So it’s a new year and you’re ready to work toward the new and improved, healthier you! Have you tried to incorporate fitness into your life in the past and were only mildly successful — for just a short period of time? What happened? Why did you fall off the fitness wagon?
Exercise is the best medicine known to man. Unlike drugs, you won’t hear an advertisement for exercise on TV followed by someone racing through the list of all possible harmful side effects!
Exercise is the drug that lots of people don’t want to take though. Why? Most likely because it requires a lot more effort than simply swallowing a pill. Yet unlike pharmaceuticals, exercise is generally followed by feelings of pride and accomplishment. Exercise produces only great and positive side effects and helps prevent all kinds of disease!
Top 5 Tips for Making Exercise a Permanent Part of Your Life
- Like most things in life, it’s all about attitude. Decide that you’re worth it. Instead of “I wish” say “I will!” Remind yourself: If I don’t have my health nothing else really matters.
- Once you’ve made the decision to exercise, compose a powerful affirmation. Jack Canfield suggests we use certain guidelines to assure our success: I will exercise with joy, remembering the effects on my physical and mental health and preparing to live a longer life. Print your affirmation and display it where you’ll see it every day.
- Schedule your exercise just like you would a medical appointment. One exerciser told me she’s rarely missed a class in the past five years. The key, she explains, is putting it in her Google calendar as an equal commitment to anything else, like a dentist appointment or PTA meeting. “I actually schedule a whole year at a time and then move them around as necessary. And I almost always do Monday because you never know what else might come up in the week.”
- Be accountable! Recruit a buddy or join a group. If you’re someone who loves a physical challenge but has trouble being consistent, consider joining an outdoor (or indoor) fitness class and becoming part of a group. Recruit a co-worker and make a plan to walk together at least a few days a week. When you commit to something or someone else, your chance for success goes way up. Read how group exercise changed one person’s life.
- Keep track of your daily exercise by using a chart or calendar. It feels great to mark a big “X” on the days you lived up to your goal!
During the cardio portion of our BbG Fitness class last week, one exerciser told me (as she skipped by) that her insomnia problem has disappeared since she started working out with us a few months ago.
It’s comments like these that often make me wonder why everyone doesn’t exercise! We’ve heard the benefits over and over again; we know that exercise helps keep both young and aging bodies healthy. Even small amounts of exercise have huge benefits and add years to our lives.
Just as importantly, in my opinion, is the fact that exercise makes us feel good today. Feeling a little blue? Put your coat on and walk as fast as you can around the block. I promise you’ll feel better! Fresh air, sunshine and getting oxygen to our muscles have a miraculous way of curing what ails us. So what’s stopping you?!
Remind yourself: I am an exerciser. A sedentary lifestyle is no longer part of my life.
You can do this! Good luck and best wishes for a happy, healthy new year!
Ginny Wright has been a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor for more than 10 years. She received her Health Coaching certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York in 2007. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.