Make The Decision – Be Selfish – “Just Get Out The Door”
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So you have decided or you are pondering the decision to get your body moving? Are you ready to blow off the static cobwebs and put your body into action? Intellectually you probably recognize that getting exercise each day, or at minimum 4 days a week, is a sensible thing to do. Yet getting started can be so difficult for many of us.
You may be one of those women who jokes about not needing exercise. You may feel that given your active job a wellness program is not a priority, or you may have decided that if you meet a bear, you only need to move faster than the people you are with!
I bet as the laughter subsides and you are left pondering your own circumstances you may really feel that if you knew how and had the motivation, starting a wellness program may be something of interest?
But jokes aside, being active is important for our health, our emotional wellbeing and our longevity. Being healthy contributes positively to all areas of our life.
So how about we begin with 30-minute sessions and just four times a week. Is that something you can get your mind around? If you can commit to this, to getting started, then I can feel good knowing that you will soon be feeling great, motivated and fully committed.
The first few things to think about.
- Are you healthy? If you have any health risks or have not exercised for a while then be sure to have your doctor sign off on any exercise program you are planning to begin.
- What is your plan? Decide which days of the week and at what time of the day you want to schedule time to exercise. Begin planning the days and times. Pop them into your calendar and schedule the time so nothing else conflicts with these important sessions. This is your time, for you, be selfish! I suggest starting every other day. Allocate 30 minutes per day four days a week for the first two weeks. Nothing too arduous, nothing too easy. We don’t want our initial plan to overwhelm you, nor do we want you bailing on the plan because it’s too difficult at the onset. Let’s just get moving!
- Find a buddy. Buddy systems are great and provide an built-in accountability coach. You don’t actually have to walk with your buddy. You can plan to walk at the same time and then keep each other accountable over the telephone. Better yet, catch up and chat while you walk.
- Prepare your equipment. An exercise program does not need to break the bank, but you do need to have a few pieces of equipment.
Shoes. This is a really personal decision. The key here is to make sure they fit correctly. Most people in my experience are wearing shoes that are too small. Minimalist is the way to go. Our feet are a great design, they are intricate pieces of equipment, and we just need to provide them with protection. Too much support, height, structure just inhibits are own feet from being able to do their job. But remember that any transition to a new type of shoe takes time so go slow
A Heart Rate Monitor. Exercise is about building endurance and working out muscles. The heart is a muscle, the most important one in our body, and we need to exercise in a way that does not put too much strain on the heart. I am a big fan of the polar watches and have been wearing one for more than 28 years. You need a watch that will at minimum:
- Track your heart rate
- Track the duration of your exercise
- Track your distance
Clothing. Start with weather appropriate clothing that is loose and comfortable. Keep in mind that you will want your clothing to remain comfortable as you begin to perspire. As your exercise distance and intensity increase you will want to make sure that your clothing breathes, wicks perspiration and prevents chafing.
A Hat or Visor. For those living in warmer climates this is really important. I wear a visor as I don’t like the feel of a hat on my head. You can choose your style based on whether you have long or short hair. Comfort is the most important. For those of you in colder climates you will need to think of covering your head during the colder months.
Water Container. Like most runners and walkers, I have more styles of water containers than I do clothing. To start, just look for an affordable water bottle belt or handheld water bottle. For now, we are just wanting to get you out the door and your duration and distance will not be that far. As you progress you can look at alternative models you may find comfortable and suits your preferences.
Now you are ready to get out of the door. Join Steps and Strides “Just Get Out The Door” 30 Program. In this program we will focus on:
- Your Walking Mechanics – yes as adults we are all lousy walkers. We spend too much time slouching over desks, wearing ill-fitting or inappropriate shoes, and have compromised our core strength leaving us unable to maintain good posture.
- Your knowledge – how should we be walking, what does this look like, how often should we be going out and for how long. Too little and the benefits are not seen, and we become demotivated, too much too soon and muscle soreness and fatigue will have us falling off the running shoes really quickly.
- Your Accountability – we all need help with commitments, the commitment to start, the commitment to continue and the commitment to have fun and enjoy it.