Stuck. Frustrated. Guilty. Restless. Lethargic. Sedentary. Disappointed.
These are some of the words many of us use to describe how we feel when we’re in a rut and don’t take action—or don’t even want to—although we know we should. And one area that all too often suffers is exercising for health.
These days, we’re all so busy. Getting out of the house, pushing away from the computer, leaving the office to do something physical—it just seems too unimportant and hard to bother with when we’re overbooked and overwhelmed. And once those excuses and procrastination settle in, we decide it’s too late. Better luck tomorrow, we say. Yes, tomorrow for sure is the day I’ll get some exercise.
Make today the day, friends, not tomorrow. I, for one, believe that spinning on a bicycle is preferable and much more productive than just “spinning my wheels” with inaction and frustration. Ready to get up on those go-for-it wheels? Here are a few encouraging thoughts to move you along.
1. “The hardest part is putting on your sneakers.” That’s what I often say to my patients at the Park Avenue Center for Wellbeing and to coaching clients. So often, once you take the first step, the follow-through is easy.
Action step: Buy new sneakers. Also get yourself some workout clothes you’ll enjoy putting on. Not expensive, just new will do. Comfortable, breathable clothing and correctly fitted shoes can make all the difference. Feeling good is great motivation to do even more for your wellbeing.
2. Make an appointment with yourself. Leaving exercise for “when you feel like it” will usually result in a lack of action and a plethora of excuses why today is not the day.
Action step: Treat exercise like any other important commitment. Write it in your calendar or appointment book. Set your computer to send you a message or reminder at the appointed time. Program your cell to sound off. Get an accountability partner to telephone you. Hire a trainer to come to your house—or plan to meet someone at the gym or for a walk.
3. Visualize the high and low—then choose the high. Imagine how invigorated your body and mind will be at the end of a good workout (yes!). Now picture how disappointed and lethargic you’ll feel if you skip it (darn!). Wouldn’t your energy be better spent on revving up your circulation and working to meet your health goals than on remorse?
Action steps: Start slowly, but start! You’ve got to begin sometime, so how about now? It doesn’t matter that the step is small. One small step is the beginning of something much bigger.
Spring is around the corner, and it’s time to release the winter lethargy and pounds. Let’s all begin to get in shape and prepare for increased activity—slowly but surely. Don’t be overly self-critical: That becomes another excuse. Not feeling that you look good enough to even show up at the gym? OK, skip the gym and spend thirty minutes on a brisk walk instead. And when you meet a commitment milestone, don’t forget to reward yourself, too—but not with junk food!