Want to start your fitness plan? Get up and go!
Sometime it seems like it takes minimal effort to talk myself out of a workout and maximum effort to take that first step.
How many times have we used a myriad of excuses to keep us in our cozy bed or on the couch? I moved my alarm clock across the room to keep me from hitting ‘Snooze’ and going right back to sleep. I don’t know what it is about that infamous “first step”, but once I commit to getting out of bed…the rest seems to be downhill!
A lot of times, we let the fear of discomfort intimidate us. But the truth is that some of the most fun workouts are when the rest of the world stays indoors.
Don’t believe me? Try watching the sunrise on a quiet morning jog or feel the refreshing rain as you run through the neighborhood or watch the snow silence an otherwise noisy world.
These are some of the best times to ‘get out there’ especially when you have it all to yourself.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a climate that has 4 distinct seasons – get out there and enjoy the changes that come with each one! A hat and gloves can make a winter run very bearable. A thin wind-breaker will make a light rain barely noticeable. And a small water bottle can keep you going on even the hottest days.
Weather can be one of my biggest mental hurdles, but by simply checking the forecast and lying out the right clothes the night before, almost every day is good for an outdoor workout. (**Now Showing in the Northeast US: The smell of autumn and the colorful leaves on tree-lined streets…what more motivation do you need?)
It’s tough getting that first foot out of bed…but it’s well worth it!
To truly reap the long-term benefits of exercise, we need to keep getting up and we need to keep going. Some days when the weather, our schedule, or our moods provide an excuse not to exercise…we need to come up with some creative counter-tactics to motivate us.
Lay your workout clothes out ahead of time – it’s a small ‘first step’ and it may be that mental push that you need in the morning. There are many times when I go out for a morning run promising myself that I only have to run for at least 5 minutes…knowing full-well that the first 5 minutes will quickly erase my groggy attitude. The chance of me turning back after 5 minutes of running and crawling back in bed are slim to none, and it usually only takes 5 minutes for me to get invigorated with a better attitude and some added energy. Yet it’s still enough to convince ‘groggy-me’ that I have the freedom to quit if I want to. Try it…it works....don't think about it...just get up and go!
Another obstacle that keeps us from starting is the false pretense that we need a piece of equipment or clothing before we can start. I know the hundreds of fitness infomercials out there would like you to think that you need their piece of equipment to look like their chiseled TV models, but think about it….what’s stopping you from going for a walk today? What’s stopping you from doing a short exercise routine?
Chances are it would take you less than 5 minutes to be ready to go out for a walk. And morning calisthenics take only a few minutes before your morning shower. These simple exercises will cost you nothing and you can do them almost anywhere. Sorry, QVC! If you really get into it, you can pick up an inexpensive running watch to satisfy your equipment needs.
So as you go through your day, seize those opportunities to fit in some exercise. Get some fresh air. Enjoy the tranquility of a morning walk or run. Do a few sets of calisthenics before you start your day. Enjoy the outdoors when few others do. Get up and go – it’s a great way to start your day. See you out there!
You can find Get Up and Go and other motivational fitness information in the November 2006 article of The Bullhorn.