Everyone is an athlete on sunny days or when the timing is perfect for exercise or an outdoor adventure…but what about on rainy days or when you’re sleep deprived, tired from long work hours or simply don’t feel like doing a damn thing? What about when there are no friends available for a walk, run or trip to the gym?
These are the times that separate people who are truly living an active lifestyle from those that aren’t. If you want to get to the point to where an active lifestyle is simply part of who you are, here are few things you can do to turn the dream into a reality. Another reality is that you are either staying consistently active or your aren’t…there is no in-between. Your body was designed to perform physical activity and not doing so always has some sort of negative result.
- Quit worrying about what everyone else is doing or what the current trend may happen to be…that means nothing if those things don’t interest or apply to YOU! When the rain comes, it gets cold outside or you don’t feel like getting off the couch to exercise, it is your passion for your activity of choice that will get you off the couch and into action. If you like to ride around the neighborhood on a Unicycle wearing a business suit and a top hat, you enjoy it and are doing it consistently…screw what anyone says or thinks and keep doing your thing! Choose activities that you are truly interested in or have always wanted to try. Choose a few different activities, sports or forms of exercise that interest you then get involved. Quit waiting for something to happen and go make it happen. Choose a main activity interest then use the others as variation to prevent boredom and to maintain motivation. Passion fuels the grind!
Play the Match Game
- Match your activities of choice to your goals. Every goal has proven formats for getting it accomplished, just make sure you play the match game correctly. If your goal is to simply get moving and be more fit; joining 3 gyms, buying fancy workout clothes and a $500 box of supplements is a waste of time and money. Start by walking 3-5 days per week for 20 or more minutes and build up to more intensity and/or time and then on other activities and goals. The format is free, simple and effective! If you want to look like the photoshopped pictures online, run a marathon or climb a mountain…there are ways to get there but follow a progressive process. Start slow, work your way up to higher/varying intensities, achieve small victories, solidify good health habits, solidify exercise consistency…then attack your goals!
- From your workouts to your nutrition, keep things SIMPLE! Ordering wheat grass flown in from a remote island in Indonesia because you read about it in an online article doesn’t make you healthy. Eating simple, basic, nutritious meals on a DAILY basis with foods and ingredients that you can get easily and inexpensively is going to build your foundation for success. Unless it is your goal…you don’t have to strap on a headband and do adventure races or join the Crossfit community to achieve overall good health. Again….Start slow, work your way up to higher/varying intensities, achieve small victories, solidify good health habits, solidify exercise consistency then attack your specific goals!
Change your concept of Time
For some reason there is a global fixation on the concept of exercising for long periods of time. NEWSFLASH…”you don’t have to exercise for long periods of time to get in good shape!!” If you have a schedule or level of motivation that doesn’t allow for strictly scheduled exercise sessions or long sessions…quit trying to succeed under that type of format! Use the “get it however you can get it” format and get exercise that is concise, intense and fits with your specific needs and schedule. If you only have 20 minutes to exercise, then do a paced-out squat, push up and crunch routine for 20 minutes with little rest in between exercises and call it a day. Or maybe find a hill or set of stairs and go up and down for 10-20 minutes without stopping….get it done! When you look for people who succeed in the healthy-lifestyle game, you will see people who consistently and creatively find ways to get physical activity no matter what. When you do have ample time, go have a blast but if you don’t have lots of time, don’t give up and do nothing because you think you need a bunch of time in order to get fit. Get it however you can get it!
Learning how to give yourself a break and not beat yourself up when you miss a workout or eat a donut is very important as well. Perfection is a myth, so get over trying to be perfect my friend because it isn’t going to happen! Any person, athlete or fitness professional who tells you that they never splurge are lying to you! They have simply mastered the art of GIVING THEMSELVES A BREAK! This means that their eating and exercise habits are so consistent that an occasional splurge or misstep doesn’t ruin their day, they simply move on to the next workout or meal because they know (and their body knows) that the next workout or meal will be healthy, focused and geared toward their goals. If you master this art, your body, level of fitness and mind will reflect it!
Customize, Simplify, Chill Out and go live an active life!