I love walking
I hear this often -“I’m having a hard time getting exercise-I’m bored, get interrupted, it’s too cold and just don’t like it. What can I do to get my exercise and stay motivated?”
I always ask, “What is an activity you enjoy? Walking? Dancing? Ballet/Bar? Yoga? Tai Chi? Meditative movement? And then what is the best time for you to take 30 minutes to dedicate to a workout of some sort?” For me it’s walking and dancing. I love to walk.
30 minutes 5 days a week gives you the recommended 150 minutes for promoting and maintaining health and wellness. Add two days in your week to do resistance exercises using weights, bands or even your own body. Make the 30 minutes your sacred half hour and find something you like to do. Walking can be boring. I usually listen to podcasts or make phone calls. Some people love to listen to music and walk to the beat.
When it’s cold outside, walk in place or turn on a You Tube Walking Workout video. You Tube has just about any kind of workout you’re in the mood for.
Here are the links to a couple of my favorite indoor walking workouts:
FAST Walking in 30 minute
30 Minute Boosted Fitness Walk
10 STEPS To Help You Stay Motivated
- Make this your time to feel good. The best motivation is what comes from you internally instead of trying to please someone else or because you feel guilty. Call it movement instead of exercise or workout if that makes you feel better.
- Get a pedometer and track your steps-go for 10,000 but start from whereever you are and make 10,000 your goal. (More below)
- Make it fun. Put on some cardio dancing music and dance for 30 minutes. Or add variety. You can do some cardio and whole body work.
- Walk around your house when you are making phone calls or listening to podcasts.
- Put on a You Tube video.
- Join a Zoom exercise class.
- Buy a new exercise outfit that makes you feel comfortable with your movement. And don’t forget good shoes.
- If you can, create a special place in your basement or home just for exercise. You can put mats on the floor and posters on the walls that motivate you and help you to visualize your success at feeling and staying fit.
- Forgive yourself if you a miss a day or two and just get back to it. It’s not all or nothing, it’s something – whatever you will do.
- Reward yourself. After you are done, you can take a soothing bath, read magazines, play a game on your phone, or make a relaxing phone call.
More on 10,000 Steps
If you want to begin with lifestyle changes and exercise is your top priority, go out and buy a pedometer and work up to 10,000 STEPS PER DAY. I love my pedometer. I put it on in the morning and track every step. You would be surprised how little walking you get in if you sit at the computer all day. On the other hand if you have steps in your house and you vacuum daily, run errands, do the gardening, and walk to the mailbox, you may find that by mid afternoon you have over 5, 000 steps. Now all you have to do is go out and take a brisk walk for less than an hour and you will have your 10,000 steps. You can sneak steps into your day by parking your car farther away, walking up and down every aisle in the supermarket, window shopping at the mall, or simply walking around while chatting on the telephone. I wish I had invented the concept of 10,000 steps. 10,000 Steps is equal to about 5 miles of walking. In the beginning don’t worry if you are getting sufficient aerobic exercise at your target heart rate, just WALK. Once 10,000 steps is a habit increase your intensity and frequency, but for now just clip on your pedometer and get walking, and of course, if you are not used to exercise, check with your doctor to make sure you are ready to begin.
I found a great web site using this concept.
I understand now more than ever when people tell me they work all day and have no time to exercise. I have been tired lately. Yes, in spite of all of my energy, I lose it like all normal human beings.
Here are some of the things I hear.
“By the time I get home I am so tired and still have to cook dinner and help the kids with homework.”
“ I would have to wake up at 4:00 in the morning to make time for my workout.” And some do. I remember hearing Arnold Schwarzenegger works out every day beginning at 5:00 AM giving him enough time to run the state of California.
“I joined a gym but don’t get there as often as I would like.”
We live in an age of being Tired and Wired as Marcelle Pick’s new book Are You Tired and Wired spells out so aptly with 30 days to help you get back to balance.
So what do we do to make sure our body gets proper rest and proper exercise while living the high-wired life…?
Here are five tips to fit in fitness.
1. Get a pedometer. I can’t say enough about these little gadgets that you can buy for $20.00 or less. Just put it on in the morning after brushing your teeth. Keep it next to your toothbrush so you remember. Go for 10,000 steps a day. See what you get doing your normal activities then work on the remaining steps by taking a nice long walk during the day.
2. Today it’s about functional fitness. You don’t have to go to the gym and use fancy equipment to get a proper work out. Recently I worked with a personal trainer who gave me a variety of 20-minute workouts that incorporated resistance training using bands and lightweights along with high intensity body movements that raise my heart rate and work my muscles in a way that supports everyday movement and life.
3. Park your car far away from your destination when you are shopping. Enjoy shopping at SUPER markets and stores. You can walk miles just enjoying all the stuff that you can buy nowadays at Super Wal-Mart, Target, and Super Kroger etc.
4. Dance, dance, dance like no one is watching. It’s true. Many people wake up to music on their radio, I-phones, or stereos. Use this time to dance before you take your shower and then dance again at night. We all know Jane Fonda gets her exercise, but what impressed me was the fact that every night she and her husband dance together alone at night. What a great way to stay fit and nurture your relationship.
5. Do what you can and don’t beat yourself up because you are not working out at your target heart rate for 30 minutes five days a week. Those are the old rules. The new way of thinking is to move all through the day, stay active, garden, play actively with your children, take an early morning or evening walk, or at work go out for 20 minutes before you sit down to eat your lunch.
Most of all enjoy your life, move your body, laugh out loud, sing and dance.
