Exercise Your Way

ExerciseYourWaySusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

How does a person disinterested in physical activity get interested enough to participate in regular exercise? You may have heard it said that the most successful exercise program is the one you that you’ll actually do. There may be more truth to that statement than one realizes, as exercise is essentially a very personal experience. While, some suggest taking online “exercise personality quizzes,” or “matching exercise to body type,” the truth is exercise that doesn’t have to be perfectly matched. However, to form a lifelong habit, it does need to be personally meaningful. For many, motivation requires more than the knowledge that regular exercise results in health benefits somewhere in the distant future. If you think of exercise as an externally imposed chore rather than a time of release, perhaps a change of attitude is exactly what’s needed.

Take it slow. Deciding to start exercising is the first step toward better heath. Be realistic about your fitness level, as an injury is the surest way to curtail any exercise plan. As new habits are difficult to form, focus on establishing an easy routine that you can stick to. Initially, it’s more important not to miss workouts than to fret about progress. Once you establish a habit, you can concentrate on improvement.

Change your mindset. Similar to the way grade school students look forward to recess, think in terms of exercising as enjoyment, as opposed to drudgery. Sometimes it’s the challenge of just showing up and getting started, not the workout itself, that’s hardest to overcome.

Just do something. Physical activity of any kind for any amount of time is better than no movement at all. While, it may not meet the currently recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate activity, choosing to create opportunities for movement throughout the day is a strategy that might take you from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one.

Set goals. Not weight loss goals, but actual fitness goals. Some find that initially setting personal goals that are slightly challenging, but not overwhelming, helps to prevent them from giving up, and keeps them motivated to exercise another day. Keeping a record of improved strength, endurance, flexibility, and your commitment to better health is highly rewarding.

Take the initiative. Make it easier to get out the door and into the gym. If you’re off to work in the morning, pack your workout bag the night before, and leave it by the door to pick up on your way out. Better yet, put it directly in your car, not in the trunk, but in your line of vision, as an incentive to swing by the gym on your way home. If the day is yours to do whatever you like, start the day dressed in your workout clothes to increase the chances that you’ll do something physical.

Embarrassed to go to the gym? Comparing yourself to others can be intimidating. Remember, everyone starts somewhere, and just showing up can improve your self-esteem. Maybe you prefer the great outdoors, but if you do want to use gym equipment, lift weights or take classes, check out several clubs before you join one. Focus on your own personal goals for improved wellness, and start thinking of yourself as an athlete, not a couch potato.

You’re never too old to have fun. If you loved riding your bike as a kid, try it again to see if it still feels like freedom to you. If you’ve always admired the beauty, grace and svelte physiques of ballet dancers, take a beginner’s class or try hip hop at the gym. If you loved summertime and playing in the pool at every opportunity, get back in the swim or take a water aerobics class. If you love watching martial arts movies, there are many unique self-defense or self-transformation classes to try, all of which provide mental therapy as well as physical activity.

Use exercise for stress relief. After a particularly stressful or frustrating day, a yoga class, time in the gym, basketball with the kids, or a brisk walk with the dog before dinner can help to release negative emotions, clear the mind, and support restful sleep.

Stay accountable by building a support network. Planned workouts with a friend or a group help keep one accountable. It’s easy to hit the snooze button on cold winter mornings when you’re not accountable to anyone else. You’re much more likely to get up and go when you know your friend or group will be waiting for you.

Get creative. Varying your routine helps keep things interesting. You don’t have to do the same workout every day. To make your workout more appealing, change up your routine. Take a different walking route, or listen to thought provoking podcasts. Before you realize it, time’s up!

Build you fitness plan around activities you enjoy. Regardless of what type of daily exercise you choose to do, incorporate some aerobic activity and strength training, as well as some flexibility, balance, and relaxation exercises weekly. Stick with it long enough to create a habit and you’ll gain the invigorating advantage of increased energy, improved mental wellness and better physical fitness.

References:
Learn to Love Exercise. https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200001/learn-love-exercise
Here’s How to Make Yourself Love Exercise. http://time.com/4796079/exercise-fitness-motivation/
What’s the Best Exercise Plan for Me? https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/whats-the-best-exercise-plan-for-me.htm

 

Purify – Featured Product

Purify_EnzymedicaSusan Brown Health and Wellness EditorProfessional Supplement Center now carries Purify, a line of comprehensive formulas from Enzymedica, a Florida-based digestive health and wellness supplement company. Specifically designed as a whole-body approach to natural cleansing and detoxification, Purify™ was formulated by Dr. Michael Murray, who has dedicated thirty-five years to providing natural scientifically-based, effective products for health maintenance and disease treatment.

