If you read this blog regularly, you know that I favor an intuitive method of fitness training and nutrition. I’m less about rules, and more about what actually works in real life. It doesn’t matter how effective something is if you know you’re not going to do it! Moreover, if something is less effective, but you know you WILL do it daily, or on a regular basis, then you can reap significant health benefits. When it comes to fitness and nutrition, consistency is key.
For example, current exercise recommendations suggest 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise. That breaks down to about 30-60 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week, working up a decent sweat. You can cut down that time to 20-30 minutes per day, 3 days a week, if you engage in HIIT (high intensity interval training). High intensity interval training mixes intense periods of exercise with periods of low intensity for recovery. For example, instead of doing 30 minutes of fast-walking or jogging on the treadmill, you could stay on the treadmill for 20 minutes, and do 30-second intervals of sprinting mixed with 2 minutes of jogging or walking. It’s more fun, and you finish your workout faster. But, what do you do if you hate treadmills – and hate gyms even more?
Stay away from them! Figure out what you like to do. Do you like taking long walks to clear your head? Then how about starting a new routine after work tomorrow? Find a park near your office, and instead of immediately jumping into rat-race traffic after work, spend the next 60 minutes walking laps around the park. Not only will you avoid traffic, you’ll be in a better frame of mind when you get home. But, what if you have kids to take care of, or a babysitter to relieve? Then have your kids join you! Give them some snacks and pull them along in a little red wagon. They’ll tell you to go faster, thus increasing your heart rate and stamina. And the snacks will tide them over until dinnertime.
In other words, if you want to be healthy – and you do, because there are people counting on you! – then you’re going to have to be creative. But instead of focusing on what you’re supposed to be doing, focus on what you might enjoy doing. This might sound shallow if you’re used to punishing yourself. In our puritanical society, people think suffering has merit in and of itself. But you can’t fool yourself. If you don’t enjoy doing something, you’ll look for excuses not to do it. Period. No matter how beneficial it is.
So, put on your thinking cap and figure out how to give your body – and soul – what it needs.
If you need help, I offer coaching sessions to help you design your best life. But don’t put it off any longer! As we can see from the news headlines, tomorrow is promised to no one. Be well!
Peace and love,