Even If You Hate The Gym, Get Moving!
Now that spring is here, I feel more at liberty to discuss the topic of …dare I mention the word?…exercise. My clients seem to be all over the map as to their feelings toward this subject; I have learned to tread lightly! It seems that while we all know it’s good to be active, and to limit the amount of time we spend parked in chairs or other pieces of furniture, some of us don’t like the gym, can’t stand most sports, and shun even the word “exercise.”
Then there are those who avoid the gym for a different reason. They reason that it is an artificial environment where people execute contrived and unnatural activities. They prefer hiking, biking, swimming in the river, and other such virtuous exercise. Yet, many people who use this line of reasoning have confessed to me that they often don’t actually get outside more than a few times a year.
Hey, I can’t make you do what you really don’t want to do. But all the green vegetables in the world won’t make you healthy if you’re going to spend all day every day sitting at a computer (which is where I find myself more & more!) How can you motivate yourself? Here are a few suggestions.
1) Take the first step (literally). Sometimes when I’m immersed in a project, I have to force myself to rise from the chair, or step away from the desk, and head toward the door of my house. Once I take a few steps in the fresh air, it is so refreshing that I naturally want to go for a walk or run.
2) Make a plan that involves someone else. Meet a neighbor & go to a yoga class. Make arrangements for childcare. Even send an e-mail or facebook message to your sister in another location, agreeing that you’ll hold each other accountable. Agree to message each other each day/week about your exercise or activities. Here’s one that’s really hard to get out of: promise your kids you’ll go hiking or swimming together & put the date on the calendar.
3) Try adding 1 or 2 minute bursts of activity, several times, into your daily routine. Maybe do a few stretches in between e-mails, or some calf raises or warrior poses in between errands.Click here to learn a quick move that will strengthen your core & help prevent back pain. This exercise is from Dr. Eric Goodman, a really well-rounded health professional trained in several areas, including chiropractic.
4) Get into a routine. Do whatever it takes to accomplish this! Set an alarm–or several. Plan to be active in some way most days. Regard it similarly to showering or eating. Once you do this for about a month, it will be SO much easier to stick with it. You will feel better, and you will be in the habit. If you miss a day or a week, don’t waste time feeling guilty; just start today, whatever day it is. Don’t feel bad about what you can’t do; focus on what you can do.
5) Read. It’s not very physically active, I know. But if you are motivated by what you read, it can help a lot. I get excited when I read other people’s testimonials of transformation. You may be motivated by reading about the health benefits of Zumba or team sports. If reading doesn’t thrill you, maybe watching a movie will do the trick. “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead” is a very inspiring documentary about a guy who starts a whole wave of health transformations, starting with himself. Click here to visit the website & view it for free.
6) Consider what it will mean for you to be healthier. Write down on an index card what great thing you will be able to realize by getting stronger, more flexible, and having more energy. Put it somewhere you will see every day.
7) Hire a health coach! Visit my website (click here). I’ll be happy to speak with you in person, by phone, or Skype. Together, we’ll get you to move so you can enjoy better mood & better health.