People first starting a fitness journey tend to look at their end goal and get overwhelmed. It seems like a lot to accomplish! This is where people can screw up; often times people will overdo it in their impatience and wind up either burning out, overtraining, getting an injury, or getting sick. Or they think that they’re not accomplishing anything and quit way too soon. That’s NOT the appropriate way to join Team Happy and Healthy, folks. Here are my suggestions on starting out:
- Make substitutions. Do you normally eat fast food or pizza for lunch? Swap out fries for a garden salad, soda for seltzer or plain water.
- Start increasing your physical activity. Park further away from your job, consider walking, biking, or taking public transportation, take the stairs as opposed to the elevator or escalator, etc.
- Keep motivated! Read books, magazines, and blogs which inspire you and make you feel better about obtaining new, healthier habits. Watch movies, YouTube videos of motivational speakers. Listen to audio. Keep pictures around your desk, on your computer, or on your cell phone which make you smile and keep you focused on your goals.
- Stay positive. Tune out absolutely everything which causes you to doubt or feel bad about yourself. Mental health is every bit as important as physical health, and each contributes to the other. Torturing your mind and/or body will not bring you success.
- Be patient! “Rome was not built in a day, and neither was your body.” -Tony Horton You are not in this for a quick fix, a “diet”, or what-have-you. There are no magic pills to pop. You are in this to build good habits to carry you through the rest of your life, and by doing this you will improve your quality of living in ways you may not even realize yet.
- Celebrate small victories. In Team Happy and Healthy, there are no small victories. Can you do one more pushup on your knees than you could a week ago? Celebrate! Are you taking the time to get some extra walking in? Celebrate! Did you turn down that lunchtime cookie for a salad instead? Celebrate!