I had a client come to my McKinney TX facility that say he’s finally ready to start his exercise program. He look relatively fit, but he told me how just walking a few blocks the year previous made him so winded that he had to sit down. When I acted surprised, he told me how he worked his way slowly from couch potato to healthier and was ready for the ultimate workout by making minor changes in his life until they became a habit. You can make small changes that will keep you fitter and get you going in the right direction.
Start anywhere, but start.
The key is finding one thing you can change and do it repeatedly until it becomes a habit. He chose to walk more. Every time he was faced with a situation, he chose to pick an option that involved more walking. At first, it was just parking further from the store in the first parking spot he found. Then it expanded to taking the stairs instead of the elevator. My client eventually bought a pedometer and wore it throughout the day, looking for ways to boost his number. It took about ten months, but he finally managed 10,000 steps a day regularly.
Start packing your refrigerator with healthier foods.
Whether you’re a late night snacker or want to eat healthier meals, it all starts with what you buy at the grocery. Create a grocery list, so you don’t impulse shop and bring home tons of sugary treats or other types of snacks. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables and as soon as possible, peel them, cut them, pack them or whatever you need to do to have them ready to eat in a second. One off my clients wanted to take advantage of those delicious, in-season, Texas grapefruits. She bought them but found they weren’t eaten, until she segmented them and had them ready in the fridge. The first time she segmented 6 and they were gone the next day. Now she does a dozen every two or three days, plus has fresh celery, carrots, peppers and other veggies and a healthy dip on hand.
Plan to procrastinate.
I’ve learned a lot from clients. One of them told me he quit smoking by simply using his talent for procrastination. He didn’t decide to quit, but instead, decided to use his super power of procrastination and put it off to do something else. He found it worked even better when he chose to do a simple exercise every time, instead of smoking. It could be anything from walking to an actual exercise like a jumping jack. He went from two packs a day to about three a day and finally smoke free. It took over a year, but it worked for him.
- Switch out those sugary drinks for water. Focus on the taste of the water. Yes, some taste better than others. Make yourself a connoisseur. You’ll save calories and improve your health.
- Learn breathing exercises to use when under stress. Deep breathing can lower blood pressure, improve posture, improve circulation and definitely reduce your stress level.
- Create a sleep schedule and routine, then stick with it. Getting adequate sleep doesn’t come easily for some people. When you start a bedtime ritual and schedule, it can become far easier.
- Take up a hobby. Make it something you like, but also something more active. Several clients garden, others ride bikes and yes, many do play basketball with their friends once a week. Staying fit should be fun and you’ll stick with it.