One key to success is the ability to constantly measure results and have the flexibility to quickly tweak what isn’t working. The same applies to our health.
While changing our eating and exercise habits does take some time, results can quickly be detected once we increase our awareness of how we are feeling. Most clients I work with notice how much better they feel within just days of tweaking their diet or becoming more physically active.
But sometimes it’s easy to slip back into less healthy habits, and the consequences may not be noticed quite so quickly. For me, for example, I have been going to the gym as usual and I’m feeling physically good from it, but I’m finding that I am not as enthusiastic to go as I have been in the past. So I am going to shake things up a bit and find some extra fun ways of working up a sweat.
If we are going to allocate our precious time to something, it has to excite us. Like one girl who I spoke to who thought she was ‘lazy’ because she never did exercise. When I asked her what physical activity she liked she replied that she was actually signed up for British Military Fitness classes. When I asked if she enjoyed that style of exercise, she said “God no, I hate it!” Well, that’s a no-brainer! It can be challenging enough to allow time for healthy things that we do actually enjoy - how can we expect ourselves to get excited about something that we don’t like. Or even dread? It turned out that she loved dancing, which is a great form of exercise. A dance class is so fun (if you like that kind of thing) and depending on the style can really be physically demanding. Even dancing at a night club can burn about 400 calories an hour (just don’t crazy with the booze!) I did 3.5 hours on Saturday night. Boom!
So look at the activities that you do enjoy and incorporate them into your life. Don’t be mean to yourself and say you are lazy. You don’t have to like the gym. It’s not the law! If you are the kind of person who always puts other first (like your kids, or charity work) or need a purpose to your workout, why not combine your exercise with doing something to make the world a better place? Here are three awesome ideas from some brilliant organisations:
- Need a proper challenge to get moving? Instead of the usual thing of asking people to donate money for a marathon run or trek, check out Do Nation where you can set your own goal (like a less daunting 10 km run or a gruelling and muddy assault course challenge) and get people to sponsor you with green actions such as going veggie, cycling to work or even setting a physical challenge themselves, which in turn generates more ‘Do Actions’.
- Does a drop of rain make you duck out of your run? If you know that someone is depending on you putting on those trainers then I’m sure you will get out there and love it once you warm up! Good Gym is a new initiative in the UK that combines exercise with doing good in the community.
- If gardening is more your thing then you’ll be pleased to know there are some great health benefits with this activity. Join Green Gym and get active by helping conservation!
What gets you moving? Please feel free to share your tips below and help inspire us to up our game.
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Image: Michael Pohl