by Jen Foley, MVHNews fitness blogger, Healthy Lifestyles Director at Two Rivers YMCA
It’s hard for busy working people to find the time to increase their fitness. And there is no magic spell to squeeze exercise into an already full life. Successfully fit people often exhibit the following healthy habits:
1) Know and remember your “Why.” What is driving your decision to become more fit? A doctor’s diagnosis? A scary cholesterol test result? Want to stay strong to keep up with the kids? We all need a compelling reason
to reach our goals. What is yours? Keeping your personal reason in mind will help you stay committed to yourself and your success.
2)Get real about your relationship to food. Staring thinking of food as fuel. Eat for the right reasons. Food is to be an enjoyable way to fuel the body. Junk in = Junk out. And if you succumb to temptation or blow it on the weekends, see point #6 about your new attitude toward failure, then get back on your feet. Tomorrow is another day.
3) Make appointments, and then keep them. We book our most important meetings, why do we cave in when it comes to exercise? Plan your days the best you can, and make sure to schedule your activity (gym time, run, dance lessons, walk, yoga, etc.). Now that you have set aside some time to get in the workout, keep the appointment. It is the most important appointment because it is time for YOU!
4) Set small realistic goals, and then hold yourself accountable. Create a plan with checkpoints. “I should weigh X on date Y. I will be able to run a 5K by date X.” Putting a date on your calendar helps on the rainy Tuesday morning you don’t want to hit the gym. A schedule keeps you on track.
5) Measure, but don’t be a “scale slave.” Head to your YMCA and take baseline measurements (total body weight, circumferences of the upper thigh, arm, and waist). You’ll then be able to track and visually see the results. One tip about measuring your weight: don’t be a slave to the scale. I recommend my clients weigh themselves weekly in the morning. The body will put on
muscle (which weighs more than fat) while it is shedding fat. In essence you may be losing fat while your weight stays relatively the same.
6) Stay positive. Accept failure. Be humble. Laugh at your mistakes. I find that many clients expect ridiculous diet and exercise goals and then, when they fail, they give up. If you skip a workout, reschedule. If you eat 4 cookies, lighten up on dinner. Accept that you are not perfect, and don’t give up on the day or week because of a perceived “failure.” Remember to smile at how hard it is to accomplish seemingly small feats, and never forget that almost any situation we find ourselves in is loaded with humor!
7) Get smart. Have fun. Gain as much knowledge about your body, foods, rest, recovery, new workout ideas, and knowledge about yourself as possible. The better you understand what you like or dislike as well as your options for activity, the better you can plan an lifelong activity that is enjoyable! No one sticks with a plan or sport they hate. Know what will make you better or stronger, so you will keep on having fun getting fit.
|Jen Foley is the Healthy Lifestyles Director at the Two Rivers YMCA, Moline. Jen majored in Therapeutic Recreation at the University of Tennessee and Gerontology at Sonoma State University. She lives in Davenport with her husband, Tim and their two pugs Jack and Lucy. She enjoys having an active lifestyle and helping others achieve their goals.For a listing of all of Jen’s blog posts, click here.|