4 Questions Before Starting Your Workout Resolution
What does healthy look like? Or how about being fit?
That's easy! Anyone who is really serious about being healthy has to run a marathon or an extreme race, or do intense workouts or yoga. Oh, and don't forget about dieting. You'll have to go paleo. No, vegan. Eat less sugar. No carbs. Or just try starving yourself. Yeah, that will do the trick…
Stop the madness!
Well, all of those options sound completely crazy. You don't like any of those things. Heck, you don't even know what they are. So, if that's what it takes to be healthy and fit, you're just going to avoid the exercise and eating well altogether.
There is a better way!
Instead of trying to achieve someone else's definition of health or fitness, it's time to define health for yourself. Before you start or restart your quest for health and fitness, answer these questions first:
- What do you want to achieve with respect to health and fitness?
Let's get one thing straight – not exercising is not an option. Neither is eating whatever sorry excuse for food you can get your hands on. The answer then is to honestly evaluate how healthy you'd like to look and feel each day. Sure, that could be as simple as looking good and feeling better. It could also be that taking care of yourself is your way of upping your energy levels so you don't get tired while playing with your kids.
There are no right answers, but you're the only one who has the answer. Once you answer the achievement question honestly we can go about devising a plan that will allow you to obtain your outcome.
- What types of physical activity do you enjoy?
Wait, what? You might be thinking that exercise and eating well doesn't have anything to do with enjoying yourself. Heck, it's all about suffering and sweating hour after hour every day. "No pain, no gain" and all that jazz.
Yeah, no. Do this instead: think about the various forms of physical activity out there. Got 'em? Now scribble down all the ones you could get into.
How about biking, hiking, running, walking or jogging? Could you join a sports league, play pickup basketball, soccer or ultimate? Are you a former swimmer looking to get back in the pool? Are you willing to learn something new like strength training?
Each and every one of those options are healthy, and at least one of them is bound to work for you.
- Do you need specific equipment or expertise to achieve this goal?
So far you're thinking that you want to run or jog more. That shouldn't be too difficult to get started. There's no real expertise required and the equipment, shoes and workout gear, is easily obtained.
On the other hand, biking requires a bike, bike shoes, cycling-specific clothing and a lock just to get going. Of course, all of those things cost money. Then there's the safety factor. Have you ever ridden on the road? Do you need to take classes? Is there a safe route to ride near your home?
Don't let these things discourage you. They're not meant to be a deterrent, rather a realistic starting point. Remember where you start is not where you'll finish.
- How much time do you have to devote to this goal and activity?
There it is, the question that shatters exercise and nutrition resolutions before they ever get started. How much time do you have to commit to eating well and exercising more?
The answer? Survey says: None! No time. Zip. Zero.
Look, we know, you're the busiest person on the planet. You work around the clock, don't sleep, and sometimes you don't even eat.
Unfortunately, there are a couple flaws with that answer. For one, you probably do have the time, and two, if you don't, you really need to start making the time.
Here again, there's no right answer – just an honest one. If you can start by committing 15 minutes, three days each week to exercise, you can begin to improve your health, fitness, and sense of wellbeing, while fostering healthy habits that will soon become ingrained in your lifestyle.