By Lori Okami
Getting started is often the hardest part of a fitness program. When you’ve been sedentary for an extended period of time, it’s likely that your time is already accounted for and your life is probably filled with various personal and family obligations.
If you really intend to begin a more healthful life routine, you’ve got to make healthy habits a priority. I.e. Shopping for good food becomes part of your weekly routine and you actually schedule exercise into your week. Of course, for many, this is easier said than done. It’s all a matter of juggling priorities. There are a few things you can do to help you succeed:
1) Decide WHAT you are able and willing to do. Be realistic. Sure, it sounds great to say that you are going to jump into a strict vegetarian diet and exercise 5 days a week but if this isn’t something that you are truly capable of acting on, start with what you are actually capable of achieving. Don’t set yourself up to fail. Success is key at the start.
2) Do you have a plan and know HOW to go about achieving it? Don’t think you have to jump into these changes all at once and in full force. Perhaps you can make one or two manageable changes at a time. (My honest opinion is that progressive change produces the best long term results.) You should have a big picture plan so you have a sense of how the small changes factor in to you master ‘get healthy’ plan. Do you require instruction? Does it involve coordination or access to other resources? If so, put everything in place so that there are no excuses for failure or further delay.
3) Decide WHEN you are going to be doing your new healthful activities. If you don’t actually schedule it into your life, it’s likely that you won’t follow through with it. Make certain that it works into your life schedule. Are the kids taken care of? Do you have enough travel time? Does it work with your other commitments (work, family, etc.)? Some may find it advantageous to ‘name’ the days or associate specific days with the planned exercise. Many athletes do this. Tuesday is not just one of seven days during the week. Tuesday is now ‘leg day’ or ‘cardio day,’ meaning that’s the type of training that you intend to do that day.
By now you’ve gathered that initiating a new fitness program doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of thought, planning and preparation--in addition to the desire and willingness to change.
The sooner you accept the fact that the human body needs to be well nourished, needs rest and care, and requires exercise, the better off you’ll be. It doesn’t matter if you are 8 or 88, the rule applies. Steps 1, 2 & 3 above will help ensure that you actually get started, rather than being held in the contemplation phase.
Don’t wait until fear and necessity become the motivators. Get started!
*** I invite you to visit my website www.lifefitnet.com and participate in a short online survey that should take only 2-3 minutes to complete. No one’s personal, individual data is ever shared and the aggregated information is used to Build a Healthy Hawaii and better understand individual needs and preferences related to establishing healthy lifestyle habits. Mahalo for your support! Lori