Let’s talk about exercise for a minute. What comes to mind?
Is it a gym? A stair mill? Maybe running. For some reason a lot of us resort to running.
What does the perfect routine look like to you? Is it a specific way to exercise? Does it mean a specific number of sessions a week? How long are you exercising for?
Now, think about your life right now, what does activity look like for you this week?
Is there a disconnection between what you envision it to be and what it actually is for you? Why?
I know these are a lot of questions to ask yourself, and here are a few more.
What do you envision, what is reality and is there a way to make your vision become a reality in a healthy, safe, affordable, etc. way? Another thought, why is that your vision?
Let’s talk this out.
When I talk with new clients about being active they immediately say that they want to exercise every day and they want me to write out programming as part of their coaching experience. I love the ambition, but let’s pull back for a minute.
First, being active doesn’t inherently mean exercising. All movement matters. Focus on the big picture, not just 15 or 20 minutes or the hour-long workout. Think about what the hole day looks like.
How does your vision fit reality? If not, what changes can you make so that you’re closer?
In coaching, after digging a bit, we come up with a few strategies that can help the client be more active throughout the day like as well as a routine that fits their life right now and grows to where they want to be.
For me, movement and exercise have been sporadic.
I’ve noticed it during different times of transition, especially during moments I struggled with my mental health. I started dancing ballet in January after a 15-year hiatus once a week. I’ve also maintained my weekly virtual Street Parking session with one of my best friends. This was my baseline – if I could get these two things done each week then I felt like I was surviving.
Throughout the year I’ve added some of the tips below to help me find movement that feels good, doesn’t feel like a chore, let’s me check something off my list without feeling like I added a mountain to push.
- taking breaks throughout the day to stretch or move around even if it’s just a few minutes
- planning walks throughout the day a few times a week if your schedule allows for it (remote work idea: walking around the house if you’re allowed to have you camera off)
- park farther away when going to the store
- if you have a sedentary job, plan daily cardio for 15 to 20 minutes
- if you’re new to exercising or coming back to it, start with 1 day that is non-negotiable
- sign up for a class that you’ve never tried like yoga, group training or dance
- try a new sport – yes, adult leagues are a thing!
It’s appropriate to say that this kind of movement may not be enough for your ultimate goals or if you’ve been consistent with your routine already. But, during busy times of life, especially around cold weather months and holidays, it’s ok to reassess and make a temporary plan that gives you a new goal so you can do more than just survive.
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s not going to be perfect and it’s going change over time. Next time you’re feeling like you’re failing your plan ask yourself, is it time to reassess because it sounds like the plan is failing you.
If you have any questions, or are interested in coaching, please email me at email@example.com.