1. To Be or Not To Be
Like any important thing in our lives, our fitness plan requires a purpose. It can’t be someone else’s purpose because you have to own it. It has to be your own. So before you bust out the door to get fit, you have to decide why you are doing it. To be clear, “I feel like a blob” might seem like a purpose, but it’s probably not going to have a lasting effect. You are going to need to dig deeper. Ask yourself if you want to get healthier and more fit because you want to live longer or because you just want to look better? Are your reasons more specific, like wanting to get ready for an event like a race, hike, or game? Maybe you just want to be able to keep up with the grandkids or your partner.
2. Get a New Plan
You must have a plan. The purpose of a plan is to keep you accountable. Accountability is necessary to make sure you follow through and do your workout or keep your healthy eating habits on track. It also helps you not to overdo something or burn out. Sometimes we get so excited about trying a new thing that we go crazy and do too much. That usually gets us ten steps back. So get a trainer or make your calendar. Make short-term goals and long-term goals. Make sure you have ways to measure your success. Record your starting weight. Set a starting pace. Do not forget about rest, and make sure you’re getting it. Use a sleep tracker on your phone or fitness tracker. Set a get ready for bed reminder.
3. Shake it Up
Even if you are a creature of habit, you need to vary your fitness program and your diet. This will keep you from getting bored, and it will help keep your body mechanics more balanced. You need to make sure you are working on all muscle groups and addressing all of your diet needs.
4. Make One Workout Your “Extra”
Find an activity you like and work on perfecting it. Use your planned workouts to help you do that and as a fitness goal. Use your activity as a way to better your mental and your social health. Use it as something you do that isn’t working or some other form of obligation.
5. Get Out of Your Diet Comfort Zone
Go to the doctor or a personal trainer or dietitian and see where you are with your diet. Find out what kind of things you need to work on. If it’s losing weight, then find a diet and an accountability tool that works for you. There are all kinds of ideas out there, from Prime Women’s PLATE program to Keto to intermittent fasting to Whole 30. See what appeals to you and give it a try. There is no one size fits all diet.
6. No Secrets
We do better with accountability. Health and fitness are no different. The beauty of our age and time is that we have accountability options that don’t have to involve other people. You can use all kinds of virtual tools, from fitness trackers with challenges to online groups. Besides these, there are real-life accountability partners like walking partners or gym friends. Meetups have plenty of options. Choose one or choose several.
7. Look the Part
Nothing makes us feel better than a new outfit or our old favorite. Working out is no different. Nothing is worse than getting ready to work out and pulling on a pair of leggings or shorts that are uncomfortable. Whether too tight or too loose, it ruins the mood. Find a brand that works for you and make an investment so that you don’t have to hunt for your workout clothes. A few of our favorite online retailers are ASOS, Fabletics, and Nordstrom Rack. The same goes for shoes. I sometimes will order eight pairs of shoes in two sizes each and try them all and return those that don’t fit, thanks to generous return policies and free shipping. Some of the best trainers/tennis shoes are Hokas (very popular with runners and walkers), Adidas, and Nike.
8. Make a Goal
Find something you want to do. If it’s a hike, then start looking at apps like AllTrails for hikes in your area. Think about doing a Camino and watch The Way for inspiration or join a Facebook group and make a plan. If you want to do something bigger, like a triathlon, go for it and find a training plan or a trainer online or in person. My daughter is NOT a runner but really wanted to try a marathon because her sister, who IS a runner, had never done that distance, so she started with choosing a half marathon and then had plans to do a full marathon. She found a partner who was at the same level as her and got to it. There are so many new activities to try, and you’ll benefit from some training of any sort beforehand or to compliment them.
9. Get into the Groove
While we need to vary our workouts and diet, we still need a routine. The routine can consist of a variety. Plan your health and fitness. Write it down. Put reminders on your phone. Set up a rewards system. Make your routine something that works for you. Don’t plan to workout in the evenings if you are usually dead tired at that time. Make sure you time your eating habits so that you have time to workout and also eat. Health and fitness need to be just as much a part of your day as brushing your teeth.
10. What Moves You?
Is it music or a book or a podcast you can listen to? Is it a place where you enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells? Work these things into your workout plan, and you’ll be more successful. If you go where you want, that will help. There are tons of workout song playlists. You can use Libby for free books from the library. Audible is reasonable and offers a wider array of choices. Get a dog, if you don’t have one, and believe how much it makes him happy to walk or run with you. My dog is even happy watching me do yoga or workout videos. Pretend he’s cheering you on.
We should constantly be evolving and defining our purpose. Wellness is no different. The older we get, the more we have to be conscious of our habits. Fortunately, with all of the online tools, we are not lacking in ideas. We are a generation of more opportunities in every way. Don’t be afraid to start a plan for better wellness. Use this uncertain time to create certainty in part of your lifestyle. If you make a plan to get healthy, you will BE healthier and happier. It will give you something to focus on and something you can control.
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