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Getting Back to Regular Exercise
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Fallen off the Exercise Wagon?

Here I go again. Yes, I exercise regularly, and yes, I can get sidetracked out of my schedule, just like anyone else. Recently my family and I moved. Between packing, moving, and unpacking a month has zipped by and I haven't lifted weights or ridden my exercise bike. A month is long enough for my exercise habit to have become a distant memory.

Time to take stock, and decide on my future course. I could simply stay out of the exercising arena. This would mean I'd slowly get less fit, lose my muscle tone, lose muscle mass, and gradually gain weight, even if I kept eating the same. In that case I'd eventually need to more carefully watch what I eat. I don't like that option.

I could instead design a new plan on how to incorporate regular exercise into my daily life. That would enable me to get in better shape, eat plenty, and feel better in the process. That's an idea I can live with.

How to Design a Plan

Here's the process I go through, and have gone through, to design exercise into my daily life.

First is the decision: Do I or don't I want to bring in exercise as part of my life plan? Yes, I do. Why? Because I'll feel better, I'll look better, I can eat more.

Secondly, how?

This is when I get out some scratch paper and start mapping out my day. What do I do now that takes up all my time? Are there any blocks where I can switch my present activity for exercise? And what was I doing before? It was working, so perhaps I can simply go back to that same routine? Let's take a look:

I'm up at 6:00 AM, and working by 6:15 AM (home office). My options are, exercise in the morning, exercise in the afternoons, or exercise in the evenings. I prefer the mornings, simply because it's more likely it will get done, plus, then I have the whole day to walk around knowing I've already done my exercise for the day! It's great. No last minute invitations interfere with my schedule. I prefer mornings, but time in the morning can be pretty tight. It's not possible for me to get up any earlier, but I know a lot of people who get up at 5:00 so they have morning exercise time. If you're a morning person, that might be an option for you.

For me the best course is to do the resistance training (weight lifting) in the morning, since it only takes about half an hour, and then ride my bike later in the day. If I miss a day on the bike, it's okay too, since I usually ride every day. As long as I get four or more days on the bike, I'm happy.

Weight Training 101

Whenever I miss working out for this length of time (a month or more) I just start over, as if I've never worked out before. That way, I'm not jumping back into it too quickly, and it's easy. Easy is good when it comes to exercise. It's much more likely you'll want to do it again, if you made it easy the last time. By easy I don't mean you aren't putting out any effort - I mean you aren't overdoing the effort. For instance, I'll ride my bike for 15 minutes (even though I could ride for half an hour) because 15 minutes is easy. I'll do this the first week (or even two) until I "feel" like adding time, then I'll add five minutes, then another five and I'll end up back to riding for 30 or 40 minutes (whatever amount of time works best in my life). It could take me a month to get back up to 30 minutes, but that's okay.

Next comes actually getting started, and again, doing it with an easy schedule helps here too. By getting started I mean, I'm putting it on the calendar, then I'm following through with my plan. You can start on a Monday, or any day of the week, which day you start doesn't matter. What matters is that you decide from this day forward I'm keeping to my new schedule, then do it.

My Getting Started with Weight Training Routine:

Mon - Wed - Fri - weights, full body routine, one or two exercises per body part, easy effort, just to get used to moving again.

Daily - Bike 15 minutes first week

Today is Monday. So far today I've done my weight workout, and it felt great. I'm feeling energized and ready to go again, but wait, I can't get back to the gym until Wednesday. This is a good thing. I'm looking forward to it, rather than dreading it as I might of had I done too much today. That's why my "Easy Start to Exercise" plan works, at least it works for me, and I go with what I know works. You should do the same.

If you've successfully gotten started before, then restart, doing the same thing you did that time. If you've never managed to successfully get started, then make this the time you do so. Choose a plan, make it easy to start, and get going.

Exercise is critical in an overall plan of health and wellness. If you eat well, you'll still not feel as good as you would if you added some movement. If you get plenty of physical movement in your job, then maybe you don't need a separate program, but most of us do. Add some movement; dance, yoga, stretching, bike riding, walks, fly fishing. Whatever you enjoy. You'll feel better, and as you get stronger and more fit, you'll look better as well.

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Kathryn Martyn M.NLP
Kathryn Martyn Smith, M.NLP EFT Weight Loss Coach
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