I haven’t had much time for posting lately but I’m ready to get back into it with a Weigh in Wednesday AND I’m linking up with Jenna for Five Favorites.
I mentioned in my last WIW post that I hit a wall after the holidays and was having a hard time getting back into the routine of eating better and exercising. I got a great comment and question from Laurel and I thought I’d answer it here.
It is so great when we can make continued habits a routine. I really want to get back on track with exercising myself. I know if I just put in 15 minutes a day — and actually DO IT — it will get me going in the right direction to where I am wanting to do it regularly. I find it is very hard when once you’ve been in shape, to fall out of it, and then have a LONG way to go to get back. It’s really discouraging me and making me stay away. I’ll have to find something good for motivation. Any tips?
I really thought about this and I have found that these five tips have helped me stay on track so far.
~ 1 ~
Find Something You Love
Let’s face it, you are never going to exercise if you are doing something you hate. So find something you love… or at least can tolerate into you get more into it. It can be running, biking, swimming, dancing, yoga, working out a the gym, etc. Me? I love to walk. There are so many beautiful spots to walk here on the Monterey Peninsula, it is an easy choice. Now that my youngest is in pre school part time, I have a few mornings to myself when I can walk alone. But when the kids were younger I would just bundle them up and stick them in the stroller and take them with me. It is not as easy as going yourself but at least you get out in the fresh air and are moving!
~ 2 ~
Set Mini Goals
I have found that I work best when I have little goals to achieve. Something more than a grand and all encompassing – “Get healthy.” Since I have a large amount of weight to lose, getting rid of five pounds seems like a drop in the bucket. So instead of looking at the whole number, I break it down into smaller chunks. My first goal date was my brother’s wedding in January. (I was 3 pounds short of that goal but I was still really happy.) At the end of February I realized that there were ten weeks until I attend the CWBN (Catholic Women’s Bogging Network) Conference in SoCal. So I thought ten pounds in ten weeks would be a great mini goal. I am 2 1/2 weeks into my mini-goal and so far so good. 🙂
If you don’t have to lose weight then you can make a mini goal something else – to exercise x amount of minutes a day for a whole week. Or run/walk a mile in x minutes. Or to get in eight glasses of water a day for a week/ month. Whatever it is you need to work on. Then once you’ve hit your goal – give yourself a little reward. Buy that cute purse you’ve been wanting or download that book you’ve been wanting to read or grab a frozen yogurt with your hubby. Something that is a treat for you.
~ 3 ~
Find A Buddy
If you are a social person, find a friend who will walk with you or go to the gym with you. Locally, there are walking/exercise groups for moms with babies. Another mom just told me about a Saturday morning group where women hit the local trails running or walking. See what is available in your area or call up a friend or neighbor who can join you.
Personally, I like walking alone in the morning. I love putting on my headphones and listening to music or a podcast and not having to worry about carrying a conversation while I am trying not to have a heart attack keeping up with my faster friend. So my “buddy” comes in the form of my Fitbit. I already talked about it here, but I still LOVE my Fitbit. I have fun keeping track of how many steps I put in each day. I also like that I have Fitbit friends on my phone app who challenge me. (I love your constant “cheers,” Maria!) 🙂 Seeing them hit their daily walking goals encourages me to get in a few more steps before the day is done.
Your buddy may also be someone who doesn’t join you but helps you get out of the house! Maybe a friend, neighbor, babysitter, or a grandma from church can watch your kids for 30 minutes or an hour. Or talk to your hubby and see if you can arrange 1/2 an hour away in the morning or the evening. Explain how much you need this time to unwind and take care of yourself. Most hubbies will try to accommodate, especially when they see how much happier you are when you have some alone time.
~ 4 ~
Let’s face it, sometimes I just don’t feel like exercising especially when there are so many other things that have to be done or when my schedule is just jam packed. If I am honest with myself, I can always at least carve out 15 minutes for a quick walk. It is not hard to be motivated when I get to take my beach walk but when I am at home and it is late and dark outside and I just want to cuddle on the couch, the last thing I want to do it walk. Those are the times I force myself to go walk up and down our long deck. (I worked out the math. 60 laps up and down is a mile.) Then when I am done I can treat myself to a small piece of dark chocolate and a favorite TV show.
I also bribe myself with favorite playlists. I use Spotify and I made myself playlists of favorite songs that I only listen to when I walk. It gives me something to look forward to. (Note: If you check out my playlists on Spotify some playlists are “Christian” and some are songs you’d hear on a normal alt rock station. Choose accordingly.)
I also have recently gotten into podcasts. I’ll save my favorite ones and I’m only allowed to hear them when I walk. It gives me something to look forward to, especially when a favorite guest is featured. (Next week I’ll share my five favorite podcasts with you.) 🙂 In the meantime, if you have a favorite you think I should check out, let me know.
UPDATE: New post – 5 Favorites: Podcasts
~ 5 ~
Realize the Benefits
Sometimes, just knowing the benefits of exercise (and the ramifications of not exercising) can motivate you to keep going. I am the perfect example of that. The last couple of months I have been worried about my blood pressure because it was getting on the high side. I also have to be careful about my blood sugar and my cholesterol because they were getting close to the above normal range. I’ve been monitoring my blood pressure regularly and noticed that it is much better on the days when I walk. Today I had to go for my follow up physical and when they checked my blood pressure and reviewed over my BP log, the doc said it looked great. He told me the only prescription he is giving me is to keep waking everyday. That’s the only meds I need. (Well, besides all the vitamins and supplements I am on!) So although I am not shedding off pounds “Biggest Loser” style, I am going slow steady and that is more than I have done in years…and years. Plus, hopefully this way, the change in lifestyle sticks.
So those are the tips that help me. What about you? What keeps you motivated? Share them with us!
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