I’ve been working out every day for … since I can remember.
My father used to be a physical training teacher, and he built a habit of daily exercise into my brain, when I was a kid.
He made me exercise every day. Unless I was sick or unavailable.
When I would come back home from school, settle down a bit, change — my father would train me. Exercise first — lunch second.
That how it used to happen. I never questioned it. I wouldn’t always like it, or want to do it necessarily, but I’d always feel good afterwards, and would fun eventually.
It wasn’t anything special, no crazy rigorous workouts. Just whole body movements, like squats, exercises to strengthen my back, to improve my coordination and balance. It never felt like a workout, more like set of movements. Sometimes we danced to silly tunes. Sometimes he would do it with me, sometimes he would just show me what to do, correcting me, if I was doing something wrong.
It didn’t make me a professional athlete. I don’t think everyone is born for that or needs that.
But it certainly made exercise my daily habit, a part of my daily routine, that is so deeply installed in me, that I can’t really imagine, how people go without some sort of exercise even for a day!
For me exercise is like brushing my teeth.
Can you imagine yourself voluntarily going a day without it? Neither can I imagine going a day without exercise. I want you to feel the same. It’ll change your life.
As I’ve worked with more people and analyzed strategies I’ve been using for ages, I distilled 3 successful tactics, that hugely improve anyone’s chances to stick with exercise for life. And that’s exactly what every human being needs to aim at — creating a daily exercise routine. Just like brushing-teeth routine.
So what are these exercise-installing strategies?
Do you always leave time in the morning to make sure you have a couple of minutes to brush your teeth? Do you plan it? Even though mostly unconsciously. It’s not an option — for when you have time, or you feel like doing it, is it?
Exercise takes a bit more time and effort (but doesn’t have to be much), sure. But the strategy is exactly the same.
Put it on your schedule and make it non-optional.
Unless you are physically not capable, or there is some real emergency, and you can not possibly, in any way, schedule even 5 minutes to move your body — that all it takes, guys, to do a simple warm-up and a few blast-through squats, jumps, burpees, push-ups, dips, some variation of a pull-up, sit-ups. There is really very little excuse, why you can’t do ANY exercise today.
Heck, I walk, where I need to go and run up all the stairs I encounter on the days, when I have no time — and that usually happens because of bad planning, not because of lack of 5–10 minutes.
Schedule it. Make it a non-optional part of your day. Like brushing your teeth.
Don’t kill yourself. Do something. Anything.
That’s another thing, I notice, stops a lot of people from exercising every day. You might think you got to go all out, lift the heaviest, run the fastest, do better than yesterday and certainly not worse! You are too proud to do less! All or nothing, right?
If your goal is to get fitter and stronger — yes, you’ll have to push yourself through your limits sometimes.
I couldn’t stress it enough folks!
So, on the mornings, when I feel like doing literally nothing, I tell myself,
“Let’s do something. Anything. Let’s move for a bit.”
Notice, how easy it feels for your brain to imagine yourself doing a bit of movement? How simple and not stressful? Not demanding?
The brain complies. The body follows.
And usually 2 things happen then.
- I do some light exercise. Sometimes it’s a warm-up, few burpees/pushups/sit-ups and stretching, altogether about 5–10 minutes. Sometimes I walk in a park or outside, if there is no park.
- Once I start, I feel like doing more, and end up doing the full workout, and often more than I planned the night before.
Strategy number 2: Don’t kill yourself. Do something. Anything. Now.
Mix it up.
So many of you might feel, like if you sign up with a gym, or a cross-fit class, or Bikram yoga, or Soul Cycle etc. — you got to do ONLY that. And sometimes again, you don’t feel like it. You don’t feel like seeing the same people or going to that same location. You don’t feel like pushing yourself or doing THAT workout. Your body and brains rebel and protest!
Brain gets bored. Your body and brain need and crave variety. Some systems and muscle groups need to recover, while others require movement, different kind of movement. It’s like you get bored listening to the same kind of music — your body needs and wants variety too!
So. You don’t have to go to the gym today. Or do the same workout. You can take a dance class, go and run up the stairs outside, or go roller-blading, or do yoga, or play Frisbee with friends, or tennis, or go swimming.
Exercise, workouts, it’s not a precise prescription! Enjoy it! Choose and pick. Experiment. Have fun moving! Your body and brain love it!
Change it up! Mix it up!
These are the strategies I use all the time. They came to me as experience. I didn’t invent them. They just work for everyone.
They will work for you.
Give them an honest try.
Questions? Need advice? Want to share something?
Comment or email me at Angela at CreateYourself.Today
If you miss my Daily Bite of Health in your inbox some days, and have no idea how to live healthier today, check out my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube for Daily Bites of Health — you’ll find everything you need there to live healthier, fitter and smarter life (upgraded with your own SIX PACK).
My WOD 8/18/2017
On Building Legs: People ask me often how I build legs with such a good definition and tone. Yes, I squat and all that — but not as much as you might think. But I sprint up all the stairs I meet in my day :) — That’s my secret! ALL THE STAIRS! And I add variety whenever I can.
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I love this sugar-free salad dressing these days. It makes making salads so easy! — I buy a mix of fresh organic greens, add the dressing and voila! Your salad is ready in less than 5 minutes — anywhere, anytime!!!
Finally started logging my FOOD! Another self-experiment: leaner/fitter/stronger and MOST ENERGETIC!!!
On a mission to create the healthiest, super-food enriched, brain-performance enhancing, six-pack-friendly, totally delicious and seductive chocolate — exploring brands, cacao, packaging. And enjoying chocolate of course!
You don’t get healthy and stay healthy.
HEALTH is a DAILY PRACTICE. One bite at a time.
Daily Bite of Health
MAKE EXERCISE LIKE TEETH-BRUSHING!
A DAILY HABIT!