How to Build an Exercise Habit (when you hate exercising)

How to Build an Exercise Habit (when you hate exercising)

Are you someone who really doesn’t enjoy exercising?  Does the idea of exercising make you want to take a nap?  Maybe you’d rather chill out and drink a glass of wine when you get home from work as opposed to throwing on your running shoes and whipping out a 5k?

You are not alone.  We know we should exercise.  We know it’s good for us.  We know the statistics say we’ll live longer and that our health conditions will improve.  The studies, the Internet, doctors, our friends, even our dogs all want us to get up and just MOVE.  Be active.  Be fit.

Still the truth is: Knowing the facts doesn’t always translate into desire and motivation.

Let’s look at why a habit of exercise can be difficult:

The first thing most people do when they set an exercise goal is say something like:

  • “I’m going to exercise for an hour everyday.”
  • “I’m going to exercise for 45 minutes every weekday”
  • “I’ll get on the treadmill for 30 minutes every single day so I can lose weight and stay healthy.”
  • “I commit to working out and lifting weights for an hour, three times a week.”

What do statements like this have in common?  Well, sure, they are all very worthy goals.  Yet, they have something else in common:

For people just getting started or getting back to exercising: 30 minutes a day can be overwhelming.

30 minutes a day doesn’t seem like a lot, does it?  But your brain is more than likely hearing “30 minutes a day for the rest of my life! Holy Moly!” Or  “Lifting weights for an hour, three times a week for the next 5 years is impossible with my schedule!”   And “Exercise for 45 minutes a day every weekday?  There goes my lunch hour for the rest of my days…”

How to Build an Exercise Habit (when you hate exercising)

Often your brain already doubts you’ll stick to the goal before you ever start because you’ve tried before and something always happens.  You forget to exercise one day, you get sick, the kids get sick, you don’t sleep all night so you’re too exhausted to exercise the next morning and so on.

The point is:  30 minutes a day or even every other day might be daunting to your subconscious.  Even though you know that 30 minutes isn’t really a long time, you are smart enough to realize the commitment involved, right?  In real life, with real schedules, that’s a pretty serious chunk of your schedule.

So, start small and build up.  Five minutes a day may seem like it’s not worth your time.   But, dear reader, it truly is.  Because you can take those 5 minutes and build on them when you are ready.  Make “mini-goals” for your progress.  You can exercise for 5 minutes each day.  Eventually you’ll want to add to it.  One way to do this is by “graduating” every week.   For example, you might decide you are going to exercise for 5 minutes a day for one week.  Then the following week you add 5 minutes to the routine.   Or not.  Maybe your pace is more suited to adding 2 minutes to the routine.  Your end goal might be 30 minutes or 45 minutes on the days that you choose to exercise.

Your brain knows that you can do anything for 5 minutes a day.  So, start small.  Build up to a habit one minute, one heartbeat, one breath at a time.    Before you know it, you’ll reach the goal that once seemed impossible.

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Join us for National Healthy Lunch Day

Join us for National Healthy Lunch Day

It may be Eat Smart Friday here at Walkingspree but we want you to be aware of another day you should focus on when you’re making a concentrated effort to eat smarter and healthier:

November is National Diabetes Awareness month and the American Diabetes Association also wants us to recognize National Healthy Lunch Day.  On Tuesday, November people everywhere will be helping raise awareness about the need to make healthy choices at lunchtime. This day is set to inspire and ignite conversation concerning the importance of eating healthy and moving the country towards healthier lunch habits not only on National HealthyDiabetes Awareness MonthLunch Day but everyday.

There is great misunderstanding about what is good to eat, what’s healthy and what’s not. Frequently food choices are full of calories, yet lacking nutritional value.  This leads to expanding waistlines, fatigue, lack of energy, and rising rates of type 2 diabetes.   It can also lead to obesity-related illness.  The American Diabetes Association has a goal to encourage good nutrition, emphasizing its importance as part of a healthy lifestyle. To start, they invite you to do lunch—a healthy lunch!

