Happy December!!! One month until the New Year where everyone makes resolutions that are forgotten by January 15th. Why wait?? Start on your resolutions today, whether they be exercise related, health related, job related and the list can go on and on and on. Why wait until January 1st, if you want to better yourself and your life today is the day to start!! Life is a gift and we never know what tomorrow will bring and as cliche as it may sound live each day as if it were your last, so if you want to achieve something start working toward that goal today.
Exercise, health and fitness are the top resolutions made on New Year’s. I started my health and fitness journey…dare I say it…..14 years ago when I was 19. I had been a severe asthmatic as a child and never did anything fitness related including gym class…I always had a note excusing me from gym because of my asthma. While pregnant with my first daughter my asthma worsened and it made my last few months of pregnancy difficult to say the least. After I had my daughter I really wanted to be healthy not only for her but for me and I discovered lifting weights which made me feel fantastic but then I discovered running which is when I fell in love.
(This is a pic of me after running 13 miles!! Still smiling!)
Running literally made my asthma disappear. The more I ran the less symptoms I had, even my doctor was amazed. Running also alleviated my stress and just made me feel good. The person that influenced me the most when I started running was Grete Waitz…..I mean the woman won the NYC marathon 9 times…absolutely unbelievable. This woman in 1978 (the year I was born) at the NYC marathon, her first marathon, not only won but set the world record with a time of 2:32:30. This woman inspired me to run, her book was the first running book I ever read, she amazed me. Unfortunately the running world lost a legend this year when Grete Waitz passed away from cancer but her achievements and accomplishments will always be remembered.
Grete Waitz inspired me and from the moment I discovered running and fitness I knew I wanted to inspire others. I became a personal trainer at 20 and worked with clients to help them get fit. I knew I wanted to do more for people so I went to nursing school at 28 and I graduated nursing school Suma Cum Laude. Now I work in homecare and I get to help patients everyday lead a healthier, more productive life. I also continue to help people make fitness a part of their life….it may not be a “job” but everyday I inspire my co-workers, family and friends to work out…..they come to me for advice and help. Health and fitness is my passion…if I could combine my nursing career with my passion for fitness my world would be complete.
Now on to my 7 tips for everyone who wants to incorporate exercise into their life or who already has:
- Start Slow: When you start an exercise program starting slow is key. When people get excited and start a program too fast injury usually occurs. Getting fit and losing weight takes time and by pushing too hard and doing too much in the beginning you leave yourself susceptible to injury and illness.
- Find an activity you love: Just starting an exercise program is an achievement but doing something you hate everyday is not. Find an activity that you love! I love most fitness related activities especially running but if I were doing something I didn’t like I would not stick with it. If you dread working out everyday and have to force yourself to be active then maybe you are doing the wrong activity. We are all individuals with individual likes….what works for me may not work for you, so find what you love and do it!!
- Create Goals: Without goals we are just aimlessly roaming without a destination. Create short term goals (2-4 weeks) and long term goals (12 weeks-1 year). Use measurements, pictures, weight (I have a slight issue with the scale but for some people it works), mileage, amount of weight lifted, how many push-ups, or whatever your heart desires but use some sort of measurement for comparison and to see if you have achieved your goals.
- Write it down: Write down your goals, what eat you and your exercise. I use Fitbook because it rocks but you can use any notebook. Keeping a log keeps you accountable and if something is not working you can look back on your entries to figure out why it’s not working.
- Exercising does not negate all calories: Just because you exercise does not mean that you can eat or drink anything you want (trust me I know..lol). You can burn calories during exercise but not enough to negate mindless eating. 3500 calories equals 1 pound, so in order to lose 1 pound a week you need to have a 3500 calorie deficit either from exercise or diet or a combo of both. Just remember getting fit and losing weight takes time, you will not see results immediately.
- Enlist support: Tweet, Facebook, join Daily mile. The more support you have the more likely you are to achieve your goals. Every time I don’t feel like working out I just send a tweet or post on Facebook and I have instant motivation and support from my friend and followers.
- Reward yourself: Reward yourself after you have met a goal, preferably a non-food reward like a manicure/pedicure, workout clothing, a spa treatment or whatever you have been wanting for awhile. If you know there is a reward attached to a goal you are more likely to meet that goal.