A big part of 365 Simplified is about making the efforts, grrrrrrrrrrrrrs, aaaaggggghhhhhhs and chores of everyday life easier and less burdensome. For many of us, exercise is one of those things. I get it. Until three months ago, I was a self-confessed exercise-phobic! Not a fan at all! I would literally sigh and groan when hubby would suggest a family walk or ride. I’d take Netflix or a book anyday (I still love my Netflix and books!).
Well, that has all changed! Here are 7 key things that I did (and that you too can do too) that turned me into someone who actually enjoys exercise, hast lost 4 kilos and who feels really good mentally and physically.
- The answer is STAIR-ing at you!
Yep, this exercise-avoider hasn’t used a lift in nearly three months! No more queuing at the shops to squeeze into a stuffy, smelly lift. I go straight to the stairs no matter what and now it is habit. I use the stairs on the way up and again on the way down. I tend to run or walk really quickly when I do them and I love it. I have so much more energy, feel so much better and I feel super smug and virtuous when I see others queuing for the lift! 😉 On the same note, stop driving around and around in circles looking for the closest parking spot to the shop, school, restaurant…instead park a few minutes away and walk you’ll find this really ups your steps, calorie burn and heart rate (and often actually save you time as you’re not driving around in circles looking for the dream spot). Do it! Make it a habit! You’ll thank me. Using the stairs and parking a little further away has seriously made such a difference to my physical and mental health and fitness. HUGE! Trust me – choose the stairs. Non-negotiable. Do it!
2. Take it to the bedroom!
Say what?!? By all means make some magic exercise happen in the bedroom (yay you!), but what I actually mean by this is to layout your exercise gear next to your bed (or even wear it to bed) so it’s there looking at you when you wake. Yep, I wake up to my sports tee, shorts and industrial sports bra staring up at me from the floor. It sounds silly but when you see your sneakers and cute outfit all laid out first thing, it motivates you, saves times and makes it much harder to skip a workout. I found this simple step really helped me.
3. Do what you love
Like anything, if you find what you love then you’ll love doing it. What’s your thing? If you have to burn calories and get the heart rate up, what’s the thing you’de most enjoy? Walking, jogging, cycling, the gym, swimming, dancing, Zumba, weights, pole dancing classes, surfing, team sports, tennis, aqua aerobics, skiing, walking the dog, yoga, rollerblading, cross fit, boxing, kayaking, hoola hooping…? The list goes on and on….find that the thing you love and get busy doing it (bonus if there’s a few things and then you can mix it up). I’m a walker and I try to also throw in a bit of light weights training here and there. I recently purchased a Kettle Bell and so am learning to use that which is cool. Of course if you have any preexisting health conditions, always check in with your doc to make sure that you are good to go with your chosen exercise. Do what you love and do it every other day and you’ll be feeling aaaahhhhh-mazing in no time!
4. Get into Gear
Whatever exercise/s you do, you’ll need some workout gear to do it in. It doesn’t have to be a top of the line, trendy little number. It just needs to be something that you feel good and comfortable in. Aim to have one or two pieces that you really like as this will keep you motivated. If your booby like me, a good sports bra is a MUST to control the BUST!
5. Track it
I treated myself to a Fit Bit Charge HR a few months ago (yep, that’s it in the picture!) and I wear it constantly (just not in water). For me it’s so motivating and keeps me focussed. I focus on daily steps and my initial goal was 5000 per day, then 8000, then 10,000 and now 12,000. I love it! There are all different fitness trackers that you can use. I chose the Fitbit as it’s super user friendly, cute and there was an awesome sale on and I got it for $170 AUD. A fitness tracker is not essential (a lot of phones now can be used to measure steps etc) but it certainly helps and I would recommend putting one on the wish/save for list.
6. Mood Food and H20 Glow
I know we’re talking about exercise here, but I think the single biggest factor in helping me get into exercise and feel good, was eating really good, fresh food and hydrating with chilled water galore and avoiding foods that I know don’t agree with me (dairy, gluten and eggs for me). If I pig out on a pizza on Friday night and don’t have enough water, it’s ten times harder to get my butt out of bed for a power walk the next morning as I feel flat, groggy and sluggish. It’s about much more than just the calories (although we all know that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet), it’s also about feeling your best and fuelling your body on great foods and H20. I’m never better than when 90% of my diet is leafy greens, salads galore, fresh fruit, sweet potato, brown rice, legumes and water galore. Eat good food for a good mood, and hydrate to feel great.
7. Let it go, let it go
We all have those days where we get stuck at the office desk or on the couch with our mates Netflix and popcorn . That’s cool. We’re human (I was human just last week!). What we want to avoid though is telling ourselves that since we had an off day that we are failures and might as well write off the rest of the month. Give yourself that day (or two) and then pick yourself up and get back out there. You’ve got this!
Happy exercising guys. I’ll share some more exercise helpers soon but these should give you a good start. I can’t wait to hear how you’re doing and how great you’re feeling.