friend. I do my long runs on Saturdays with friends. It’s a standing date each week. And covering those miles with a good girlfriend and chatting makes the miles fly by. If you don’t have a friend that can actually meet you, you can still arrange for an accountability partner. Checking in each day even with a virtual workout partner can lead to great success. If you can’t think of anyone that would motivate you or hold you accountable, send me a message and I’ll be your accountability partner!
3. Reevaluate what exercise means to you. Many people are turned off by the thought of going into the gym and lifting weights or running or doing traditional exercise. But exercise can mean so many different things. You just want to do something that gets you moving and gets your heart pumping. Maybe that’s walking or hiking. Maybe that’s dancing or yoga. It could be as simple as rolling around with your kids on the floor. Counting reps isn’t important at all to a healthy life. Try different activities and see what you enjoy doing. Exercise doesn’t have to have a negative connotation at all! I never thought I would enjoy kickboxing but I was hooked after one class. There was something very relaxing about continually kicking and punching.
Do you regularly workout? Any tips for staying motivated? If you need help getting going, I’d love to help you find the right exercises for you. I’d love to have you join hundreds of others that are participating in the free 30 day challenge too!