Have you been contemplating being more active? Getting into shape for summer? Achieving your fitness and health goals can be done, one step at a time. Believe it or not, you don’t need a special diet or to hire a personal trainer to see results. You’re much better off spending your hard-earned money stalking up on fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, lean cuts of meat, and a new pair of running shoes. Here are a few things that might help get you off the couch and into that beach body you so desire:
1. Set a realistic goal. Weight loss more than 2 lbs/week is not healthy (and no, I don’t care that you saw so and so lose 20 lbs in 1 week on The Biggest Loser).
2. Select activities that you enjoy doing. I don’t care how good the program is, if you hate it, you probably won’t do it.
3. Start slowly. Why do you think most New Year’s resolutions fail? Because it’s hard to go from doing nothing to exercising intensely every single day. Your body needs time to adapt and recover.
4. Drink more water. If nothing else, you will have to get up to use the bathroom more often! But seriously, most of us don’t drink enough water and when you start exercising, your blood volume increases to help deliver more oxygen to your working muscles so it’s important to drink up.
5. Educate yourself. There is tons of information out there about the benefits of exercise and how to exercise properly. If you are interested, you can find it! I recommend checking out a university library if possible, since they generally have better selection than city or town libraries.
6. Find a friend to do it with you! Social support helps you stay accountable and can make exercise more fun. Find someone who has similar goals or likes the same activities. Even having someone to walk with during lunch hour at work can be a great way to get in some extra activity.
7. Reward yourself! Make a deal with yourself about your exercise goals. For example, rewarding yourself with a new book, a manicure, or even a weekend getaway may help motivate you to achieve your goals. Don’t forget the rewards of confidence, health, and satisfaction that also come along with it! There are some things that money just can’t buy!
8. Prepare things in advance. Pack your gym bag the night before, tell your family when you plan to exercise so they know you are not available during that time, or make healthy meals ahead of time so you don’t grab crap. These are just some of the things that you can do to make exercise more of a priority in your life.
9. Make drastic changes. If you don’t like how your life is going, maybe there are things that need to change. Get rid of the garbage. Reinvent yourself and take control of your health. Invite those who are supportive to come with you. Life’s too short not to be happy. Be happy.
A la prochaine!