1) Schedule it! We all live in a world of “busy” and we wear it like it’s some kind of badge of honor! That phrase “too busy” really just means that we made the decision to put other tasks higher on our priority list. It’s not right or wrong – it just tends to knock exercise down a few notches on the importance totem pole. When you decide that it’s time to get your butt in exercise gear, schedule it in to make the necessary time available. People that succeed at sticking to exercise usually schedule it into their day—just like a wedding, hair appointment, or trip to the dentist. Circle your exercise appointment in red on your calendar or, like many people, use an alarm or enter appointments into your phone (hard to forget when you carry it with you all day). Try this: For the next few days, write down how you spend your time. Afterwards, take a look at what your “time sucks” are. In other words, which activities are a complete waste of your time? Where can you squeeze in some exercise instead of engaging in time-sucking activities?
2) Increase your steps: Do you know how many steps on average you are taking in any given day? If not, this would be a great time to do some research. When you have no idea what to do for exercise or how to start exercising, JUST WALK. I have clients who reach their weight loss goals by changing one thing and one thing only: they increase how much they walk. By just getting up and completing this functional daily exercise, you can begin to see amazing results. According to the Surgeon General, we should be walking up to 10,000 steps a day to maintain our weight. If you want to get moving today and may not have an activity tracker, try the app Stepz or Noom Walk Pedometer. These will track your steps and keep the data for you.
3) Take five: As Tony Robbins says, "If you don’t have five minutes, you don’t have a life." I think we can all agree that five consecutive minutes out of your busy day to exercise is a CAN DO. It’s a known fact that five minutes of mild exercise makes your heart beat faster and increases oxygen delivery to your muscles. It can be anything from dancing in your kitchen, to jumping all over the couch, to vigorously combing through your hair.! Anything that increases your heart rate above what it is when you are sitting on Couch counts. Want more of an exercise plan? Try the app 5- minute home workouts for both men and women.
4) Get social: You always hear that phrase “accountability partner” used when it comes to gaining consistency with exercise. Why is that? Someone to report to and share your experiences with lends a hand for the support most people need to make things happen. Reach out to that bestie of yours that has success with their own exercise. Hop on social media and let the world know you are starting this journey. It’s amazing the people that will pop out of the woodwork to help you achieve your goals. You don’t have to go it all alone. It will be awesome to see what you can accomplish surrounded by people who believe in you.
5) Put it in Writing: It’s crazy to think that writing things down can make us healthier people, but it is absolutely true! Numerous research studies show that the people who recorded their food intake and logged their exercise were not only more likely to lose weight, but were also able to keep it off longer than those who did not keep track. Journaling your calorie intake, your calorie output, mood, sleep, and muscle soreness, along with your overall feelings, can be a tool to put you on the road to success. Writing things down builds an awareness of the what, why, and when of your overall health. It can also help you identify triggers, both physically and emotionally, that you may not have known were there. If you want to start with small changes and focus on the positivity of it all, My Healthy Life Journal is available on Amazon and Kindle. This journal helps you focus on the positive changes you make daily by asking simple questions to help you to start making healthier choices one day at a time.
6) Define your intentions – Why? Why? Why? When someone asks you the question, “Why are you interested in living a healthier lifestyle,” what is your answer? Then ask yourself why until you cry! The answer that sparks emotion is usually the underlying intention. For example. Why do you want to exercise? Answer: To lose weight Why? To be healthier. Why? So that I can be around for my grandchildren. Why? So that I can live my life to the fullest. That last answer (so I can live my life to the fullest) is the true intrinsic motivator. Weight may be associated with that reason, but a full life is what motivates, not the weight loss. Try it out yourself. Ask the question and keep asking yourself Why? Be honest and discover the real truth behind your intention.
7) Celebrate success daily: Celebrating little wins are just as important, if not more, than celebrating big wins. We all love that instant gratification and, as we know, this won’t necessarily come at the beginning of our exercise journey. If you want it instantly (example: weight loss), it will only end in sorrow and disappointment if you don’t see that happen for three months or more. The power of progress is a fundamental need of human beings. Every day and every decision counts. You will achieve that long-term goal if you have consistent wins along the way. Focus on the day-to-day things to look forward to and feel good about. This will increase your happiness factor and have you on the road to success. Keep a journal of what happened today that made a difference in your health and well-being. An extra glass of water, 20 more steps, and extra 10 minutes of sleep. They all matter and you need to celebrate those choices.
Keep it simple, explore what’s possible, & enjoy the journey