Are you looking to get into shape right now? I’m sure you’ve tried a few diets, extreme workout programs, and maybe even said a few prayers. But, these are all temporary fixes and really… they are not a way of life.
I doubt that no carb, no sugar, just air diet will be something you keep up with year round (um… please don’t do that). Then you have that CrossFit membership you bought back in January—you went twice—and the expensive cycling package you thought would do the trick. It’s all too intense to maintain and you can’t figure out why you have trouble sticking to a program for more than two weeks (obviously leading to a Netflix binge instead).
I’ve tried my fair share of workout programs. I’ve done intense programs with trainers, tried the spin classes, bought at-home workout programs, and have read countless articles that I, for sure, thought would magically move me into motivation. None of this ever became a habit.
Although the mental health side of you is extremely important, you should be concerned with building healthy physical habits, too.
NOT extreme quick fixes.
Today, I am going to share one of my tools with you that I use daily to live a healthy physical lifestyle. It has stuck for almost four years!
But, first, I want to discuss the big picture when it comes to staying in shape.
The BIG Picture
When I refer to the big picture, I am talking about your end goal. Where do you want to be, health-wise, in 10, 20, 30+ years? That should be the first part you evaluate when wanting to become a healthier person. Think about how you want to feel… what you want to look like… and what you want to be able to do, physically.
Take a moment to think about your own personal goals…
You COULD reach these goals doing insane workouts that you dread even thinking about each day. I see it happen all the time. But, is that a lifestyle? Is that realistic? No. Typically, when people go EXTREME when it comes to trying to meet their fitness goals (or any major goal), there is a slow crawl back down the slope.
They key? Focus on a REALISTIC, healthy physical lifestyle.
Make it a Lifestyle
Getting into shape can be compared to a career path. Most people don’t just walk into a company and grab the top seat… even if you own your own business. There is a ladder to climb, many things to learn, and a ton of mistakes in your wake. It’s all about working your way up to the top.
Think about how we all navigate that race to the top. What most of us all share, as humans, is that it takes patience, dedication, and focus. Sure, there are many goals we want to reach in our careers, but most of the goals we make will be mini victories that help us crawl, slowly, to the top. We all know how the tortoise and the hare story ends.
Ok, ok, ok. Now, how does this relate to working out? The same ideas apply. The way to stay physically fit is to not give up, stay focused, be patient, but keep moving on with little victories to reach your goals.
You need to choose activities to stay in shape that help create a realistic LIFESTYLE. Not a quick fix of intense workouts that you absolutely dread (& quit 3 days into the program… only to start the next ridiculous fad).
Now, to be clear, I am not saying you should never do intense workouts or try new things. But, above all else, developing your lifestyle is the first area you should focus on before adding those programs. Those little steps you make in your life every day will be far better of an investment than the random difficult workouts throughout your year.
The KEY Aspect
Staying fit has been important to me since high school. I was always into eating right, going to the gym, running, and reading about health and fitness. Honestly, I would have went into the healthy and fitness industry if it didn’t require me to take science classes (no thankssss).
I have spent the past 10-12 years building a lifestyle for myself that works for me. I do not depend on any intense workout fad to keep my fit and healthy because I now realize that they are NOT realistic. Instead, I have found one key aspect that has been a game changer in my life the past four years: move more.
Living a life of MOVEMENT.
Yes, it’s that simple. But, it is a key tool that people often forget when wanting to get control of their physical way of life. Today in the world, people see the new shiny thing that will make you look and feel good about yourself. It is all smoke and mirrors, my friends.
If you TRULY want to develop a healthy lifestyle, put your money back into your pockets.
Stop obsessing over the new trending exercises. Simply, focus on finding excuses to move more and get active throughout your day.
- Related: MINDFULNESS FOR BEGINNERS
Here are 30 excuses you can make each day to move more in order to develop that healthy lifestyle you have ALWAYS wanted:
Simple Excuses to Move More Throughout the Day
1. When you go anywhere that requires parking (i.e. mall, gym, grocery store, office, etc), park in the farthest spot you can find.
2. Bringing multiple items up/down the stairs in your house or at the office? Take each object one at a time.
3. Grocery shopping? Go up and down every aisle. Even if you only came for three things. Really, it will go fast since about 80% of the aisles will not require you to stop!
4. When you get home from the grocery store, don’t try to carry every bag into your house or apartment at once (my husband’s favorite challenge). Take one or two at a time and go back and forth for the rest.
5. Move more by weeding once or twice a week. Check every bed by hand and turn the soil over. Your plants will be happy, too!
6. Plan walks around your neighborhood into your schedule at the beginning and end of the day. Usually, if you go early and late it is peaceful, too, because there are less people and cars out and about.
7. Mow your own lawn! Seriously, I have a small plot of land and I get about a half mile. The bigger the land, the larger the step count! You’ll also save lots of money doing it on your own.
8. Pretend the elevators everywhere are broken. The stairs are your friend and will get you to move more. You can even do this on your break at work if you have stairs in your building!
9. Have a dog? Give him the opportunity to get his/her steps in, too! Take them around your neighborhood or to the park. He wants to move more, too!
10. If you are able to, walk to your destinations in your area instead of driving (i.e. drug store, post office, food store, etc).
11. Double the amount of times you vacuum, sweep, or mop the floors each week! Learn to change your mindset when it comes to cleaning.
12. Make a habit of lightly cleaning up every room each night. Misplaced items in rooms? Put back one item at a time (i.e. shoes, your jacket, the kid’s toys, makeup, etc.).
13. Waiting for your food to heat up in the microwave? Move more by doing some laps around the inside of your house or apartment while you wait.
14. When watching tv, get up during every commercial break to do anything (putting something away, getting water, petting the dog).
15. Every time you get a phone call and you are able to, don’t let yourself stay seated. Walk around during the call. Your brain won’t even process how many steps you’re getting since you’ll be so focused on the call!
16. Move your wastebasket away from your work station so you have to actively get up each time to use it.
17. Put on reminders on your phone to get up and move more every 30-45 minutes during the day. Even if it’s a 5 minute task. Many step-tracking products have this feature.
18. Put on three of your favorite songs and dance a little. It will help you move more and you will have a boost of happiness!
19. Dedicate 20 minutes of your lunch break every day to walking. Invite other co-workers, too! It is always great to inspire a healthy lifestyle when you have someone to move more with!
20. Date night once a week? Make it a tradition to do at least one physical activity before or after dinner. (i.e. mini golf, a nature walk, bike ride.. get creative!).
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What are clever excuses you make to move more throughout the day?