Psych Yourself Up to Workout ~

It’s Guest Post Day at the WordCount Blogathon.

Today’s post comes from guest blogger Diana Smith Busby who writes about becoming a mid-life runner so I was pretty sure she would have some great words of advice and motivation.  Turns out I was right.  Thanks Diana for sharing this great post!

Sometimes the first step is the hardest.

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“Just do it”, they say, but it’s not always that easy.

For many, just the thought of getting outdoors to workout is crippling. You can think of a million things that need to be completed instead of doing the one thing that could make a difference in your own life, like taking a walk, or even going for a jog.

You tell yourself, “I’m not a marathon runner, why do I need to walk outdoors where everyone will see me and make fun of me?” “I need to rest, I have a sinus headache.” “I don’t feel like getting out today, I’ll walk twice as far tomorrow.” “It’s too hot, too cold, too far, too everything.”

As an educator I see this mentality all the time. When a student sees an assignment that is going to require a couple days of work, they simply shut down and refuse to work. At first it seems the student is being defiant; however, after some questioning and coaxing, it’s easier to understand that the student is overwhelmed with the thought that the task is too difficult. She doesn’t see a way to break the assignment into manageable steps, so rather than doing something that is beyond her ability, she simply accepts that she will receive a zero on the assignment. She feels bad for not completing the assignment, but not as bad as she thinks she will feel if her attempt results in failure. running2nothing-is-so-hard-henry-ford

Just as I help my students break assignments into manageable tasks, I’m here to help you break down the process of getting outdoors to workout. “How do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time. Start with small steps to get you moving toward the door and down the road.

Below are some suggestions for getting out the door and on to the road of fitness.

STEP 1:

Get dressed. That’s it. Just putting on your workout clothes makes it harder to say no to exercise. Keep your shoes and other workout clothing in a convenient spot, where you will see them every time you pass by. Put them on first thing in the morning if you are a morning workout person. If you have a job that prevents you from working out in the morning, have them sitting out and ready for you after you get off work. Just put them on and lace up your jogging shoes.

STEP 2:

Step outside. After you have on your workout clothes and shoes, step out the front door. Take a look around; enjoy the sounds of the birds, watch the squirrels race around, playing tag. Don’t talk to yourself about all the things that need to be done inside the house or around the yard. Concentrate on enjoying the sounds of nature.

Step 3:

Walk to the street:

After a few minutes of standing on the porch or stoop, walk out to the street. Again, don’t try to rationalize about all the other things you could be doing. Just walk to the curb.

Step 4:

Just go for it:

Since you’re at the curb, you might as well walk/jog down to the corner and back. At this point, your mind is probably saying, “We got this far, we might as well go all the way.” You may even be a little excited that you convinced yourself to make it to the mailbox, so a 30 minute workout will be a breeze.

Step 5:

Congratulate yourself:

You did it! You beat the monster that prevents you from doing the things that make you happy. Reward yourself for your accomplishment. My reward is usually a protein smoothie. When I have completed a workout and added nutrition to my reward, the feeling of confidence these actions brings stays with me throughout the day.

Other tips for staying motivated:

Check out ~ 101 Kick-Butts from Runners World

Take things one step at a time, and before you know it, you’ll have completed that three mile walk or jog. You’ll wonder what was holding you back in the first place. Use this technique on other areas that hold you back. If you have a stack of laundry waiting to be washed, just think about one load at a time, start the water, pour in the detergent, load the clothes, transfer clothes to dryer, start the next load, fold the dry clothes…etc. Break it down into its parts to make it seem more manageable.

To your health!

Diana

Diana blogs about running, staying active, and living the dream at www.dianabusby.com. She and her husband live a double life: two kids, two grandkids, two cars, two cats, and two dogs. She writes for regional and national magazines, newsletters, and online sources.

Walk this Way ~ Six Great Tips for a Successfull Walking Program

As a gal who plans to celebrate her 65th birthday by walking 65+ miles of the Camino de Santiago, I have been a little too attached to settling my butt into a comfy chair and watching the world go by.  The last few warm weeks of 2012 sparked both hubby and I to lace up our walking shoes.  We easily put up 6-8 miles on each weekend day.  Not too shabby.  Especially for the old guy, who thought walking was that thing you did to get to the car.  We had a goal.  We were working it.  And then…winter arrived in the Pacific Northwest and our walking days appeared to be over.  My shoes stood in the closet waiting patiently, but I ignored them for days, weeks, and now a couple of months.  They say it takes 30 days to MAKE a habit, and I’m here to tell you it takes a only couple of days of cold, dark and wet to break one.

