Getting into a solid fitness routine can be as easy as taking a stroll down the street while listening to an Ipod and watching the sun set. But all too often we overwhelm ourselves with unrealistic goals and ideals that we quickly lose motivation when we don’t see results. Television bombards us with an unrealistic social ideal of a self image and trashes our self esteem in the process. Then we further get the message that “in just 20 minutes you can have the body you’ve always dreamed of,” making us feel like failures when we don’t see any change after 6 weeks. So it’s easy to see why we lose our motivation to exercise quickly.
So the first step in staying motivated is to try to maintain a positive self image. The very fact that you want to improve says a lot about your character. You’re taking the time to read this, so you obviously care about yourself. So start with something simple that you know that you can accomplish. Load up that ipod and get out there for that sunset walk for 20 minutes a day, which may turn into a jog or a run in time. If the weather is a problem, consider a treadmill. Add a free-weight routine or a yoga class when you’re ready for it. 20 minutes is 4-5 songs on that Ipod. Less than the total run-time of half of an episode of American Idol or Survivor. It is a very small commitment to make to start living a health life. Walking is also a grade baseline exercise that is simple and can lead into other things you may enjoy.
A healthy lifestyle is the key to a fit body. Take away the time constraint of “just 20 minutes a day for 6 weeks”, which we hear all the time. That is unrealistic. Think of it more like a lifelong investment rather than a short term goal. That way, when you miss a day or a week, don’t feel badly. You’re just one stroll down the street away from being right back on track.
This post was written by Joseph Mackay on January 21, 2009