Getting back on track!
I think I speak for everyone when I say that this has been an interesting year. As a result of COVID19, many of us have been confined to our homes at some point or another. Fortunately, some restrictions have been lifted since this new normal began; businesses are open, gatherings can be held, and gyms have reopened. Despite these easing of restrictions, some find themselves struggling to get back to making healthy choices again. Maybe they’re fearful of contracting the disease, so they avoid going back to the gym. Perhaps they’ve put on some extra pounds and feel a little less motivated. Maybe they’ve never even had a regular fitness routine. Regardless of the reasons for falling off the wagon or having never been on it, I’m going to share a couple of tips on how to get back to exercising or starting a routine for the first time.
Before I share these two tips, there are two prerequisites that must be understood: number one, don’t beat yourself up, this was entirely out of your control, the lockdown, COVID, all of it. Secondly, although the circumstances were out of your control, your actions are one hundred percent within your control. That’s what we need to focus on as we get back into it (or start it).
If you’re wary of going back to the gym, that’s okay, especially if you’re part of the at-risk population. However, this is one of those misnomers that would still exist even without the pandemic. You do not need to go to a gym to be physically active. Does it help? Absolutely, but it is not a requirement. If you’ve put on some weight, or you haven’t worked out in a while, walking is a great way to ease back into being active. The key is to get your heart rate up for at least 10 minutes at a time. So, does it have to be walking? No, it can be biking, dancing, hiking, anything! As a guideline, you should strive to hit at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Once you have found an activity you enjoy, meeting that goal will be much easier.
My second prerequisite is about actions and how we’re in control of them…we call that responsibility. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but our health and wellness are our responsibility. Making good choices concerning our health is vital, and while we spend more time at home, this next tip becomes even more critical. Are you hungry, or are you bored? This one is a dual-tip in both preventing weight gain as well as losing weight. Eating while we’re bored or watching tv has become all too commonplace, and when you couple it with moving less, you have the perfect formula for weight gain. As we attempt to get back into the mindset of making health-conscious choices keep that one in mind!
In a nutshell, these tips aren’t going to give you six-pack abs or enable you to run an 8 minute mile. In all honesty, I could write pages upon pages of tips to accomplish those things, but that isn’t what being healthy means. A person’s health isn’t as black and white as abs and a fast mile. Health is about being able to live life to the fullest and having the capabilities to do so. These ground floor, entry-level steps can develop the mindset of doing things that improve your health. While some of us may have fallen off the wagon due to the current state of things, it is never too late to get back on. These small steps will help us do just that.