Changing old habits is extremely difficult. The only time I can claim I was ‘fit’ was during my last two years of High School. I was in the my school’s fútbol & track team; I also played on a local fútbol club outside of school; lastly I would roller blade everywhere!
When I was in school and physically active I would eat ALL kinds of junk food and it didn’t matter simply because I was young and involved in sports.
Upon graduating high school my physical activity also graduated to non-existent, but my diet stayed the same. Bad combination!
My weight gain was gradual for the first five years; then it just got out of control and before I knew it I was the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life!
I’m fortunate I didn’t have a life threatening experience that made me realize I had to change my life. One day I simply woke up and didn’t recognize myself in the mirror. It made me realize that if I’m still young; that I should get healthy; that I want to play with my grand children when the time comes; that I work hard to be financially stable as I get older, but being financially stable won’t help me if I’m dead.
Sooo here I am writing about the changes I’ve made and I’m planning to make in my life to turn old bad habits into new good habits.
Below are some of the things that are working for me.
Consistency -Since I’m in the early stages of working out/getting active, I’m trying to keep the momentum and motivation going by not missing more than one day between activities. If I jog or run and I’m tired the next day, then only walk and take it easy, but DO something.
Make Time – Time is our most precious resource. We all have responsibilities and a million other things that need to be done yesterday, but you’ll have to make time for your health and wellness. Perhaps don’t watch that one hour episode of that mediocre TV show; maybe you can drop a bad habit that consumes time and replace it with a better habit. I add ‘exercise/run/jog/walk’ to my calendar. It helps me to get mentally prepared. Lately it’s also getting me excited to plan what activity I’ll be doing later.
Music – Good tunes will go a long way. I love my reggaeton playlist. It helps me forget that I’m ‘working’. It helps me to keep a faster pace. It helps me stay active longer. I’ve also tried listening to audio books while I walk, it does the job.
Variety – I’m so extremely fortunate to be surrounded by so many places to run, job, or walk. Close to work I have the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston Common and Charles River. Close to my house I have the beach, parks, and walking trails.
Running Clothes & Shoes – I found that having running ‘outfits’ tell your brain it’s time to go. My ‘outfit’ – running shoes, socks, sweatpants, and sweater. Now that the weather is warm I’ve replaced the sweatpants with shorts and sweater with a dri-fit t-shirt. It’s a simple trick that gets me in the ‘get active’ mind frame.
Tracking Apps – I use three apps for different purposes. Runkeeper tracks my overall number of activities, total distance, and total time. Couch to 5K is slowly building my endurance, stamina and speed. Fitbit tracks my steps, stairs, and heart rate through out the day.
I have to note that an advantage to walking around Boston is that I’ve discovered some cool new areas around Beacon Hill. Here are a couple of pictures.