Slow And Steady

Excitement is good!

Excitement is great in fact. I get it!  But you also need endurance, so you can reap the reward!

So you decided to “get healthy.”  Improve your health, extend your longevity, and you are pumped up!  Passion and enthusiasm certainly fuel us towards our goals, but excitement and going all ninja is not necessarily going to get us to the finish line.

Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves or their health in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later.   

Before you clear out that extra bedroom, remodel it and buy an expensive Bowflex MAX Trainer, Elliptical machine or worse yet max out your Sears card on the latest and greatest equipment, hold on!  Don’t sign on at that fancy gym, buy those expensive running shoes complete with a new Fit Bit, and visit your nearby expensive athletic sports store for all the new Nike styles just yet! Consider what you can do for FREE!  That’s right; for FREE.

Here are some tips1 to help you as you think about exercise, getting fit, and health:

Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. You don’t have to spend hours in a gym or force yourself into monotonous or painful activities you hate to experience the physical and emotional benefits of exercise. A little exercise is better than nothing. In fact, adding just modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your mental and emotional health.

Be kind to yourself. Research shows that self-compassion increases the likelihood that you’ll succeed in any given endeavor. So don’t beat yourself up about your body, your current fitness level, or your supposed lack of willpower. All that will do is demotivate you. Instead, look at your past mistakes and unhealthy choices as opportunities to learn and grow.

Check your expectations. You didn’t get out of shape overnight, and you’re not going to instantly transform your body either. Expecting too much, too soon only leads to frustration. Try not to be discouraged by what you can’t do or how far you have to go to reach your fitness goals. Instead of obsessing over results, focus on consistency. The payoff will come in time.

Type A Ninja vs. Slow and Steady.

 

Think clearly for a moment.  Do you want succeed and win, or do you want to crash and burn?  Again, a holistic approach that is well thought out will position you for success rather than set you up for failure!

A study1 from American Journal of Health Promotion revealed that stressed out workers were less likely to follow through with wellness plans than co-workers with normal daily stress.  In other words, stressed-out people are the least likely to sign up and the most likely to drop out.

Employees reporting stress “as bad as it can be” are more likely to report poor eating habits, poor overall health, more fatigue and lower activity levels than their less-stressed peers.

Is this you?  You run out to work late after waking 15 minutes later than usual.  There’s a traffic jam, and you have a board meeting in 20 minutes downtown.  Your presentation laptop needs charging and you’re low on gas.  You are STARVING because last night you went to bed on an empty tank and so what do you do?  So many say “FORGET it!” and ditch your newly hatched plans for a healthy lifestyle.  Now you’re on a rollercoaster, tanked on Dunkin’ Donuts and too much coffee and by noon, crash and burn.  Again, you chuck you plans, drive through McDonalds and do what you KNOW you shouldn’t be doing…..and so there go your best-laid plans.  Right?  Your blood pressure is in the red zone, you’re mad at yourself which in turn brings on more stress and a feeling of defeat. Where did the word “intentional” go?  Hmm?

This vicious cycle is exactly why modern day wellness centers are expanding to include stress reduction, nutrition, spirituality, sleep and work-life balance in their programs in addition to exercise. A more well balanced and long term approach geared for maximum success indicates that stress management might be the first thing to manage before tackling all the other things you need to conquer.  Do you agree?

A thorough, well thought out plan, with a consultation with your wellness coach or healthcare provider can help you develop a systematic approach to wellness that ultimately reaps long term rewards!

Stay tuned for EASY free strategies; long term ways to manage that stress and get your life, and your health back and to manage the stress that is sabotaging your best intentions and efforts!

References

http://www.cfah.org/hbns/2011/stressed-out-workers-less-likely-to-stick-with-wellness-centers

Tags:  health habits, wellness, stress, weight management

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