When the summer was beginning to wind down, I knew that keeping up my workout routine was going to pose a challenge. I know I am not alone with this sentiment. That was one of the reasons that we started TEMT: to keep up our motivation and encourage each other to find the time and ways to take care of ourselves!
Here are 8 small changes I am trying to make in my daily practice so that I don't lose my focus on staying healthy! They may not be new ideas for you, but putting them down here means I will remember to practice them. Feel free to add yours in the comment section as well!
- Take the steps At my school, there is a very nice long staircase that separates the lower part of the school from the upper part. Since I get to school early, I have the perfect opportunity to "run" the steps a few times to get my heartbeat going. This is, of course, not a substitute for a session of "cardio" but over time, it adds up to increased minutes of active movement.
- 30 minutes is enough time to squeeze in some exercise I have always seemed to maintain this all or nothing approach to working out. If I don't have more than 30 minutes I often say, "I didn't have enough time to exercise today." I must fight this false notion! I am vowing here and now to take 30 minutes of my lunch time at least twice per week to walk with a friend. It may not provide the "all sweaty" feeling of an intense workout, but it will help to maintain my fitness level.
- Lift some weights I keep a pair of dumbbells under my desk and try to use them at least 3 mornings per week when I arrive at school. I can squeeze in sets of exercises to work out my biceps, triceps, chest and shoulders.
- Keep a bag in the car Sometimes one of my tutoring students will cancel, or I have a 30 minute period I can take to go for a run before getting in my car for the commute home. If I have the bag ready, I can find a place to change and de-stress with a run after a busy day.
- Have healthy snacks handy I don't know about you, but when I don't plan ahead with some healthy snacks, I am much more apt to grab something in the staff room. Fortunately, there are often healthy fruit or veggie snacks there, but I try to be prepared. When I take the time to nurture myself with healthy snacks, I am much more inclined to exercise as well.
- Include the workout on that to-do list When I see it written there, the intention becomes more of a reality.
- Set reasonable goals If you promise that you will work out 5-7 days per week, but have only been able to achieve a goal of 3-4, why not shoot for a slightly longer or more challenging workout? Make sure your goals are achievable and won't lead you to abandoning them altogether.
- Be kind to yourself and don't compare to others! I'm not sure how this one applies to others, but I know that I am my own worst enemy at times. I need to focus on encouraging myself, not criticizing or comparing myself to someone training for a marathon. When I meet a goal, I need to acknowledge myself for the achievement!