Happy New Year Everyone. This is the day we make a commitment to improve or change something about ourselves. I decided to write a short blog with the goal of inspire all of us to be more active. I’m a firm believer that a body that doesn’t move, is a body with some degree of health problems.
To become active again, I think it can be helpful to be aware that the mind can play tricks on us. Have you ever said to yourself, “I just don’t have time,” or “I’m just too far out of shape to get back into shape,” or “Does it really matter at my age anyway?” I even said to myself today “Only good looking people should exercise, because who is going to look at me anyway.”
I asked myself “Is that really how I feel?” The answer is no. How I honestly feel is that I want to feel good. I want to feel strong. I don’t want to have aches and pains and not be able to get around; and yes I want to have muscles and look good, but (ironically) when I feel good, I look good (or better anyway :). And I like my face, with its wrinkles and scars and all. I like who I am, so why don’t I exercise more, knowing it would make me feel better, give me more energy, and make me feel more alive?
Well, after thirty years of therapy, I can tell you :). I’m just kidding. It’s only been twenty years. No, really I think it’s just habits we fall into. We humans are habitual beings. It is so easy for us to get used to something, even if that something isn’t the best thing for us.
The thing is, with a little bit of commitment, and being aware of the mind’s irrational and untrue thoughts about ourselves, our behavior and actions can change. It is important to talk to yourself during this new commitment time period. It is your life and you can allow yourself the time for exercise. Here are some suggestions to help us get moving and feeling good in 2015:
“I don’t have time.” To which I respond to myself, “Turn off the computer!” I could train and compete in several triathlons with the amount of time I spend surfing the web. Get off the computer and go surfing instead 🙂
Get adequate sleep. If you start the day tired, you’re not going to feel like exercising (or do anything for that matter). Parent yourself and say, “We need to go to bed now.”
Exercise, walk or stretch first thing in the morning. I frequently tell myself I have too much I need to accomplish today to spend 30 minutes for myself first. Bull. When I would take this time to exercise regularly, I was more focused, got more done, and used my time more efficiently. One of my resolutions is to do light stretching or walking for 30 minutes instead of turning on the computer first.
Find the exercise that works for you. Some people love yoga. Some people hate it. Do the type of exercise that you enjoy.
Hire a trainer if you’re stuck. Sometimes we need some extra guidance and motivation to get things happening. You don’t have to go to a trainer for months or years. Even two or three sessions can be enough to get you motivated to work out on your own.
Make it convenient. If you have to drive 20+ minutes to get to where you like to exercise, you are more likely to be a no-show. Discover the parks, classes and gyms in your neighborhood and try several of them. Sometimes we don’t even know what recreation is in our own back yards. Some people like to take their workout clothes with them to work and stop at the gym on their way home.
Get acupuncture. Acupuncture can help resolve indecision about exercising and help you complete your desired goals. In Chinese Medicine the Gall Bladder is responsible for decision making and the Liver is responsible for following through with decisions. The liver Qi is also responsible for Anger. Sustained anger and frustration usually leads to depression. I don’t have to explain to you that if you are depressed, you’re not going to feel like exercising; which is tragic, because exercise is one of the best ways to lift depression. Movement breaks up stuck Liver Qi and helps you to feel happy again. David and I can needle points along these specific channels to make it easier for you to put on your sneakers and comfortable workout clothes and get out the door.
Most importantly, have fun. Scott