Congratulations! You've decided to start an exercise program. Scared? Any time you decide to change your behaviour it's a brave move. It takes confidence to look at yourself and say, "I'm willing to change!" It's also incredibly empowering to know you can change.
What can you do to insure you'll succeed?
1) Set a goal, set a time.
Create mini weekly, monthly, and a yearly goals for yourself. Have a birthday or dinner party coming up? If not, schedule one to work towards that you'll look great for and work towards it.
2) Be kind to yourself.
* Totally out shape? Start with 2 minutes of walking in place. Each other day increase this by 2 minutes. Repeat several times a day. When you're up to 16 minutes, take your routine outside. Don't be embarassed by how little or much you can do. This is only for you!
3) Have fun!
* Change your attitude towards exercise- it should be play time for your mind and body. Find something, anything active you enjoy and puts a smile on your face. Take a new aerobics class, work out with a friend, try rock climbing, dance classes anything you think will be fun.
4) Vary your routine.
* Whether you are a triaathelete or total couch potato, give your body some variety. However great of shape you think you're in, you'll be surprised to discover how quickly a new routine will give you sore muscles. For example, my family contains many avid runners and swimmers, and no one of my family could walk after last year's families football game!
5) Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI).
* BMI?? What's this? This can tell you what a healthy weight is for yourself. http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
If you're out of the range for a healthy weight, work slowly towards fitting into that range (> 25).
If you're in your range (BMI 18-25), work towards staying in the range.
Commit to weighing yourself weekly, naked first thing in the morning. It's much easier to lose 1-2 lbs than it is to 10 lbs!
6) Build Exercise into Your Daily Routine.
* I'm so proud of my Mom, a self described loather of exercise, she committed to building walking into her daily routine. When she goes to the grocery store, she parks as far as she can from the entrance. You can do this to in the city. Get off the subway or bus one stop earlier. Take the stairs. Walk to work. Take a walk around the block at lunch. Get a coffee at the deli 2 blocks away, rather than across the street.
A weight loss of as little as 5 lbs has benefits for asthma symtpoms, blood pressure, arthritis, and mood!
Good luck and I'll be writing again soon with more tips and encouragement!