In January, I made a renewed effort to be active every day. My WW coach challenged me to 100 days of activity and the timing could not have been better as we were coming out of days of holiday feasting and sedentary celebrating. I managed to be active for at least 10 minutes on 99 of those first 100 days of 2020.
Charts really work for me so I enjoyed colouring in or putting a sticker (we scrapbookers always have stickers!) over each day. I felt a bit disappointed that I missed one day so once the 100 days were over, I started again! Its just that easy to take that step in the right direction. I am at day 90 of 100 and have not missed a day.
I did learn an important lesson in the 100 day challenge that I need to cut myself some slack if I do miss a day due to feeling under the weather, or just the surprises of life.
I am not striving for perfection, just progress.
I have a workout room in my house and that gives me no excuses when the weather is less than ideal. I have amassed a large collection of workout DVDs, most of which were thrift store finds (which speaks loudly to the resolve of people to stick with their workout goals) and I decided to use each one and see if they fit my life and skill level.
It took me a few weeks to accomplish this goal, but now I have a collection of DVDs that I enjoy using and that are at my current level of fitness or just reasonably beyond so that I am encouraged to progress. I donated those that I did not enjoy or were not challenging enough.
Variety in activity is key for my physical health. Throughout the week I have push days, maintain days and active rest days. This keeps my body from getting into a rut. If I do the same workout day after day, week after week, my body adjusts to it and then it is not as effective. I also need variety to make sure that my fitness level is increasing for my entire body, strength and cardio, both upper and lower body fitness.
Mentally, I also need variety in my activity. If I do the same workout repeatedly, I find I am not as focused and my mind starts wandering to the to-do list for the rest of the day, or what’s for supper. Then I am not being present for the workout and I will not exert myself to the best of my ability. Why bother being active if there is only minimal effort being expended? If I am not focused I might as well go on to the next thing in my day.
When I started trying to be active I had a stationary bicycle and I could ride for the length of one song on my iPod. And that exhausted me. Now with incorporating activity into almost every day in some way, I can ride 10 km on my bike before work, or run a 5k on a Saturday and I am trying to increase my fitness on a regular basis. If I miss a day, I feel off. I never expected to be THAT person who complained about missing a workout. Some days I still have to push a bit to lace up those workout shoes, but when I am finished, I always am glad I took the time to be active.
Being active is addictive. My mind needs the clarity that comes with focus and increased oxygen to clear the cobwebs. My body needs to be stronger and more flexible as I get older. My soul needs me to take time to look after myself so I can look after those I love to avoid burnout.
So what’s your activity like? Now is a great time to start being more active or upping your current activity level. Summer weather makes it great to be outside in the fresh air. Especially where I live when I know colder weather will be here before I know it. YouTube has a wide variety of workout videos and during this pandemic season there are lots of workout apps and services offering free classes to allow you to try something new. My neighbour told me she is doing yoga with friends using an online video meeting service. Great idea! Perhaps like me, you have DVDs gathering dust – give them another try. If you like them, great – if not, pass them on and encourage someone else to be more active as well.
Don’t feel you have to take on a 100 day challenge like I did. Make an attainable goal for you – but be specific! Perhaps next week you will walk for 15 minutes on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, or take the kids to the park and play frisbee on Saturday.
Make a plan, be active and you will soon see results in your body, your mind and your soul.