We, at Walkingspree, hope you’ll join in the inaugural National Healthy Lunch Day. The American Diabetes Association offers a free, easy-to-use e-toolkit on their website.  It provides a variety of customizable ideas, tips, lunch-themed activities and additional ways to help companies and organizations motivate, inspire and empower employees and communities to eat healthy lunches.  Learn More.

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National Eating Healthy Day is November 4

National Healthy Eating Day

Today is “Move! Monday” here at Walkingspree and Friday’s are all about Eating Smart with our Eat Smart blog posts.   But this Monday we wanted to make sure that everyone is aware that Wednesday November 4, 2015 is National Eating Healthy Day.

The American Heart Association sponsors this special day in the United States.  Every year, millions of health minded or trying to be health minded people make a pledge and join together and work towards living a healthier life by making healthier eating choices.

You can celebrate this day in your workplace, school, community or family.   Have fun with it and forward this post to your friends so you can spread the word and share ideas!

Here’s a few tips from the American Heart Association:

  • Set a goal or make a pledge to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Post your goal on your fridge or bathroom mirror as a daily reminder of your commitment.
  • Challenge your family, friends and co-workers to join you and set their own goals.
  • Host a heart-healthy dinner party, cooking demonstration or recipe tasting. Visit heart.org/SimpleCooking for resources.
  • Visit a farmers’ market to learn more about the options for purchasing affordable fruits and vegetables in your area.
  • Provide a healthy snack for co-workers, your child’s classroom or a nearby community center.
  • If you or a loved one need help changing your diet, make an appointment with a dietitian or nutritionist.
  • Commit to get fit and participate in the Heart Walk. Ask family and friends to join you. You’ll have fun and raise funds to save lives from two of America’s leading killers — heart disease and stroke. Find details for your local event at HeartWalk.org.

The bottom line? Eating healthier is a great way to help prevent disease and many other health issues.  For example, did you know that more than two-thirds of American adults and one in three children and teens are overweight or obese? This puts them at risk for heart disease and stroke as well as many other chronic illnesses and conditions. Eating healthier is an important way to help maintain a healthy weight and prevent disease.

Spread the word, tell your friends and join us on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 for National Healthy Eating Day.   Learn more at heart.org/NationalEatingHealthyDay

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The 2015 National Walking Summit is Here

The 2015 National Walking Summit is Here

The 2015 National Walking Summit will kick off Wednesday October 28, 2015.  It will take place in Washington, DC and there are already nearly 500 registered participants.  There’s a packed schedule of events and this is a great opportunity for the walking movement to take a giant step forward.

The National Walking Summit endorses safe, walkable environments.  They believe that these environments “do not just happen they are made by hard work and coordinated commitment.”   The National Walking Summit is a wonderful opportunity for national organizations, companies, agencies, and local partners to get together and  share best practices and stories.  It’s also a great way to increase visibility of these key issues, build support between and amidst federal agencies, and create momentum for doing the work to support more walking friendly environments.

Learn more by visiting the National Walking Summit’s website.   You can register to attend and be apart of unique events like the Walk and Talk Workshops and the Everybody Walk training.

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Which Diet Type is Best?

Which Diet Type is Best?

It seems like there is always a new diet or nutrition program vying for our attention.  Sometimes it is difficult to determine what is a real diet versus what is just a fad.

It turns out that other people wonder the same thing.  U.S. News and World Report decided to put together a compilation of the Top-Rated Diets Overall.  Here’s what their website tells us:

U.S. News evaluated and ranked the 35 diets with input from a panel of health experts. To be top-rated, a diet had to be relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss and protective against diabetes and heart disease. The government-endorsed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)snagged the top spot.

To take a look at all of the Top-Rated Diets, just visit the U.S. News and World Report’s website.

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