Being fit and healthy doesn’t mean you have to take up bungee jumping.
My money says bungee jumpers, halfpipe snowboarders, and the like, will be hard pressed to take a short walk by the time they’re fifty.
Being fit and healthy is about waking up every morning looking forward to the day, not with a feeling of dread. If a commitment to living a healthier life has been in your thoughts, ask yourself, “How can I best reach the goals I seek, for the person I am, at this time in my life?'”
If you’re considering a healthier lifestyle, you’ve probably come to the conclusion the things that brought you to the point of considering change will also have to change before the changes you want to make can become reality. Looking at research data we find that only 1/10 of 1 percent of those who change everything “NOW” reach their goals. The rest fall back into old patterns after a short period of time and very often end up worse than they were. It’s not because the changes caused the problem. It’s because those making drastic changes are simply overwhelmed. They try to change too much too fast and a sense of “What’s the use?” takes over.
In order for changes to become permanent additions in our lives, we have to first set reasonable goals, goals we can attain within a reasonable period of time. Reaching those objectives will give us a sense of accomplishment and the stimulus to keep going. Then, we can go back and set other new goals that are also attainable. Small bites at a time are easier to chew than stuffing too many things in our mouths at once. Setting goals for making permanent changes in our lives is the same.
Once you’ve raised your self esteem through reaching some of your easier goals, you’ll begin to see your true self and can start trusting your judgment, your inner voice. After reaching a predetermined goal in your exercise program, no matter how minor someone else may think it is, maybe you’ll decide a few healthful changes to your diet should be your next goal. For instance: if you’ve decided that ten repetitions of four different exercises is the first attainable goal, and you’ve achieved that, rather than doubling or tripling the repetitions, maybe it would make more sense to limit, or eliminate, a junk food, snack or, in my personal opinion, coffee from your diet.
If after a week you’ve reached your goal, try keeping the repetitions and diet changes the same and add two, three or four more exercises to your workout. See what’s feasible before making more changes. If it takes an extra week or two, what’s the hurry? You’re better off taking some extra time than falling back and going deeper into the pit you were trying to dig your way out of, as long as you don’t use that as a crutch and never go beyond that point. You’ll find the” No Pain, slow gain” approach will have a snowball effect, the farther you go the faster you’ll roll. Start off easy and build your strengths slowly so you can reach your goals.
One thing you have to keep in mind; to be well rounded physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and in life overall, don’t dwell on the things you do best. In order to learn new things, to go beyond a stagnation point, you have to do them. If your area of physical strength is your legs, do more upper body workouts than lower body. Don’t stop doing lower body work, just concentrate more on your weak areas. If computers are where you shine, do some outdoor chores, work in the garden or take walks to balance yourself out. If you talk a lot, try being quiet and listening to your inner voice. Ask yourself if you’re over occupied with, or being without, spirituality. If you are imbalanced in any area, try to reach a place closer to center.
Do you react or overreact to every little incident in your life? When someone says it might be beneficial to you to get some exercise, do you react to that the same as you would if there was some form of threat to your safety? Many of us see our routines as a haven of safety and anything that disrupts that routine as a threat. When we react or overreact to any situation including the thought of getting up off the couch and getting in better physical shape, especially if we think someone’s telling us we should do that, our biological fight or flight stress response kicks in and that includes all the hormones that go along with it.
Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, and the body’s responses to it, prepare the body for battle. There are some major negative side effects to cortisol and the body’s responses. Making health promoting choices can also have some negative side effects.
Next article we’ll look at the negatives, some positives and more deeply into easy ways to make health promoting changes.