February is national Heart Month. Heart disease is still the no. 1 killer among women causing approximately 1 death every minute! It comes as no surprise that studies have shown living a healthy lifestyle lowers your risk of developing this disease. It is important to know your family history and make lifestyle choices such as not smoking, lowering your cholesterol, managing your blood pressure and blood sugar, making healthy food choices and staying active.
What’s that you say? You hate exercise? I hear you and I may be able to help.
Recognize what you are avoiding
- Defining why you truly avoid exercise can help you determine what approach you need to take to get your butt moving.
Forget Weight loss
If your goal is to lose weight and you can’t seem to get motivated it is because it isn’t enough of a motivator. The goal isn’t tangible and too far away. You should first define your WHY. Maybe you big WHY is to be a role model for your children or to take better care of yourself so you can be around a long time to be with your family. You need a meaningful WHY and you need to remind yourself of that WHY when you aren’t feeling it.
Weight loss is a terrible goal. You can’t control it. Weight loss is a fabulous by product of creating a healthy lifestyle. You need actionable goals.
Start at Home
As discussed in last month’s article, build on an exisitng habit. Squat while brushing your teeth, etc. Workout while watching your favorite show. You can also save a lot of time (and money) by working out at home. There are lots of videos and on demand workouts out there. I have a whole channel on YouTube of free at home workouts you can check out HERE.
Fitness can be lots of things: running, jumping, climbing, walking, playing, interval training, etc. Find what fits into your life and DO IT.
No one has time. I get it. But if you change your mindset to “I am choosing to spend my time doing _____ .” It gives you back the power – you are in control of your time. I know things happen and don’t always go as planned (insert screaming toddler who refuses to be cooperative). Give yourself a reality check and see how you are actually spending your time. Could you possibly choose to spend a few moments on fitness?
Hire Professional Help
I know it is a financial sacrifice but if you add up all of the gym memberships you didn’t use or infomercial equipment that is collecting dust, you likely could have hired a trainer for at least a few sessions. Meeting with a trainer also has the accountability factor.
As a trainer I can tell you that meeting even a few times with clients often gives them the confidence they need to get their fitness on. Learning proper form, having someone design workouts that are appropriate for you eliminates the fear of getting hurt and takes the “thinking” out of the workout.
Many people are intimidated by the gym. Don’t know what to do. Don’t want to hurt themselves. Are totally overwhelmed.
Recognize Immediate Feedback
Waiting to achieve big goals isn’t motivating. They are too far away. Instead recognize how you feel right after workouts. Do you feel a sense of accomplishment? Are you in a better mood? Do you feel strong? Have more energy? Celebrate that.
Find A Partner
Accountability. When you have a partner you won’t want to let them down so you are more likely to “show up.”
If you are uncomfortable in classes or at the gym, there’s nothing better than having a supportive friend or loved one join you. That way when you are going the opposite way of everyone else in Zumba class you have someone to laugh with rather than feel inadequate.
Get Over It
If you miss a day, move on. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t punish yourself. Don’t throw in the towel. Forget it. Things happen and tomorrow is another day.
Be Your Own Parent
Do you use the “two bite rule?” or the treat method? We all use bribery with our kids so why not use it on yourself?
Try different types of exercise until you find something you like (or at least can tolerate). As mentioned above, try to find someone to join you if you nervous about trying it alone.
Reward yourself. Decide on a small treat for yourself. Set realistic goals that you can control such as “I am going to exercise 4 times this week.” If you hit that goal, you get the treat. Do NOT make the goal weight loss. You cannot control the scale.
Money talks and maybe you need cash to motivate you. Here are 5 apps that pay you to exercise.