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Small Sustainable Changes in Exercise
How many times have you tried to completely overhaul your life through an amazing all or nothing approach to health? You purchase a program, hire an expensive trainer, buy all the food on the meal program, throw out all the “bad” food in your house. You go balls to the wall for three days only to resent the entire process on day four.
You’re tired of restricting your food and only eating things that you think taste horrible.
You’re tired of being hungry.
You have brain fog – you forget simple things and cannot think clearly.
You’re muscles are screaming in pain for working out too much.
You cannot for the love remember why you even wanted to “get healthy” in the first place if it means being this miserable.
I promise you it doesn’t have to be this way. Everyone is different. Some people need a strict and rigorous program, but I know I am not one of them. Burnout is real. Health is so much more than following a program for your food and exercise. Health is about optimizing yourself in the five areas of health and wellness I’ve written about before. You can read that article here. As a result of optimizing your health in various ways, you can lead a happier more fulfilled life!
The answer lies in small sustainable changes over a long period of time. The concept is insanely simple and will produce huge results. Let’s take a look at a financial example.
My family saves a small amount, $25 from every paycheck, to go towards paying for Christmas presents every year. My husband and I each get paid every two weeks, so $50 is saved per pay period. Multiply this by 26 pays in a year and BOOM! We have $1,300 saved toward Christmas. If you asked me to “find” or save $1,300 in November to pay for Christmas I couldn’t do it. No way. There isn’t room in the budget for that. However, $25 a paycheck is no big deal. I love the reward at the end of the year knowing that Christmas presents are paid for. In fact, there is usually money leftover to go towards a bill or something else fun!
Now, what the heck does this have to do with health?
In order to live a full healthy life, chances are you are going to have to make some changes. These changes don’t have to be drastic or painful.
Find something you are willing to add to your life, and do that until it becomes part of your routine.
Physical exercise may be the easiest to incorporate, so let’s start there. Take 15-30 minutes and go for a walk. That’s it. You don’t have to walk fast, you definitely don’t need to run, but just walk. Enjoy the scenery and fresh air.
You will feel amazing when you are done.
You took the time to do something for yourself.
You got your heart pumping a bit and breathed all the fresh air.
Not only did you fulfill an exercise pillar, but you also helped support your mental well-being, which will help your hormone systems work more efficiently. Now all you have to do is keep walking. If you can start small and walk three days a week, excellent! The following week, try to walk four. As you make walking part of your daily routine, your mind and body will CRAVE these walks. They will clear your mind, settle your soul, and improve your heart, lungs, and muscles. I have a friend who walks almost daily in the morning, and on more than one occasion she has shared how much it grounds her before work. Imagine what this would do to your life if you vowed to put you first for 15-30 minutes a day.
This small sustainable change will have you transforming your body inside and out. When you’re ready to add more to your physical routine, you’ll know. Then, you approach it the same way you did the walking. Start small. Maybe you add some yoga in after your walks a few days a week. You checkout a new program on Beachbody On Demand or you go with a friend to a gym or exercise class. You choose something to add to your routine and start small. As your body and mind get accustomed to the new routines you will be amazed at what you have accomplished and it all started with something small you did.
In the area of exercise, what are some small sustainable changes you can incorporate into your day? I’d love to hear from you on what works for you or what you plan to incorporate!
Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at small sustainable changes in food and nutrition.