It’s Spring in New Zealand which means longer days and that niggly urge for those of us who have been a bit sedentary over the winter to start exercising and getting fit!
You know you should, but maybe the thought of going for a run or renewing your gym membership fills you with dread. You’re not alone! Many people love the feeling of getting sweaty and working out hard, but equally, there are many others who just, well, can’t be bothered.
Not surprisingly, physical activity has so many benefits for our physical and mental health.
It’s been shown over and over to lift our mood (rarely do you hear someone wish they hadn’t gone for that walk). It’s beneficial for long term health, decreasing your risk of chronic illness, can build stronger bones and muscle, improve sleep as well as our digestion. The list goes on and on.
‘Yeah, yeah’, you’re thinking, we all know the benefits but how do you get your foot out the door?
Everyone wants to be fit ASAP, but for someone who is often sedentary – ‘going hard’ might not be the best approach. Much like a crash diet, doing too much at once may not lead to a lasting and healthy relationship with physical activity. Start small. Start by doing just a little bit more than you did yesterday. Maybe it’s just adding in a few squats while you brush your teeth or maybe it’s taking your dog out for just a little bit longer. It all adds up over time.
Schedule it in.
Focus! If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s fairly difficult to get there. Just saying ‘I need to move more’ isn’t going to make things happen necessarily, but if you get out the diary, look for gaps or potential gaps and actually write it down it’s much more likely to happen. Maybe you have early evenings available or maybe it’s at lunch. Look for where you can fit it in and commit to it.
For some, scheduling and diaries aren’t their thing. Instead, consider having some triggers that will remind you of your intention and set you up for success. Maybe it’s having your work out clothes next to the bed to put on first thing in the morning, or having a note on the fridge. Or, it could be moving the dog’s lead to a peg in the front door (not that the wanting eyes from Fido aren’t enough). These tiny habits are what lead to long term change.
Find a partner.
Having a buddy is one of the best ways to get into regular physical activity. Not only are they your ‘friendly reminder’ to get out and move – they can provide laughter and connection which will nourish us all around. Just make sure it’s someone you like!
Do something you enjoy.
Most importantly, if you want to get out and move more – you absolutely have to find something you love and enjoy. Nobody wants to do what they don’t want to do! Furthermore moving our bodies should never be punishment for something you ate the day before or for being in a larger body. It will never be lasting if you’re only doing it because you ‘should’. It should be enjoyable, fun, and make you feel great. Take some time to try different things, what do you love? Bush walks? Swimming in the ocean? Dance? Lifting weights? Socializing in gyms? Relaxing with yoga or Pilates? What makes you feel GOOD? What will motivate you purely for the fun factor?
If you’re thinking it’s time to get your foot out the door, but your feet are dragging, consider the tips above, find a buddy, and find something you’re love and you’re well on your way to a happier and healthier you.
For me, when I feel good, I am a lot more motivated and so, on top of eating well, I always supplement with Nuzest Good Green Stuff for that added boost and feel good factor.
Make the most of spring and summer and reap the benefits of moving your body. Along with nourishing foods, it’s the ultimate form of self-care. You got this!