Body & Soul: Schedule in Fitness …
… For a more productive day
by Agnes Ramsay
It’s the time of year for celebration, and with that comes parties and get-togethers. As the days and nights get cooler, we long for comfort food and good company. It’s also the time of year when our stress levels rise, as we attempt to fit it all in.
Not only can it put a strain on our schedule and our finances, but also on our waistlines. Keeping health and wellness in mind may prove to be difficult, but it’s especially important during this busy time. Reframe your priorities, instead of stressing out and giving up on your fitness pursuits – give yourself the gift of time to do something that you enjoy.
FIT IN FITNESS
Just like scheduling a meeting or an appointment, make a plan as to when you can fit in fitness. On Sunday, take a few minutes to look at the week ahead, and drop in activities at specific times, so that you’ll stick to it.
Devote certain days to a specific exercise, like a walk in the woods, a Zumba or dance class, a visit to the gym, curling – whatever. On those days – no chores allowed. It may be wishful thinking, but having a timetable is very effective. It’s all about the activity and making the commitment to do it.
On chore and work days, or when at the mall or the grocery store, be conscious of parking further away so that you can add more steps to your day, and, of course, take the stairs when you can. Raking the leaves, and taking your dog for a brisk walk, most definitely count as chore-related activities.
If you find that your energy level has tanked by the end of the day, opt for a stroll around the mall, instead of a workout at the gym. It may be necessary to rework your schedule, if you think that starting your day at the gym (rather than ending it there) would prove to be more beneficial, and something that you’ll commit to.
Be realistic, keep yourself organized, stick to your schedule – and constantly remind yourself that you’re worth it.
FITNESS FUN FACTOR
Fitness compliance is substantially increased when you enjoy what you are doing. Get rid of the ‘shoulds’. If you think that you should go to the gym, because you have a membership, you’re putting more pressure on yourself. Perhaps the gym has other programs, like a dance or yoga class, that you’d like better than the treadmill. Look at other alternatives, and, supplement the ‘shoulds’ with ‘I’d rather.’ To up the fun factor, invite friends and family to join you – they’ll also help you to stick to that schedule.
Setting goals, and then rewarding yourself, might be just the motivation that you need. Perhaps you want to lose five pounds by December and fit into that party dress. In order to accomplish goals, write them down, and then have a pre-determined reward in mind, like getting a new pair of shoes to go with that dress. Now shape your schedule in order to achieve your goal. It may require planning an additional fitness date, or changing the three-kilometre walk to a jog.
Of course, the biggest reward of all is how you feel, so give yourself the gift of health and wellness this holiday season.
|Agnes Ramsay is a Registered Nurse, Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach specializing in Electric Muscle Stimulation Training.|