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7 tips for staying active

 

I often have discussions with clients and friends about the challenges of staying active.  Injuries, work and family commitments get in the way of establishing a regular exercise regime for most of us.

I rarely feel like exercising when I wake up in the morning, but I generally feel happier and more energised afterwards.  The tips I’m sharing below is how I stay in the habit of exercising, whether I feel motivated or not.

 

 

  1. Have a goal – I joined Darwin Triathlon Club, which runs regular races throughout the year. Staying fit and prepared for the next race provides regular goals to keep me on track with training.  Doing a race when I’m unfit is TOO painful.   To add variety I have used other goals such as; half marathons, Fanny Bay swim and the Great Cycle Challenge.
  2. Make a plan – I like to have a plan to keep a good balance and variety in my exercise.  Knowing in advance what I am doing, means I can prepare better and reduces procrastination.
  3. Be prepared – I am more likely to follow through with my training plan if I am prepared. For example; if I am cycling tomorrow morning, I put out cycling clothes, shoes, helmet and ensure my bike is ready – tyres pumped and chain oiled.  If I am swimming in the afternoon after work, I have swimming costume, towel, goggles, cap and swim toys ready to pick up and walk out the door.  This means I don’t waste time looking for what I need, and reduces the opportunity to make excuses.  Personally, I need to be out and exercising before I’ve stopped to think about whether I want to go.
  4. Train with a friend or join group training – Making a commitment to train with someone else I means I have extra motivation to turn up, as well as company and conversation on long sessions. Training with a group seems to give the energy boost I need to push a little harder and longer.
  5. Mix it up/choose activities you enjoy – For me variety is the key. I like the strength and focus of Pilates and yoga.  I like sweating up a storm and getting my heart pumping on a run.  I like cruising around on bike ride.  I like staying cool while exercising hard on a swim.
  6. When you’re tired – train today. If you’re still tired tomorrow, skip tomorrow’s session – This is one of the best pieces of advice I heard to prevent me breaking my training habit.  I can easily fall into a habit of not exercising when I start making excuses to skip training day after day, then it becomes hard to get back into regular training.   On days I am busy or tired, I choose a shorter or easier program, rather than skipping a session entirely.  I often feel refreshed and ready to train the next day, but if not, I consider taking a break then.
  7. Train in the morning – I am MUCH more likely to exercise if I get up early and train.  Too many things get in the way by the end of the day, so I generally consider evenings as bonus training sessions.  Plus, I seem to be more productive at work for the rest of the day when I exercise in the morning.

These are some of the tips I use to stay active, I encourage you to choose the ones that help you, and create some of your own.  I believe each person needs to find an activity and schedule that suits them, their physical shape, ability and their lifestyle.

The gift of receiving

A few years ago, I was having a tough time with some confronting personal issues. My mother asked who could help and support me. I told her that I had some great friends, but they had their own issues and I didn’t want to trouble them.

Mum went on to give me a new perspective…

“When you help someone, do you feel good?”

“Yes I do”

“Have you ever thought that when you don’t allow someone help you, you are denying them that good feeling,”

I now have a new attitude towards accepting help when it’s offered. I gratefully accept!

I have shared this story with many friends and clients over the years, because accepting help can be challenging for all.

If you have difficulty asking for or accepting help, it can be worthwhile to explore your beliefs about receiving help.

Is it a feeling of being unworthy? The person offering help has already decided you are worthy and deserving in their eyes.

Are you a perfectionist that sees yourself as a failure if you ask for help? Read More…

Getting stuff done

A few weeks ago, I worked with a client who was struggling with procrastination. You know, that great thief of time.

She had a series of assessments she needed to hand in to complete her course; she frequently found herself being distracted and avoided getting them done.  A few days after our session she contacted me to say she had already finished five, and was well on her way to completing the rest.

I often work with clients who feel stuck or blocked, who struggle with procrastination and avoid uncomfortable tasks.  They sabotage their own ability because they don’t feel ready, or lack the confidence, energy, time or motivation to make that first move and then follow through.

This is a subject I feel somewhat of an expert on – there was a stage where the “pro” in procrastination could have referred to me. Here are some of the ideas and techniques I use to keep procrastination at bay.

Just start!

Above my desk I have a hand-embroidered sign that simply says “Start”.

This has been an invaluable reminder when it’s time to write another blog and I find myself sitting at my desk staring at a blinking cursor on a blank computer screen.   To just type notes and develop ideas gives me a base to build my next article.

Sometimes the pathway or process to completion only comes to light after you get started. Read More…

Making change successfully

The New Year is a great opportunity to set goals and achieve change. Whether it be to quit smoking, get fit, lose weight, write a novel, complete a degree or buy a house … success depends on our willingness to make change.

We might be willing to change on a conscious level but unwilling at a subconscious level, especially if the problem is a crutch we have come to rely on.

Once we are aware of and understand subconscious blocks, we can work on letting them go.  It is difficult, but not impossible.

A while ago, I worked with a university student who came to see me when she was in the last semester of completing her degree.  Previously she had been a diligent student but now found herself unmotivated, avoiding study, procrastinating about assignments and generally sabotaging her ability to complete her courses to graduate.

In her Kinesiology session we found that for the past few years her goal had been to complete her degree.  When that goal was imminent, she began to sabotage her success because she feared life in the “real world” as a graduate. She subconsciously wanted to stay in the “safe world” of university. Read More…