For many years I exercised simply as a way of losing weight. Whenever I wanted to be thin I would jump on the eat less, exercise more bandwagon and set out to achieve my goal of weight loss. But, there was one problem with this...I was miserable, going about weight loss and an exercise regimen in the wrong way and that's why I would get burned out and QUIT!
Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever started to exercise simply to lose weight?
With this type of exercising I was actually abusing my body. I was denying it of the foods it needed for nourishment and punishing myself with exercise. No wonder I could not make a plan stick. Even as I would lose weight and get a fantastic looking body there was no love or appreciation for my body.
So, several years ago when I decided to embark on living a healthy life, I decided that I needed to move a minimum of 30 minutes a day, but that I had to have exercises that I liked and would be sustainable. I began with a running program with the goal of running a marathon before I turned 50. That did not happen for a variety of reasons, but what did happen was I learned to love running and completed 2 half marathons in my 50th year!
Today, I do not run as often, but I do exercise regularly and LOVE what I choose to do. My favorite forms of exercise are pilates, running, spinning, swimming, tennis, walking, water aerobics and yoga. As you can see I have a variety of forms of exercising which helps reduce the risk of burnout. Loving to exercise is easy when you are choosing something you like or want to learn and it supports your body in being healthy.
How did I come to LOVE exercising (running) and making it a part of my daily routine without feeling like I was punishing my body?
1. I started with a simple plan.
I wanted to MOVE my body for at least 30 minutes a day and the goal was to love my body NO MATTER WHAT! I was not exercising to lose weight, but to become healthier. This mind shift was critical for my success!
2. I started small.
I started with a walk/run plan; one that challenged me yet did not physically or mentally stress me out. Then as I got stronger and better I upped the intensity or duration.
3. I took my running OUTSIDE!
I learned to enjoy the fresh air and the beauty around me in my community.
4. I found a running partner.
Someone with a little more experience than me, but not a marathon runner. We worked together to get better.
5. Good MUSIC for me!
I enjoy creating a running/walking playlist. When I ran my first half marathon, no one in my family was able to go, so I asked each of them to send me a good running song that would be their form of encouragement along the way. Still today, when I hear those seven songs I think of my husband and children.
6. JUST SMILE...always when exercising!
You should feel good about what you are doing for your body. Exercise should not be punishment. On a side note, this is brd(before my running days), I had a friend say to me have you ever noticed runners don't smile so why would I ever want to run if it is that miserable. So, when I decided to run/walk I was determined I would SMILE! I smile and wave at the cars passing by and I always speak to the people I pass. Try it you might like it!
7. Lastly, begin with an end in mind.
What is your purpose for beginning an exercise plan. For me in the beginning it was to get healthier and run that marathon.
Are you ready to begin MOVING your body at least 30 minutes a day? The health benefits are amazing and you may even shed a few unwanted pounds along the way.
Ps... I'd love to hear your two cents worth.