The Delicious Habit Of Exercise

Hello World !

Wow.. I can say that and mean it literally =)Β  Ok so I figured I’ve been posting this week on habits and how important they are to our success in living a healthy lifestyle, I figured I’d end the week talking about another important habit we need to build in our lives.

Exercise.

OK stop… I hear your collective sighs and groans and gnashing of teeth.

You hate to exercise. It’s hard. You sweat. Your heart beats fast and your muscles protest. Your thighs rub together in an uncomfortable way. You have sweat trickling down in areas you don’t think it belongs. You think you’re dying.

Good. You’re doing it right.

I’d have to say when I talk with people, alongside wrestling with food choices, exercise is a hard thing for people to develop a habit for.

Why? ‘Cause it’s hard and almost everyone will find something else to do besides that.

I think personally, the most important thing you can do to guarantee you stay with it is find THE thing that you love to do… then become an expert on it.Β  If you are passionate about what you do, you will stay with it.

I usually hear… ” I can’t run” or ” I hate running” because people know it’s what I do and what I’m passionate about. I remind them it’s fine to run… if they want to… if they don’t.. then please… don’t.

I also think it’s great to have a couple things you enjoy that keeps you from getting bored and allows you to change things up.

Being injured these past few months has kept me from running much, therefore, I’ve spent lots of time on my bike. I have loved it and it’s given me an outlet for not being able to run. I have days I’m inside and do strength training. I love having choices and enjoy them all.

Each one of these activities have developed because 1) I enjoy them 2) I’ve repeatedly practiced them.

Exercise isn’t just a weight loss tool and shouldn’t be viewed as just such. Yes, when we eat right with exercise, the natural outcome is weight loss.

But our bodies need movement for overall health and wellness. Exercise offers mental clarity and can reduce blood pressure and improve other health issues. Β Not only that it can produce overall feelings of well being.

Why wouldn’t you wanna make that a life habit ??

Like anything, it requires persistence, and a certain amount of stubbornness to make it happen on a daily basis.

In my opinion, habits are built on a determination to change something in our life… good or bad.

The common “reason” I hear for people not exercising is … time. Listen, if you have time to do anything in your day, you have time for exercise too.

I know that mornings are my best time to get it done for a variety of reasons. First, nothing feels better and more energizing than having a workout done and tackling my day. I also know mornings will be my most successful time to make it happen for sure. If I say ” Oh, I’ll do it after dinner” I know there’s a huge probability it might not happen. There’s to much going on. People are awake and want things from me. I don’t feel as perky. The list can go on….

I do have a HUGE amount of control on when I get up in the morning to making that happen.

When my husband was unexpectedly hospitalized several years ago, I’d get up at 5:30, head out to do some strength training, finish up by the time the kids were waking up for school, get cleaned up, put them on the bus, and head to hospital.

I needed that time for myself. It helped keep me sane in difficult days.

Exercise at that point was a need and a habit for me. It’s more so now.

I’ve gotten up at 5:30 midweek to knock out a 10 mile run before the critters had to get out for school. Yes, I had to make adjustments and schedule it, but hey, I do that with anything else in my life too.

I read an interesting comment in a running article I was reading. Although it was talking about running I immediately identified it as applicable to exercise in general.

“It takes about three weeks of running at least three days per week to get to the point where missing a workout triggers a sense of withdrawal, which increases desire to be more consistent. ” (emphasis mine)

I get that. I get twitchy if I miss a day, and it’s worse with two. But sometimes, life happens.Β  I don’t mind feeling that sense of withdrawal because it keeps me hungry for doing it. But what those three days in article means is, they are making it a habit they can’t do without, conditioning themselves to making it feel normal.

So how do you begin to build this in your life ?

Identify whatΒ  your best time of day is to get it done. Morning? Evening? Early afternoon before kids descend on you again ? Figure it out.

Β Now….put it on your planner. I literally make appts around my workout schedule. Make it fit in your day.

Mark a starting day ( soon!) that you know you will get it going.

Perhaps you go buy some new shoes for your activity with the plans to start the following week ? Some new clothes ( I always look forward to the next run when I get new gear πŸ˜‰

Start small and keep it maintainable. As you keep those commitments look at how you can challenge yourself and increase what you’re doing.

Allow yourself no excuses (other than valid ones like injury or a day that goes wildly out of your control)

Reward yourself in non-food ways.

With a little planning, a positive attitude, and a determination to make exercise a part of your life, it will become your new favorite habit =)

 

 

 

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Published by

Sassyfitnesschick

8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the fun...so adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

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