Getting Yourself Up and Out Every Day

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I know, I know, some days it’s just so hard to convince yourself to get out the door and get moving.  It’s too hot, it’s cloudy, it’s raining, you’re busy.  These are all great excuses and they’re almost always convincing enough to keep you planted on the couch with a new Netflix series.

My dad asked me a few weeks ago if there are ever days that I just don’t feel like exercising…of course there are!  There are days that I wake up dragging and really don’t feel like moving or pushing myself, but I have a few tricks to get myself out the door that work 95% of the time.  [That percentage is scientifically proven ;)]

Some of the ways that I get myself out the door (or out of bed) include:

  • Start with ten minutes of exercise and then re-evaluate.  If I’m not into after ten minutes, maybe it’s best to take the day off or do something light, like a short bike ride, walk, or yoga.
  • Ask a friend to join me for a bike ride, a run or a walk
  • Try a new fitness class
  • Tell myself that “I never regret a workout. but I regret skipping it for no good reason”.  (<— completely true.  I never regret working out, no matter how short it is)
  • If I’m waking up early for a workout, the first thing I always think is: “an hour of sleep won’t make me feel any better than a good workout will”.

You might disagree with that last one, but it always gets me out of bed!  I also go and drink water and brush my teeth immediately so that I can feel more awake.cartoon_exercise

If all of those fail, then I take the day off or take it really easy.  I know myself well enough to know when I’m just not into it, but even a slow-moving workout is better than nothing.

See, the thing is that it’s so easy to come up with excuses for not exercising, when it’s so much more beneficial to come up with excuses to get up and get moving.  Many people spend the entire day sitting.  Wake up, sit and eat, sit in the car and drive to work, sit at a desk all day and then sit at home for the evening.  That’s a lot of sitting!cartoon2

All it takes is 20-30 minutes of movement each day to reap the benefits of an active lifestyle.  Of course, more may be better, but anything is better than nothing.  I used to think that if I couldn’t exercise for an hour then there was no point in doing anything.  That’s completely ridiculous!  Only have a half hour?  That’s perfect!  Even ten minutes is better than doing nothing at all.  I seriously cannot put into words the difference I feel in my energy level, creativity, and mood after doing something active, opposed to when I sit for hours on end.  After a quick run, or even a walk, my thinking is so much sharper and the burst of endorphins helps me focus and feel motivated.  Life guarding sounds active, but in actuality, I basically sit for seven hours, except I take a very short walk from the office to the lifeguard stand every 15 minutes.  I am slowly getting into the habit of swimming an easy 25 minutes at some point during the day, and while it may take a lot of willpower and pep talks to myself, the benefits of that short swim last throughout the entire day.  Even a short workout leaves me feeling motivated to maintain healthy habits throughout the rest of the day.ex cartoon 2

So anyway, I guess the point I’m trying to make is to emphasize the importance of scheduling at least one 20 minute block of time to get up & get out.  Lunch break, after work, in between meetings…whatever works.

Trust me, it feels good to do it!ex cartoon 3

Question: What do you do for at least twenty minutes each day?  Do you feel better after doing it?

*All images in this post come from here.

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