Once upon a time I was a badass and had all the time in the world to lift heavy weights, bench alongside the guys, I did crazy Hot-Yoga Vinyasa classes and ran 5k races several times a year.
Being a grownup and learning how to “Adult” left less time for the gym, going to do a yoga class and my knees are not loving being a long-distance runner any more, and let’s face it we had to do a strong pivot when COVID came upon us.
Life creates circumstances that leave us no choice but to either get in a fast HIIT work out in or walk a few laps around the block if we are lucky.
Sometimes you might find you have not been able to take the time to eat right or get exercise in in quite some time. You know that you don’t feel good about yourself and you might even think “Why bother, it’s part of getting old, it would take me forever to get back into shape and eat good again.”
Well, I am here to tell you, you are never too old to start or begin again. There is no reason to give up on your health and wellbeing. Study after study demonstrate that our bodies are a “use it or lose it” situation. The longer we stay active, the longer we remain able to stay active and mobile in order to take care of ourselves to a ripe old age.
Often, the biggest hurdle is inertia. It's true that it isn't easy to change ingrained habits like driving to nearby locations instead of walking, let's say, or reaching for a donut instead of an apple. However, gradually working toward change improves your odds of success. Here are some strategies that can help you enact healthy change in your life, no matter what change (or changes) you'd like to make.
The day-to-day choices you make influence whether you maintain vitality as you age or develop life-shortening illnesses and disabling conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. You may understand exactly what you need to do to enjoy a healthier, happier life: carve out time to exercise, nourish your body and find a way to ratchet down stress. There's just one hitch. You haven't done it yet.
Here are some strategies that can help you get started on making healthy change in your life, no matter what change (or changes) you'd like to make.
1) Pick your choice for change. Select a choice that feels like a sure bet. Do you want to eat healthier, stick to exercise, diet more effectively, ease stress? It's best to concentrate on just one choice at a time. When a certain change fits into your life comfortably, you can then focus on the next change.
By selecting a goal that best fits you and that you are excited and motivated to tackle, you will find more success. Break it down to smaller steps and as you accomplish each step along the way, this will keep you motivated to go on.
2) Ask yourself a big question. WHY? Dig deep to answer this question of why you want to accomplish this goal. By being specific about why you want to make this change and why it really matters for you. “I want to be healthy and active to play with my grandchildren”
3) Commit yourself. Make a written or verbal promise to yourself and one or two supporters you don't want to let down: your partner or child, a teacher, doctor, boss, or friends. They will be there to encourage you when and if you want to quit. Make it reasonable and a small action step. “I'm making a commitment to my health by planning to take a mindful walk, two days a week.
4) Make sure you plan on what obstacles could get in the way. Example, if you want to eat healthier than make sure you meal prep. Plan out easy dinners when you do not have as much time to make a complicated meal. If not, you may find yourself running to get fast food and you will feel defeated.
Brainstorm ways to leap over obstacles. Example: Not enough time to exercise? I'll get up 20 minutes early for exercises and fit in a 10-minute walk before lunch. Cupboard bare of healthy choices? I'll think about five to 10 healthy foods I enjoy and will put them on my grocery list and make sure I have them at home.
5) Make sure you write down all your accomplishments at the end of your day so you feel good about yourself and what you have done. If we do not take the time to write down what we have done RIGHT, our mind will always default in the things that we have done wrong!
I can honestly say I feel the best I have felt in my 40’s than I ever did in my 20’s. Don’t hesitate start today by taking one small step.
“A Healthy person has a thousand wishes; a sick man only has one”
Still feeling overwhelmed? Need extra support or advice? Please feel free to contact Grace Buffa, National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach to help you with those habit changes you are look for. You can find her at www.lifejourneycoaching.net
Author: Grace Buffa NBC-HWC, RYT, LPTA