6 Tips to a Healthy Lifestyle!
By Jared Reynolds
As a single working father, I’m highly aware of how challenging it can be to maintain a healthy lifestyle when working a job that could easily - and probably does - consume every bit of your time and energy. The effort becomes even more daunting for someone looking to introduce a fitness regimen into her daily schedule, as it’s harder to start a routine when you’re tired, stressed, unmotivated and unsure of how to begin. Ironically, too many of us just keep plodding along with the good intention of getting up and at ‘em but never making that first move, even though introducing even a few healthy habits could be just the thing we need to relieve stress, increase our energy, and give us something fun and challenging to look forward to.
Before I joined the Fleet Feet team, I was actually a customer – completely new to the world of running and fitness. Fifty pounds later, I am a testament to the fact that anyone - with any body - can make big lifestyle changes and have a blast doing it.
Our mission statement is to serve, educate and inspire the people we meet to live a healthier lifestyle. We are highly committed to serving the fitness needs of our community, whether you are already working out 5 days a week or are looking to get off the couch for the first time. Here are a few tips for setting you on the path to a fitter, healthier you:
1.Take baby steps. More often than not, we tend to expect too much of ourselves when we are starting a new fitness routine. You must remember that you are only human. Don’t try to run a mile the first time you lace up your running shoes. Walk or jog once around the block instead. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Don’t go cold turkey on sugar, allow yourself a certain amount of sweets per week and stop there. By taking small steps, we avoid feeling like a failure when we don’t meet those superhuman expectations.
2. Get the basics. Running or exercising can be uncomfortable and proper gear can make all the difference in the world. A good pair of socks, properly fitted shoes and sports bra, arch supports, and season appropriate moisture wicking apparel can make the difference between a great workout or a miserable one. A great workout will propel you forward; a miserable one can send you right back to the couch.
3. Find a friend. Strength in numbers is a real thing and can be invaluable when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. A friend who is working towards the same goals as you will provide accountability, motivation, a sympathetic ear and a high five as you move forward in your fitness journey. Find a teacher to share a healthy lunch with or someone who will walk around the track with you before or after school. Join a training program and make new friends as you set out to conquer a 5K, half or full marathon or beyond. Nothing beats a shared experience
4. Set goals. Do you want to walk a 5K or run a half marathon? Do you want to climb the stairs without getting out of breath? Do you want to wrestle a bear…and win? The key is measurable goals. Whatever your goal is, plot the steps necessary to get there and go for it! You will surprise yourself and others if you stay focused on what you ultimately want to achieve. I’d forget the wrestling a bear one though. The logistics could prove impossible.
5. Put on your workout clothes. Yes, research shows it’s that simple. You are far more likely to get out the door if you just put your workout gear on. Pack your clothes to work and change before you leave. You’ll be surprised at how something so simple can give you the motivation you need to start moving. Try it.
6. Finally, do no beat yourself up. You will fail. That’s the truth. These failures will make your success more incredible. It’s ok to miss a workout or eat a bowl of dutch chocolate ice cream. You wouldn’t be human if you did everything completely as prescribed. Learn from these failures and you will be stronger as a result. Guilt serves no purpose other than to demotivate you.
I challenge you to introduce a fitness routine into your life. Take that first step and just keep moving. In a month or so, your new fitness routine will become a normal part of your life and you’ll be healthier, more confident, and all around happier as a result. I know that it seems impossible to get out the door for the first time, but I can honestly say that I’ve never finished a workout and regretted it! Start moving and soon enough you won’t be able to stop.