Health Coach, Cheri Timmons is here to share some tips on how to maintain an active lifestyle in today's world. Discover how the right activity can boost your energy and calm the mind. Cheri is also hosting an online Power Yoga Series beginning in May. Read through for more details!
If you remember just one thing from reading this post, remember this:
Start where you are today!
I will also add - drop the pressure and judgement too!
Although you (and all of us) are spending much more time at home these days, you may find it challenging to consistently fit fitness into your schedule. This is completely understandable. Your days can easily become derailed by unexpected needs of those in your household, dips in focus or new feelings of uncertainty and stress.
The good news?
You are capable of finding the time and motivation to include activity into your life. You can design an activity-based lifestyle that you love, so that you can improve your physical well-being, reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and boost your energy and focus.
Here’s the reality - no one can do it for you. And…building an active lifestyle that works for you is possible. It takes the work of getting clear about your motivation and roadblocks, a little intentional planning and the use of support for your success.
And I have a roadmap to help you!
First, let’s take a look at the numerous benefits that regular activity offers. Research continues to show that exercise supports and improves:
Cholesterol & blood pressure
Decreases feelings of stress
Increases focus and productivity
Get clear about your motivation
Ask yourself, “What is my motivation to have an active lifestyle?”. If your response sounds something like, “Because my doctor told me I need to exercise more” or “Because I want to fit into XYZ outfit”, then you are tending to external motivations. External motivation can push you towards the change you are seeking, but behavioral change experts will tell you that changes may be short-lived.
Dig a little deeper to get at your internal motivations. Those sound similar to, “I want to have enough energy to play with my children (or grandchildren)” and “I want to realize my dream of running a 5k” and “I want to create connection with others in a new way”.
By uncovering your internal motivations, you will truly shift the energy and mindset you have about exercise and your changes are more apt to be long-term transitions.
Explore the benefits: Similar to internal motivation, the benefits you tie to living an activity-based lifestyle are powerful and unique to you.
Think about what you “get” from exercise. For example: feelings of stress and anxiety decrease, think more clearly, more productive, less irritable, improved connection with others, feel stronger, increased flexibility, open to new opportunities…and the list can go on.
When you continue to make the connection between activity and the benefits you enjoy as a result, it will feel more natural to incorporate exercise into your regular routine so you can reap the rewards.
Understand your exercise personality: It is hard to fit a square peg into a round hole. Consider what your exercise personality is, so that you can pursue what will feel most enjoyable (and realistic) for you. Which exercise personality* sounds most like you?
Solo: You enjoy time alone with your thoughts, are self-motivated, not competitive
With a buddy: You like interaction with 1-2 people of similar fitness levels or goals
Make it social: You are drawn to socialization and interacting with a variety of fitness levels
Make it a game: You prefer exercise as part of an activity, moving your whole body, as part of a team
*Please continue to follow current stay-at-home recommendations. Consider how you can fulfill your preferred style by engaging in virtual exercise with others.
Make it convenient: This is a must, otherwise it won’t be sustainable. Determine when you can enjoy your activity. Perhaps morning works better for you on Mondays, but the rest of the week, afternoons are preferred. Put your plans on your calendar and hold that time for yourself.
Having the gear on hand for the activity you are planning is also essential. If you plan to practice yoga for 30-minutes, but wait until start time to find your yoga mat, clear out a space in your home and get started, you will likely have used up a good bit of your time. Some planning ahead can really support, rather than sabotage, your plans.
Consider roadblocks: What might move you off course? Is negative self-talk undermining your progress? Do you have what you need to get started? Are others supportive of your plans? Each of these are examples of roadblocks that can surface. Take some time to pinpoint potential roadblocks before they happen and how you plan to address them. That way you are in control of how you respond, rather than being in reaction to them.
Set up support: We all need a cheerleader, someone who will motivate us when it feels challenging. Consider who can support you in this way. It is also helpful to have someone who will hold you accountable – not from a place of judgment, but from a place of respect. Decide from whom you will ask for support.
Get moving! What has this uncovered for you? What are your internal motivators? What are your top 3 enjoyable activities? How might you add them to your current schedule? When will you get started?
Remember, start where you are today! Design an activity-based lifestyle that you love and enjoy the results!
Looking for a way to get moving from the comfort of your home? I will be hosting an online 4-Week Power Yoga Series beginning May 5th. Click here to get the details!
Sending thoughts of hope and wellness, Cheri
For more tips, personal coaching and more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheri Timmons is a Greensboro Downtown Parks program partner. The work she does with us is critical to providing FREE wellness programming to our park community. As we make our way through these unprecedented times, consider how you might support local Greensboro non-profits like us, as well as local businesses, artists, entrepreneurs like Cheri, makers, and more. We'll continue to bring you free programming through our digital platforms and look forward to having you join us and Cheri back in the parks soon!