One of the great parts about my job is the people I work with. Yeah, some times it's like living in the movie "Grumpy Old Men" but they seem to think I am tolerable. There is only one other person who is not either
a. old enough to be my parent, or
b. old enough to have memories of the year I was born.
This other person, who happens to one of the 8 men I work with, is close to my age and martial status. His wife also works and they have no children yet. He and his wife have been our dinner guest before and I enjoy talking with him when we have a break. He works on the warehouse side and I work in the office. Recently he started coming to me with questions about getting into shape. He heard I was an avid runner and knew a little about fitness. I realized that he is really excited and energized to get into shape. He is over weight for his height and would really like to feel better overall. He always has lots of questions and tells me about his new goals. He went from being a couch potato to running for an hour. I know he has worked hard over the last six months and he continues to be an inspiration for staying fit. As he says, fitness is more than just being in shape, it's a life goal to stay healthy.
All this newbie energy has made me think about my routine, running and overall fitness. I have days where I feel too tired, sluggish or unmotivated. His questions made me dig deeper into my brain's advice column (I swear some times that thing overacts! I have a lot of advice!). I thought about all the successful or unsuccessful habits I have learned over the years. A lot of people get in shape, but it can be difficult to find lasting fitness. Below are some tips on how to keep fitness in your life.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert, doctor or even guru. The following is my own thoughts, opinions & findings
- Plan for it. Making fitness a part of your every day plan makes the goal easier. If I plan each day to run 5 miles in my head, on my calendar or blog then I am more likely to do it. I like to do list, checking off things reassures me I am on track.
- Tell someone! When I tell my husband, family members or friends about my fitness goals I am much more likely to make them happen. Telling other people makes me accountable for the goal. I like going back to them and telling them how I accomplished my goal too!
- Write it down. Writing about fitness goals or failures provides reflection or support. If I keep track of my good running weeks and my not so good days I can look back and remind myself it will get better. Everyone has days when they feel better than others, those bad days can become more motivation to work harder. I spend about 5-10 minutes every day logging my workout in an on-line journal with my GPS watch system.
- Stay motivated with variety. I am not always the best resource for this tip, but when I try it I always feel better. About a month ago I was really struggling to keep up my mileage so I took a few days off running to do whatever I wanted during my workout time. I took a new class at the gym, which I love now! I swam, which made me feel great without putting stress on my legs. I focused on weight lifting and figured out it really only takes 15-30 minutes to lift, thus I can add it to my regular running days.
- Sleep. I mean really really really sleep. A good 10 hours. Try it on a weekend. Don't set the alarm. Don't make plans for the morning. Let your body recover. This can do wonders for both your body & mind.
- Eat by listening. Crazy as that sounds, read a great article about listening to your body as a way to eat. I have started to really hone in on this idea and it is working well. I noticed right away that if I eat what I want when I want it I crave healthier options naturally. That apple sounds way better than a Snickers bar at 3 pm.
- Drinks lots and lots of water. This tip always makes me feel better. Our bodies are made up of water, we need more water than soda, juice or coffee. Extra bonus: drink a glass of cold water first thing when you wake up in the morning. Your just spent 7-9 hours without fluids, your body is craving water. The temperature of the water makes your body work a little harder to heat up the water so it can use it properly, giving you an extra calorie burning boost in the morning.
- Make it easy to workout. Lay out your workout gear ahead of time. Make a water bottle and put it in the fridge before work. Pack everything you need to workout & take it to work with you. Workout right after work. Make your workout space at home some place easy to get to, easy to move in and clutter free. Get the right gear and equipment.
- Keep in mind that fitness not only boost your self confidence but can also give you energy to help those you love. By staying active you can prolong your life, giving you more time to spend with those you love. Being healthy also means you can run, skip, jump and play with your children & grandchildren some day. Keeping your health a priority will let you do so many awesome things. One of the saddest things I see in my family are those who did not put their health first, those people, along with their families suffer because of those choices.
- Enjoy what you are doing! No matter what you choose to do to stay healthy, enjoy it! By loving what you do each day you have have both purpose and enjoyment in fitness. I think that is the key to staying healthy your entire life. Not everyone is made to run marathons or rock climb, but finding an activity you enjoy you are more likely to keep at it!
You might have heard all of this stuff before. Magazines, on-line articles and fitness experts have great advice too. Check out a variety of opinions or research to find what's right for you. I hope you strive to make fitness a life time goal!
What do you do to stay healthy? What kinds of activities do you enjoy? Find any great motivation lately?