Dr. Murray believes that detoxification has become a necessity of modern life due to the scope of harmful industrial chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides in our environment. These toxins can accumulate in our bodies, and have detrimental effects on liver health, as well as cellular function and structure. Purify products are manufactured under strict guidelines in a GMP facility utilizing the only the highest quality ingredients. To ensure purity, Purify™ natural cleansing products contain no fillers or genetically modified ingredients.

For questions regarding these natural cleansing and detoxification products, please contact Professional Supplement Center:

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Change of Habits

ChangeHabitSusan Brown Health and Wellness EditorWithout a doubt, countless Americans woke up on January 2nd determined to adopt a healthier lifestyle and free themselves of negative behavior patterns. Common goals like shedding excess weight, exercising more days than not, procrastinating less, and arriving on time may sound relatively easy to accomplish. Yet, replacing bad habits with healthier ones is difficult, even for the highly motivated. There’s lots of good advice for improving bad habits, but if you’re like most people you have good intentions that are never actually put into practice. While unhealthy or troublesome habits may jeopardize mental and physical wellness, they can also waste one’s time and energy and prevent one from accomplishing goals.

Why are old habits so hard to break, and new habits so hard to make? One reason is that all habits are routine recurrent behaviors that are repeated regularly until they occur unconsciously. Our habits, whether healthy or not, provide some type of benefit, which adds to the difficulty of eliminating them. While setting goals for life changing transformations is a good strategy, we often set the resolution bar too high, dive in enthusiastically and peter out in few short weeks. However, one can successfully replace bad habits, and initiate the formation of new habits, by taking small but significant steps each day.

If you have habits that you’d like to change, perseverance is key. Identifying negative behavior, tracking how often the behavior occurs, recognizing the triggers involved, as well as the benefit of the behavior are processes that support new habit formation. When the rewards of the behavior are positive, you’ll likely want to repeat the same action often enough for a new habit to form. Once you’ve decided which old habits you’d like to replace with new habits, start by making changes so small that it’s almost impossible not to do them. Give yourself time to change habits that are most important to you. Think positively to reward yourself for each little victory.

Plan to make realistic changes for improved health benefits over time. Remember that many good habits that help us function throughout the day occur automatically, and free up our energy, allowing our minds to focus on new situations that require mindful decisions and actions. As the brain doesn’t distinguish between good and bad habits, it’s likely to take about three months to substitute a new behavior for an old one. With perseverance and a positive attitude, changes will happen. A plan of action can replace negative behaviors with positive ones. To position yourself for success, use the following as a guide:

  • Identify triggers for every habit you’d like to change.
  • For every trigger, identify a positive action that you can take instead. Having a plan of action is your first line of defense against a bad habit.
  • Focus on changing one specific habit at a time, consistently for thirty to ninety days.
  • To ensure success, start with a simple behavior that takes a just a few minutes of your time.
  • Be specific. If your goal is to eat healthier, identify foods to include and foods to avoid. If you want to increase your physical activity, start by walking 10 minutes each day and increase the time as you feel stronger and more energetic.
  • To reduce the urge to fall back into old habits, avoid situations that can spark triggers.
  • Urges can be strong, especially when trying to quit habits such as smoking, drinking, binge eating or overspending. A support network can be helpful during difficult times.
  • Taking small steps can lead to ultimate success. Trying to make changes at warp speed often results in failure.
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Chances are you have tried unsuccessfully to make changes in the past. This doesn’t prevent future achievement. Don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. Focus on today.
  • No one is perfect. If you stumble along the way, realize that some attempts initially fail and are a natural part of making permanent change. Stay the course and carry on!

References:
The 3 R’s of Habit Change: How to Start New Habits That Actually Stick. https://jamesclear.com/three-steps-habit-change
5 Ways to Follow a Healthier Diet in 2018. https://www.consumerreports.org/nutrition-healthy-eating/ways-to-follow-a-healthier-diet-in-the-new-year/
7 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit. https://psychcentral.com/lib/7-steps-to-changing-a-bad-habit/
The 7 Keys to Turning Bad Habits into Good Habits. https://zenhabits.net/the-7-keys-to-turning-bad-habits-into-good-habits/