So, now that Spring is right around the corner and we can count the weeks until we leave for Spain (29 to be exact), it’s time to kick our walking program into gear or we’ll be riding the Sag Wagon of Shame across Spain. And, that’s not going to happen if I have anything to say about it.

Since a body at rest tends to stay at rest and it’s time to get this body back in motion, I went looking for a little motivation and inspiration.   I found just what I needed at  Wonders of Walking and everybodywalk.org

Here are a six great tips to help you (and me) get back the healthy walking habit:

1.  Tell others and find a walking buddy.  Telling others somehow makes me more accountable to stick with it.   Having a walking date with friends (or the hubs) will get you out the door even when you don’t feel like it.

2.  Have a weather plan.  It’s winter.  It’s dark and cold and icy and wet.  Don’t use the weather as an excuse.  Worst case, walk at the mall or on the dreaded treadmill at the gym.  Really, unless it’s pouring rain, you’ll warm up pretty quickly and enjoy being outdoors so much that it’s worth a little cold.  Gloves, hat, warm socks and good shoes are a must.  And a hankie.  Why does the cold make your nose drip?

3.  Start Slow.  If you haven’t been walking for a while (or ever), don’t go for the ten miler on your first day.  Thirty minutes a day at least five days a week can make a huge difference in your health.  Your can do the 30 minutes in 10 minute increments if you need to.  Do what you can and work up from there.

4.  Keep a log.  Buy a pedometer and wear it.  Shoot for 10,000 steps a day and then keep going.   Or, try one of the phone apps like everybodywalk.  I just got mine.  It looks great.  I’ll let you know how it works.  It’s motivating to watch your steps and miles add up.

5.  Sign up for a charity walk.   These walks are fun, festive, and you are doing a good thing for others while you are doing good for yourself.  Win/Win.  Plus, there is nothing like walking across a finish line.  You feel a sense of accomplishment – no matter how long it took you.

6.  Join a walking group.   Whether its a group of friends that meets three mornings a week or one of the local AVA groups, walking with others creates social opportunities of being with others who share similar goals and interests.  I’ve been curious about Volkswalking for a few years now.  I think this is the perfect time to join up.  What a great way to meet new people, explore walking routes all over the country.

What are your favorite walking tips?

Climbing Back on the Wagon ~

I fell off the wagon about a year ago.  No dings, cuts or bruises, but it’s been painful nonetheless.  What wagon?  The gym wagon.  And, let me just say, it has been hard as hell getting back on.  Oh, I still walk an hour or so every day, but somehow I do not seem to be able to walk myself the three short blocks to the gym.  We were so close, my gym and I.  But our love affair has dimmed.  We’ve lost our spark.  I’ve cheated. I’ve been seeing others.  Yep, I had a fling with Jazzercise.  I’ve combed the listings for Parks and Rec.  I even flirted a little with the weights that sit patiently behind the door in my office.  None of these relationships stuck.  Maybe I’ve been looking for LUV in all the wrong places.  And now I’m watching the hubs build a steady love affair of his own with the gym.  My gym!   I feel a wee bit like the jilted lover and I do not like the feeling.  Not one bit.  Oh, I’ve got excuses…LOTS of them.  I work full time. I have social and philanthropic commitments.  I have to write my blog.   It’s hot.  I’m tired.  I’m bored.  My shoulder hurts.  Something else hurts.  The classes are full.  The list is endless.  And a complete load of horse puckey.

There’s more than a little irony working here as well.  You see, I’m the woman who started going to the gym seven years ago and loved it so much I studied for and became a personal fitness trainer.  I know better.  I’ve taught others how to get fit.  And still, I sit.     Watching my buffness slowly (thank God!) turn into mushness.  Waiting for some magic spark of energy.    Here’s what I now know for sure.  I’m pretty much all in or all out.  No halfway for me.  And lately, I’ve been all out.   Hubs always says “a body in motion stays in motion.  A body at rest …well you know.”   Every now and then the Old Guy nails it.

Fellow blogger, Andrea Mee Maurer,  posted a while back about Matt Cutts’ TED talk Try something new thing for 30 days.  Andrea was smitten with the idea and committed to blog every day for 30 days.  Love the idea. Loved every one of your posts.  Andrea, you and TED have inspired me!  I’m going to use the 30 day plan to get my butt back into the gym.  It’s not something new, but I’m going to use the next 30 days to re-acquaint myself with my triceps, biceps, lats, and quads.  Re-kindle my love of sweat.   Regain my passion for sore muscles. Remind myself what I loved about Yoga, Zumba, Lift and Sculpt in the first place.   Oh, I know it won’t be easy.  But it is time.   I guess I sat around long enough  that the I magic spark I was waiting for finally found me.  Don’t know.  Don’t care.  I’m going with it.

Day One starts tomorrow.  I’ll let you know how it goes.