One of my friends asked, “Mary, how can I ever get to love exercise? I hate it.”
I was contemplating the answer, and first have to say that I hated to move or exercise until I woke up to physical fitness and health after meeting my husband in 1971.
I was 19 years old, weighed 15 pounds more than I do now, smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day, and if my feet were not made for walking, my only exercise was going back and forth to the hospital or walking to shop.
Steve was a runner since high school. It was part of his daily routine and he couldn’t imagine not exercising. He also hated my smoking. We fell in love and I decided to get active.
One day, I went outside to the track and just started running. I can remember coughing a lot and not truly enjoying it right away. I also was sore for days after. I stayed with it and before long I was running 3 miles around the track.
As I continued running, I began to enjoy the feeling of a good sweat and also noticed that my weight was stabilizing. I could enjoy my food more and had a more balanced appetite. Exercise became a habit that I could no longer do without.
The smoking was another thing. I did quit for Steve, but that didn’t last long. I went back to smoking on and off in between pregnancies and eventually quit for good when I was 30. It was at that time that I became an aerobics instructor.
Exercise has been part of my life since I was 20. I have been a runner, walker, enjoyed bicycling, cross-country skiing and dancing including aerobic dancing. As I became more interested in my inner fitness, I started doing yoga. In my career I have taught aerobics, yoga, fitness and conditioning and now teach more about spiritual fitness.
The point is I can’t live without it. It is part of my being. It is like brushing teeth and when I don’t exercise I feel it all over. I feel sluggish, full, digestive constipation, mood swings, and low energy. When I exercise I feel light, refreshed, my digestion flows, I am happier, more energetic and while my body benefits, my mind feels more clear.
So – all I can say is you have to get out there and move your body in a way that fits your lifestyle and your interests. Running is a burden for many, while walking feels natural and with the accompaniment of a friend can be more about a relationship than exercise. Some people like the gym and others would rather exercise at home.
Probably the easiest way to make sure you are moving is to buy a pedometer and get out there and walk, or if you are active cleaning and running around in your normal daily work and activities, you may just need a short walk to get to the goal of 10,0000 steps. 10,000 Steps a day is equal to about 5 miles of walking. If you do that everyday, you may find that exercise becomes intrinsic and easy.
I will continue to write about the Joy of Exercise is future blogs. For now it would be great to hear from you.
As I reflect on my life right now, I want to share an article I wrote that I am reminding myself to follow.
This year has been a very stressful, yet exciting year. We made a major move from a house of 31 years to a new home- very different, a connected "landominium", maintenance free living-quite a change. Between preparing the house for sale, decluttering, keeping it immaculate for the weekly showings for months, working with the builder on the plans for our new home, and the major task of moving in general, my body has taken a toll. You really do have to be mindful of a stress and the affect of pushing until your exhausted. We are now settled and loving it, but I reacted to something while unpacking and developed a major allergic dermatitis reaction. Now on steroids and drugs, it is important that I take time to heal the cells of my stressed out body, by reconnecting my mind and spirit.
Today I put out the yoga mat while listening to meditative music and did a 40 minute yoga routine for detoxing. It felt very necessary and quite nice. My husband and I have resumed our Tai Chi practice in the evening, and hopefully this bout of illness will pass, having been a blatant reminder that YOU HAVE TO STOP SOONER OR LATER!
Anyway, here is the article:
For years people who have talked
about wellness referred to weight loss, fitness or smoking cessation programs.
Later we identified the role stress plays in our overall health and wellness so
we developed stress management programs.
Interesting that although the wellness industry has spent the
last 20 years designing programs and providing health promotion information to
the point that most consumers are very well educated, health is not improving
much – Not the kind of health that is defined by an overall sense of balance of
body, mind and spirit or physical, emotional or spiritual togetherness. In fact
many people are exercising and watching their weight. Unfortunately many people
have given up and continue to spiral upwards. There is no loss of material on
what constitutes a healthy diet or adequate fitness program. There are also
more self help books published than ever before to help us deal with our stress
Keeping all of this in mind, it is interesting that when I
work with people as a wellness coach, their vision often includes a regular
exercise program and healthy diet, but it always seems to include the word
balance and gaining more energy and enjoying life more. Yet that is the one
place it is hard to concentrate. To stop all of our activity, whether it is for
our work or just to keep the house managed is very difficult. We just keep
going until our body can’t go anymore and then we get sick. It is when we get
sick that we question how we have been going about getting all these things
More and more people have said to
me that they need to take time to meditate, yet less and less do. Why is that?
I know for myself I often feel that once this or that item on my to do list is
complete, I will be able to sit back and relax. Sitting seems such a waste of
time when there is so much to do. That is why we recommend that you schedule a
regular time for meditation regardless of what is going on in life or with
work. It has to be as built in as brushing your teeth. It has to be an everyday
But what if we are just not of the makeup to sit in a formal
meditation? That is not necessary, but what is necessary is to have some sort
of practice built into your life for reflection on more than your everyday
tasks. The fact is that one’s body and mind can’t keep on going without a
break. Eventually you will have to stop.
Regardless of what your life looks like right now, it is helpful build into your day a time( even if just 5 minutes) for silence, prayer, yoga,reflective reading, listening to peaceful music, journaling, or if you can,
sitting in a position of meditation, following your breath long enough to feel
a difference in your body- a feeling of peace and quiet rather than rushing and
a sense of urgency. If you practice enough, it will become a memory in your
body that you will be able to tap into when life is speeding by. Like all of my
clients, it has to be a priority and goal for change. Let that be now and not