You want the glow, right? And you want to feel on top of the world when you get out of bed in the morning, right, too? Not to mention, you want more energy and a beautiful, toned body. You know, and I know, to have these things, you have to move that body of yours, no matter what shape you’re in now. But how? How do you get the glow when you just can’t get motivated? How? Here’s my secret:
- Start Small. Forget jumping into an intense bootcamp or CrossFit class. If you want to do those things, start small first and work up to it. To get to the point where I’m exercising consistently, I like to start with manageable amounts and then expand from there. For example, when I get back into a daily jogging plan, I usually start by pushing myself to run two miles for several days, then gradually increase to three, five and so on, over a couple of months. If I try to start at say, five miles, I get discouraged and rarely stick with it. If you’ve never jogged before, then start by jogging for one minute. Rest for a minute. Run another minute and so on, until you’ve gone a quarter mile. Do that for several days until you feel ready to increase to running for two minutes, resting one minute, and so on. Wherever your experience level – start small and you’re much more likely to stick to the program. Plus, your body won’t rebel.
- Focus on Fun. Running on a treadmill at the gym? Seriously? Are you kidding me? I don’t know anybody who actually likes running on the treadmill at the gym for an hour. It’s boring. And boring workouts will probably lead to a lack of interest and eventually dropping your fitness regimen. Instead, find some movement-heavy things that you actually enjoy, and focus your exercise routine around the fun stuff instead! There are tons of things you can do, such as playing a sport like tennis, hiking, cycling, swimming… even kayaking and climbing. And don’t forget walking outside! Brisk walking is one of the best exercises you can do, and burns a lot of calories. It’s also really good for your emotional health since you’re outside getting fresh air.
- Regulate Your Routine. It can be difficult to totally reform your day-to-day activities by suddenly wedging in an hour workout regimen. Instead, plan your fitness program to fit with what you’re already doing. If you tend to take a coffee break in the mid-afternoon, bring a change of clothes to take a 15-minute jog instead. Before you hop into the shower each morning, spend 20 minutes doing crunches, push-ups and other moves (here’s a link to a full-body workout you can do – all you need is a yoga mat!).
Lastly, I know you can make this a habit because you’re already great at habits. Think about it. You brush your teeth twice a day. You probably have some kind of coffee ritual every morning. Think about all of the habits you have. So now, make it a habit to get outside – even for 15 minutes a day – and move. I can’t begin to tell you how great you’ll feel, and guess what – once you start feeling great – that’s when the glow starts, and that’s the beginning of a fabulous life.
But how do you make this happen? It’s so easy to talk about how great it is and so easy to look in the mirror wising for a glow – but how do you actually DO it? Here’s how: set aside time in your calendar the same time each day to get out and work out. Take out your calendar right now, and mark out a regular time when you can devote at least 15 minutes, and preferably 60, at least five days a week. Do whatever is reasonable for you. If all you have is 15 minutes three days a week, then start there. Start with what you can manage, and then once you’re in the swing of this, you’ll start craving more time. You won’t want to go back to feeling like a slug again. I promise you! After a couple of months of following this schedule, you will have created a good habit! (Note: According to research reported in the Huffington Post, it actually takes 66 days before a new behavior becomes an automatic habit – not the 21 days we originally thought).
This may seem daunting, but take heart – consistent exercise doesn’t have to be a full-on habit to be beneficial to your health. Start by sticking to a schedule, and don’t let yourself be discouraged if you miss a day. Get back on track and eventually, it will be easier.