December is when people begin to think about their New Year's resolutions. For those that choose starting an exercise regimen, they can start out with the best intentions, motivation, dedication, consistency and commitment. But then around February all that energy they started with begins to wane. In some cases, they don't even make it past the first or second week. The excuses are many. It's too cold, rainy, or snowy. I'm too busy, tired, or sore. It's too time consuming, frustrating, or embarrassing. The excuse list is endless. They are experiencing the TOO syndrome.
So they put the exercise 'thing' on the back burner and tell themselves they'll start when it gets warmer, or when they have time or when they're not so tired. Of course that day never comes and another year rolls around and they're back where they started. Note: I am guilty of this cycle, trust me.
We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves when it comes to exercise. It seems like we have to dive in and do a huge production or it's not worth doing. Going daily to the gym for one to two hours is a great idea but after a few weeks it can become a burden on our daily schedule and difficult to maintain.
You don't have to be extreme just consistent
Personally, I don't like to use the word exercise. I like to call it 365 movement. It has a better ring to it and feels less intimidating. 365 stands for the number of days in the year and movement means exactly that.
If we view exercise as just daily movement and know that we can be flexible on the type of movement/exercise and it's length and intensity, we are more apt to continue with exercise all year long.
Movement can be broken down into two categories: CORE and FLEXIBLE.
Core - These are exercise sessions that consume a minimum amount of time and are planned in advance, like going to the gym or kayaking. Depending upon our daily commitments, and work schedule, we may only get one CORE session in a week. And for most of us that is probably on the weekends. And that is OKAY.
Flexible - These are activities that can easily fit into your day because there is no minimum time required. We are in control of the type, length and intensity. They can be as short as 5 minutes or as long as time allows. Stretching or lifting weights are good examples. We can do either of them for a short period of time, like 5 minutes, or extend the session longer if we have the time.
If you apply the Jar of Stones analogy (google this if you haven't heard this one before) to this concept, the:
Empty JAR itself represents your weekly free time
CORE exercises are like the LARGE stones in your jar. You can only fit one to three in the jar (depending how big your jar is).
FLEXIBLE activities are the PEBBLES in the jar. Many of them can fit in and around the CORE stones in your jar.
SAND is your ordinary daily movement like walking from your car into the grocery store. These SAND crystals are the little extra bonuses of movement in your day.
So adding exercise (aka. 365 movement) to your life, just got easy! Below is a simple step by step process to get you started and engaged!
Identify 5-10 possible movement options (CORE and FLEXIBLE)
Think outside the box. It doesn't have to fit the normal 'exercise' routine. The important thing is to MOVE. Be creative. Be mindful of time commitment. Be realistic. Take your time to identify activities things that you actually COULD do and would WANT to do. Make sure your list includes both CORE and FLEXIBLE movements.
My recommendation is to have at least 2 CORE activities on your list otherwise you may get bored with only one option. The remainder of the list would be dedicated to FLEXIBLE activities. It's important to have these activities since most of us have limited time to exercise especially during the work week. Below are some examples of flexible movement activities.
Walking outside or walking "in place" indoors
Walking up and down your stairs (if you have them in your home)
Yoga poses or stretches (my personal favorite)
Dancing (just put on some music and go!)
Riding a bike (indoors or outdoors)
Exercise video clips
It's important to pick the activities that speak to YOU. Otherwise you'll struggle to get the momentum going on those stressful and busy days.
Make a plan and set a goal
Once you've identified your CORE activities and your FLEXIBLE activities, plan out your week on Sunday night. Decide which days get assigned the FLEXIBLE activities and which day or days allow for CORE activities.
TIP: Every morning, as part of my magical morning routine, i always spend 5-10 minutes doing some Yoga stretches or pushups/situps. Performing the FLEXIBLE activities first thing in the morning has guaranteed me continued consistent and daily success. It can for you too!
Whatever your schedule can handle then let it be okay. Don't stress over the fact that you can only do 5 minutes a day. This is where you are at this point in time. It's more important to be consistent with little daily movement then the larger sporadic exercise sessions.
Make it. your goal to begin January 1! Or you can even start now! Why wait? You'll be so glad you got started. Your body, mind and soul will thank you. ❤️
Need some help! Try one of my short yoga videos below!