So, while we all want fitness and health success immediately, there’s a really good chance it’s not going to happen that way. Ultimately, your end goal will need time, patience and constant restructuring; and an end goal becomes a never-ending goal. Becoming the kind of healthy and fit that is sustainable is not an end goal. It’s really just living life and enjoying it significantly more that when you’re unhealthy or unfit. That’s the fun part. You’re blessed to continue the process forever!
Before even considering diets, programs, memberships or equipment, there are actually things you can do RIGHT NOW to get healthier. Sounds too good to be true? Give it a try.
- Drink more water. I guess this isn’t necessarily “unorthodox”, but I can’t for the life of me understand why people haven’t caught on to this yet?! How much water? Well, more than you are currently drinking… because while you say you drink enough water, you probably don’t. It’s not just about quenching thirst or avoiding feelings of “faux-hunger”. Your body uses H2O in all your cells, organs and tissues. You also constantly lose water even when you aren’t sweating – breathing, digestion, urination, poop-skis. You name it; water helps your body a ton. What can drinking more water do besides the boring “inside-your-body-that-nobody-sees” stuff?
- Increases energy and fights fatigue (sayonara undereye bags): “Sure, Jess. Nice try. Too simple.” Too simple, you say? Dare you to try it, commit to it, then get back to me. Increasing water consumption can even replace your need for coffee fixes. #science
- Improves your skin – Besides avoiding the sun *sad face*, it’s the best anti-aging treatment on the market right now.
- Saves you money. It’s free. I mean… I’m pretty sure the buck stops here. Thicker wallets leave room for more dri-fit.
- Stop following your #fitspo inspirations. To each her own, but really think about what seeing images of real/fake fitness inspiration accounts does to your psyche day in and day out. Are they really motivating you or are they standing in front of your mirror? Besides the long and drawn out conversation we can have on the legitimacy of these accounts are the repercussions they have on self-perception. If you are going to waste minutes of your life scrolling through social media, try not to force yourself into visuals that make you feel defeated before you even start.
- Tell someone you are starting your journey. Better yet, bring someone into your journey to hold each other accountable. Join local classes, share a trainer or hit up a local healthy cooking class. By telling even one person, there adds an element of responsibility. I’ve even seen some Facebook groups that provide an inviting and friendly environment of support from strangers. It’s amazing and liberating to see how forthcoming people will be with their personal struggles – and it connects people for a big ol’ non-creepy internet hug; “I’ve been there. You can do this, too.” Good stuff, right there.
- Keep a calendar of “feel goods”. All you need is a calendar, a green pen and a red pen. On the days you felt really good about how you ate, played, laughed or worked out, circle green. On the days where you felt lazy, tired, angry or stressed, circle red. By the end of the month you will have a visual of good days and bad days. This can help you recognize patterns. Do you feel really good every Monday, then fade towards the end of the week? Do you overindulge EVERY weekend? Sure, we all have our moments. But, if those moments become regular and you don’t feel good from them, it’s more of a reality check.
- Write down your workout before you get to the gym. This applies to you if you’re taking classes, running on the treadmill, hitting the machines – the point is you write a plan and you create ownership to said plan. How many times have you gotten to the gym, said you were going to do “45 minutes of cardio”, hoped off the elliptical at 34 minutes and figured that was better than nothing? Sure – something is better than nothing, but selling yourself short time and time again gets exhausting!
- “Walk 1.5 miles, run 3 miles. Foam roll 10 minutes.”
- “Spin starts at 6pm. Get to the gym by 5:45p.”
- “Squat and Press 5×8, Push-Ups 5 X AMRAP, Inverted Row 5 X 8. Tabata treadmill sprints.”
Of course there is a laundry list of things you can do to improve your health and fitness. These aren’t the magical 5. But, more important than any action are your intentions. We all want to look good. We all want to feel good. Both require effort. If you don’t act now, what are you really waiting for? There’s no #fitspiration in the world that can pick you up off your couch, finish your workout and drink your water for you. If you’ve spent all this time talking yourself out of being successful, try talking yourself into it.