Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it. ~Plato
Your body was built to be used. It's similar to a car - if you don't use it, parts will start to fail. You don't want that, do you? Your body needs to last you a lifetime!
We know you are eating better, but you need to add exercise to truly be healthy. There's no way around it - to get all the benefits of being healthy (more happiness, more energy, inspiring good habits in your kids, faster recovery from illness, etc.) you need to be fit. We know, we know, some of you hate exercise. Still - get started in small doses, and your body will start to crave it.
I hated exercising for years, but I never regretted a workout after I forced myself to do it. I always felt great afterwards, and over time I started to develop more body awareness. Now I feel antsy if I don't get enough exercise (though my favorite part of running is still stopping.) Look, you make sure your dog gets exercise (if you don't have one, trust me, you would) your body deserves it too!
Oh, and did we tell you that you will lose weight faster, sleep better, and look great?
What to do - Mindful Exercise
- Make a commitment to getting fit. Build it into your Mindful Goals and Rules. Set some goals - lose x pounds, run a 5K, lower your heart rate, etc. Then create Mindful Rules to get your there. When I decided to exercise regularly, one of my Rules was to sweat every day.
- Find time. Take a look at your schedule and figure out the best time for you to exercise. I do it first thing in the morning since I like to socialize after work. Others do it in the evening because they hate getting up in the morning (I hate getting up too, but I like being flexible with my evenings).
- Plan your workouts. Just as you plan out your meals in your Mindful Battle Plan, you should start planning your exercise (if you weren't doing it before). That way you will know exactly what to do on that day. It will help keep you from procrastinating.
- Find the clothes you are going to work out in and put them aside. That way you get rid of that as another procrasinating excuse. Read this post for rebuttals to your clever excuses to avoid exercise.
- Go easy if you're new. If you're just starting to exercise, work it in gradually. You don't want to burn out - you want to make it part of your lifestyle. Start out with 15 minutes of walking 2-3 times a week. Add another day or build it up to 20 minutes the following week. Keep challenging yourself until you are working out 3-6 times a week for at least 30 minutes a time. (Rest one day a week.) Add weights to your routine - weight training will reduce the flab and help prevent ostereoporosis. If you're walking, start to add small running intervals.
- Find a work-out buddy or group. It can be more fun and motivating to work out with someone.
- If you like playing a sport, join a league. Don't worry about being rusty - there are other rusty players too.
- Think about joining a gym. The equipment and the classes can be worth it.
- Notice the changes that the exercise is making. You may be more tired at first, but after a while you will start to feel more energetic.
- Keep challenging yourself until you reach a base level of fitness where you are happy with your weight and the way you feel. Congratulate yourself. Then challenge yourself some more.
What's your exercise routine? If you're not exercising, what's your excuse?
Tip: if you really can't bear the thought of exercise, just get moving. March in front of the TV for 1 minute a day for a week. You can do that, right? Then make it 2 minutes a day. The week after, march for 5 minutes one day and 2 minutes the rest of the days. Then keep increasing your goals...
FYI, Mindful Eats mourns the death of Anastasia Baburova. Shot at 25, her life shone with bravery, honesty and action in the limited time she had. We are sorry we cannot see the rest of what she would have accomplished. Her brief, too short, time will continue to inspire us. The Economist says it much more eloquently than we ever could.
What I ate: 1 apple, 1 banana, 1 cup coffee, 1.5 oz. almonds, 1 grapefrut, 1 slice of bread + goat cheese spread, 1 cup steel-cut oatmeal + goji berries, yogurt + 1t jam, spaghetti + tomato sauce + ground flaxseeds + spinach, 1 large latte, 1 cup hot chocalate, 45 oz. water