With any goal you set, there has to be a reason behind it – your WHY. This WHY sets an internal fire that keeps you motivated towards reaching the goal. Setting a WHY is just as important when setting your activity goals. Your WHY is your underlying reason for wanting to make a change. You want to lose weight but WHY? Perhaps your parents had Diabetes and many complications and you are motivated because you want a different lifestyle. Perhaps you want to feel comfortable in your body and know that you have the physical stamina to keep up with your young children. If you have a current goal, ask yourself WHY you set it. If your answer still feels superficial, keep asking the same WHY question from your last answer and you will eventually get there.
The benefits of physical activity are endless – increased immunity, better sleep, increased brain function, increased HDL (good cholesterol) and decreased LDL (bad cholesterol). The list could go on and on, yet many of us still struggle to get enough exercise and daily activity in our lives. I truly believe this has a lot to do with not finding the right personalized, innate reason that the goal is important to us. Your WHY shouldn’t be about making someone else happy or living up to a certain image. Your WHY should come from within. It should connect with your authentic self, your values and your vision of your best self . When we’re connected to such an intimate part of ourselves, getting up every morning to to do something feels much easier to do. When you can identify your WHY, you can overcome barriers much easier. You will be much more likely to create a lasting habit, rather than a fleeing resolution.
MAKE the time.
One of the biggest obstacles to people becoming more active is a perceived lack of time. We all have those days where it seems like there isn’t a second in the day to fit a workout in, but in most cases a perceived lack of time is just that – a perception. Really look at your daily routine. I would venture to guess that we all have at least one gap where a workout can fit. Look specifically before work and at lunch – both great times for a workout. If you have a family, look for a time after work when you could exercise together. Think about these questions as you look at your routine:
Can I wake up a little bit earlier every morning?
Do I have time during my lunch break?
Are there certain days that work better than others?
Can exercise become a family event?
Are there any hours in the day spent on watching mindless tv or social media?
Don’t find the time. Make the time. Schedule is in your calendar like you would any other appointment.
Break it up into 10 minute bouts.
What if I can’t find the time to fit in a 30-45 minute workout? Ten-minute workouts count too! Recent research has shown that breaking up exercise into ten-minute increments throughout the day has the same benefits as one long, 30 to 45-minute workout. Awesome, right? If there is a day where a 45-minute block of time just isn’t working, look for shorter breaks in your day. Finding a couple smaller blocks in your day to go for a brisk walk or do some core and strength exercises can be just as effective. These blocks can be a great way to break up your work day. It can get you away from your desk for a few minutes, allowing you to get moving and re-energized. Energy begets energy, so use that little break to kick start the next section of your day.
Find what works for you and stick with it.
Once you start a routine to become more active, be consistent with it and hold yourself accountable. This starts with finding a workout that is right for you and that you enjoy. Don’t overdo it at first. Trying to do too much in the beginning can cause burnout and become counterproductive. Find a workout that is challenging, but attainable and stick with it. It takes about 28 days of consistent behavior to become a habit. Try to get others involved, too. Adding others to your workout routine will make you more accountable and consistent with a routine. At Pillar Wellness, we workout as a team together at least once a week. It’s a great way to have a challenging workout with support. We all work harder when we do it together.
Find your WHY and commit to adding consistent exercise as well as more daily movement to your life.. Check in with @pillarwellness on Instagram and Facebook this week for more tips about increasing exercise and daily activity in your life.