Remember when you had time for regular gym sessions? Me neither. It was SO LONG AGO. In fact, ever since having kids I have a love-hate relationship with exercising (you know, the kind where I’d LOVE to do it but I HATE to actually do it)!
I used to bike all over upstate New York, ski the slopes of Vermont, rolleskate in busy Central Park, go to a gym around the corner three times a week… you name it. Those were the days of six packs and a fitness high. Now, my exercise is unloading the van, vacuuming and an occasional tennis session with three kids on one court (actually, they do give me a good run for my money).
I know I need to exercise because I feel lousy, I have little energy and I miss that good feeling that comes with schweating your butt off. I’ve tried going back to gym but with my hectic schedule it simply doesn’t work out (pun intended). I tried home gym too and it worked great for a while but I now find myself looking for any excuse not to actually use it.
I need something else. Maybe something less glorious and drastic, something that will require less commitment or at least won’t sound like work (my problem with exercise is that it’s hard work and who needs more of that in their life).
I know, I need to make exercise a part of my lifestyle (duh).
- Step #1 – be reasonable. I will pick a goal that is reasonable, healthy and attainable. In fact, I’m not going to focus on loosing pounds but toning up instead. I’ll also think about it in terms of feeling energized, lighter and healthier. And dropping that muffin top will be a great side benefit.
- Step #2 – get moving. Walking a mile is better than not doing anything. I need to drop the all-or-nothing thinking and get off my ass even if I can’t be at the gym two times a week. I will focus on moving my body every day, concentrating on short spurts of high impact movement few times a day: ten minutes of raking, vacuuming or brisk walking the dog. Ten minutes here and there doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up. And it sure beats not doing anything. Short periods of exercising will invigorate me and soon enough I might be compelled to do more (especially with summer around the corner). And let’s not forget that regular exercise provides most mood-boosting benefits. So next time I’m feeling stressed or blue, I’ll go for a walk instead of reaching for a glass of wine. How smart is that.
- Step #3 – change one thing at a time. I need to concentrate on making small changes to my eating habits trying not to change too much at once. I’ll pick one eating habit – evening snack, for example – and make a change (have less, change to a healthier option or skip it every other night). I need to stick with it for a week or two, and then make another change. The idea is to pick small goals, achieve them, feel comfortable with them for a while, then add another goal. Baby steps is all it takes (so they say).
Oh, it’s on!