The biggest challenge for most people is finding motivation in order to make health and fitness a priority. We start out hard, determined, and with good intentions, but soon die off two weeks after the new year or after we begin. Why is that? One reason is, we go too hard. We create unrealistic goals. We create an unrealistic schedule, and we tend to find ourselves not trusting ourselves in the first place.
My suggestion is to take baby steps. Those baby steps are going to get you over that mountain and KNOW there will be setbacks! Once these two steps are recognized, then you will have a little bit of an easier time executing.
1. Keep goals light to begin (and maybe even throughout). If you know you have tried 30 minutes a day in the past and that has not worked, then begin with just 15 minutes of walking a day. Yes just walking, it does not have to be running, intense, or overwhelming. On that note though, I would suggest at least 2-3x a week of this simple, no equipment needed strength routine (and yes! this can count in place of your walking for that day).
Mini Strength: 3x through:
Planks (can’t do it on your elbows? Try holding yourself up on your hands? Can’t do it on your hands? Push your hips forward with your knees touching the ground and hold yourself up). Very beginners, shoot for 5 seconds. Work your way up to 1 minute.
Lunges- Can’t bend the knees? A little too creaky? Consider just “mini” lunges, going down only as far as you feel comfortable and that may not seem like much, but you will get stronger and be able to work your way up to 90 degrees with those knees. Beginners start with 5 each (hold onto a chair or wall if needed), then work your way up to 20 each.
Pushups- yeah right! You say? No worries, beginners can take one step out from a wall. Lean into it, holding your hands in line with your chest/shoulder area. Work your way up to knee push-up holds, then to knee push ups bending the elbows, then on your feet. Up to 25!
Monday - Mini Strength
Tuesday - 15-minute walk
Wednesday - Mini Strength
Thursday - 15-minute walk
Friday - Mini Strength
Saturday - 15-minute walk
Sunday - enjoy a day off
2. Consider what has worked in the past and what hasn’t. Will you realistically need help in order to execute?
I will need a babysitter (or my spouse to serve the kids breakfast) every morning from 5-5:15am.
I will need two alarm clocks (one to set across the room) in order to get up to do this.
I will need an accountability partner to do this with (ask a neighbor friend)
3. Adjust your schedule as needed:
Set alarms, timers, invest in a great planner, write your schedule down the week before and revisit it daily (especially nightly) for a better understanding of what you have to do in the morning and throughout the day the next day.
Be specific with times, as well as realistic, schedule in family events so you can plan on them, as well as doctors appointments, meetings etc.. remember if you say yes to something it means no to something else.. So is that appointment more important than your health?
Keep checking in weekly. Did you have a successful week? If not, why not?