If you’ve been thinking about starting a workout program or exercising but can’t seem to make it happen, follow my five simple tips for getting starting now.
The way I see it, you have to keep it simple. If you’re truly interested in getting/staying healthy and strong for years and well into your “old age”, you can do it. If you want to be able to run around with your kids and grandkids instead of being “too old for that” then listen up.
1. Make exercise a priority. If regular exercise is not currently part of your routine, plan ahead and change it up. Make your exercise time an appointment, like you would a work appointment, an important meeting or a date. I know it can be very challenging. You’re busy. You’ve got a lot of stuff going on. Make one of those things a brisk walk or jumping rope or dancing or even calisthenics, like jumping jacks.
2. Move more throughout the day. Increase your level of activity however you can. For example, walk more during your regular daily tasks by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Park further away and walk a few more steps. If you work at a desk, take a break and walk for a few minutes.
3. Be a problem solver. We all find reasons (excuses) why we can’t do something that we may not really want to do or are afraid to do. Some examples: I don’t have a safe place to walk, I don’t have walking shoes, I have to cook dinner, I have to take my kids to soccer/football/piano/gymnastics/etc. and so many more. Each of those commitments requires thoughtful problem solving so they don’t become your reason for missing your exercise commitment. In all possible scenarios, be a problem solver. For example, go for a walk while the kids are practicing. Maybe another mom would like to join you. When you get your mind set on doing something, you’ll do it.
4. Get clear on your why. This whole exercise venture can sometimes be a real mental exercise as well. Change can be difficult. If you’re not exercising now and you want to change that and be a person who exercises regularly, you have to get your head and heart involved. A good place to start is to think about your health goals. Then you have to go a little deeper and think about why you want whatever it is you say you want. Keep asking “why?” until you get to the point where you know at your very core why you want what you say you want. This is your why. Know it. Remember it. Live it.
5. Go do it. Yoda said it best when he said, “Do. Or do not. There is
no try.” Forget all the “reasons” you can’t do something and re-program your brain to know and believe that you can do whatever you commit to doing. Making exercise a part of your healthy lifestyle may be challenging and may require some sacrifice, but if you really want it, commit to it. And then do it.
The word “exercise” may conjure up images of weights, running, sweating, gasping for air, training, treadmills, fitness equipment, or other stuff. That’s how some people do it. But if you’re just getting started, keep it simple and think of exercise as exerting energy to move your body. That’s it.