I’d like to talk about getting fit… or more precisely getting healthy. It’s a common misconception that getting fit or healthy is for the extreme athletes who live on celery adn lettuce, work out 9 hours a day and generally focus on nothing but results. In fact, it is not nearly as daunting as it might seem.
The way we should be looking at it, is that healthy a lifestyle can only benefit us. As soon as you start thinking of working out, or eating healthy as a chore, it starts being one. Where our focus should be is on how it will benefit us by being healthier. So many health problems can be avoided by simply changing our lifestyle. By starting to make small changes in our lifestyle, we are guaranteed to start feeling results within the first month. Before you dismiss the idea as not for you,give it a try. Just try something for a month, and I can assure you, you will start sleeping better. Start feeling more energetic. Find yourself in a better mood.Just enjoy some physical activity, and you will see for yourself that everything on your body starts working a lot more like it should. In fact, after 20 years of living a healthy lifestyle, I can honestly say, I haven’t found a single negative side effect.
I know there are many levels of fitness and health, but regardless of where we fit on that spectrum, we should be thinking about being better than we were yesterday. It’s just a matter of starting small. Baby steps. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. Park furthest from the entrance to the mall instead of driving around hours looking for the closest spot. Instead of having 2 sugars with your coffee, try 1. Cut out the processed foods from your diet and stick to natural healthier foods. Whatever you decide to do, just have some fun with it. Make sure to find something that you enjoy. It’s pointless to start cycling if you really hate it. Enjoying something definitely increases the chances of you doing it again, and again and again. The idea behind it is to just do more than you did last week. That is called progress.
Starting with small changes adds up to a big difference. Imagine if you will, you have 2 cups of coffee every day with 2 sugars. Instead of using white sugar , try a less processed brown. If you take 1 less sugar, in your coffee, by the end of the week you have cut your sugar intake by almost half a cup for the week. It may not be much in the greater scheme of things, but half a cup of sugar is half a cup of sugar. And for the average joe who’s only form of exercise is getting up to get another beer… that is huge.
I know there are many levels of fitness and health, but regardless of where we fit on that spectrum, we should be thinking about being better than we were yesterday. Love your body enough, to reward it with a decent workout. Start with a small walk if the idea is daunting. There is absolutely no rush. The difference you will make is entirely dependant of the effort you put in…. Even the smallest effort, is much better than no effort, and it will still produce some change. As long as it’s more effort than you put in before. And as a bonus you get natural endorphins and dopamine that are is side effect of exercise. All just to help make you feel good, no strings attached.
Sound scary? I know it does. It doesn’t have to be. If you were to take a walk everyday… not far, maybe 500meters. Eventually, that 500 meters will start feeling like you’re wasting your time. You might even start walking 700 meters for the same effort. The idea behind it is, no matter how little you work out, it is still more than not at all. And when you are in the habit of doing it, you will find yourself going further, faster, or just basically putting in more effort. Your perceived effort will appear to stay the same, but you will eventually be doing more and getting more obvious results.
It is very important, however, not to expect to see results immediately. Avoid the scale, because that is guaranteed to stop you before you even start. Don’t even look at size or body fat… What’s important is how you feel. When you start feeling good, you know it’s working. When you can’t explain why you’re feeling good, you just are. That is your body telling you that it is happy with your progress. Even that would take a few weeks. When you start feeling better, you start feeling better about yourself. And when this happens, you start enjoying your activity more. That is when you can start putting in more effort.
The hardest part of it all is getting into the habit. Once you have reached that point, you can start challenging yourself. It’s pointless to push yourself hard on the first day, that you can’t move for the rest of the week. You just will not go back. Take it easy, start slow, and try to get into the habit of just 5 minutes a day… When those 5 minutes feel like it’s part of your daily routine, you can increase it to 10 minutes. And that is how you progress… Just by being more, doing more and improving yourself.
What we do need to realise however, is that it took 9 months to make you. It took many more years to mould you into what you currently are. If you want positive change, give it some time, at least 9 months to start seeing change, and a few years to get where you want to be. Nothing is instant, it takes time, patience, dedication and hard work.
Most of all, do not be phased by what others say about your body, it is yours not theirs. Do not think less of yourself after comparing yourself to someone else, your journey is not the same as theirs. Regardless of what you or anyone else thinks, you have an amazing body, capable of way more than you give yourself credit for. Start acting like it. Don’t give in to fear, judgement or any kind of negativity. Treat yourself to a healthy lifestyle. Reward your body for all that you put it through. Honour it.