Sometimes being a personal trainer is a bit like being the tax man. Let’s be honest. If you’ve ever had a relationship with a personal trainer, there have been times you would rather not see or hear from them. Some people flat out run for cover while others may just see their trainer as a necessary evil. There are a few out there, though, that learn to love and embrace their trainer AND EXERCISE. I say this because after being intimately involved with Bariatric Boot Camp over the past three years, I have witnessed first hand all of the above reactions.
One of the very important aspects of being a trainer and lifestyle coach is to lower clients intimidation of exercising. Somewhere along the line, or maybe put more accurately, as time goes by, many of us encounter a series of negative experiences with exercise until it becomes the monster in our minds we would just rather avoid.
But, here’s the thing. It only takes a little bit AND it doesn’t need to be excruciatingly painful in order for you to realize true health benefits. Put simply...Yes, More is Better but Something is DEFINITELY better than Nothing.
If you’re with me so far and haven’t clicked me off, hear me out on this. I promise you’ll be glad you did.
Before we go any further, let’s look at a few of the benefits of walking just 15 minutes per day:
So, what do you think? Are you already walking 15 minutes per day? If not, is this something that’s achievable for you?
The idea is to start where you are. Period. Then, build slowly.
If you don’t think you can start out walking 15 minutes, then think about walking 5 minutes three times a day. If you already walk 15 minutes per day, think about picking up the pace. Make it a brisk walk. Get your heart rate up a little more. Find a hill to walk up to make it a bit more challenging.
Whatever you are doing and where ever you begin, push yourself to feel a bit out of breathe some of the time. Breathing heavy is not bad for you. Heavier breathing is a healthy sign of exertion.
Get to know your body. At what tempo do you start getting winded? Time yourself and see if you can sustain that pace for a minute. Then, slow down, or sit down, to catch your breath. Realize all ‘exercisers’ do this. It’s what we call intervals--periods of exertion mixed with periods of recovery.
Personally, I like to set out with a goal in mind because it helps me measure progress and makes me feel good when I accomplish it. But please, please, please KNOW THIS: We all have days where we feel more motivated than others. On low motivation days it is infinitely more important to just get out there and move than to worry about a goal. Remember progress over perfect!!!! Consistency is key.
So, what do you think? Can you commit 15 minutes a day to your health? Remember, it doesn’t matter where you start JUST THAT YOU START. Break the 15 minutes up throughout the day if you have to. If you commit to doing this every day, you will quickly find you will be making gains and improving your health.
Once you achieve one goal, set another bit more challenging one. By slowly increasing your intensity and duration, you will find that you are 1) lowering your exercise intimidation factor 2) Increasing your positive experience with mild exertion and 3) establishing a healthy habit you can expand upon.
One more thought. Exercising consistently can be cyclical as your motivation and life challenges ebb and flow. Not everyone can be as committed and dedicated 100% of the time like the energizer bunny aka Liz Dumont. But by committing to these 15 minutes a day regardless of what else you do will help to keep your health top of mind. And, you’ll be amazed what happens once you strap on those sneakers and take a few steps. More times than not you’ll be off to a great workout!
So….what do you think?
If you’ve needed a little extra nudge to get you going, will you take on the challenge? For those of you who’ve already established a routine can you offer any other motivation tips and challenges from your own experiences?