Make Movement a Mindset
I have to go to the gym every day and do a hard workout for it to count.
I have to lose 10 pounds in the next month to get into my bathing suit.
No pain, no gain.
Being hungry is a part of every diet. I just have to get used to it.
I can’t eat carbs or sugar if I’m going to lose weight and have the body I want.
*cue music* da-dum-da-dum.
Registered dietitians and personal trainers have a bank of catch-phrase kisses of death – beliefs many people have regarding diet and exercise that float around out there like germs. These very ideas doom people to fail their diet and exercise goals.
The extremism of these goals, focusing on numbers and time, instead of behaviors, turn health into a game where only points seem to matter: the number of minutes, the number on a scale, the number on the size tag in a pair of pants, the number of pieces of bread you can eat or scoops of sugar.
Any personal trainer will tell you that health and fitness is much more complex and, in a way, simpler than that. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, a month dedicated to educating people about and promoting physical fitness. Being fit doesn’t mean going to a gym for two hours every day. Being fit isn’t just for bikini bodies and supermodels. Fitness is something for everyone, all body types and ages. Being active means so much more than going to a gym, feeling pain, and losing numbers on a scale.
When we shift the focus about fitness from arbitrary numbers to becoming healthy; from equating fitness with starvation and pain to incorporating movement and activity into our everyday lives; from a crash diet we endure to look good in a bikini to a healthy body, only then can we succeed in our goals.
To celebrate National Fitness and Sports Month, we want to encourage you to start lifetime fitness habits because:
- In adolescents, physical activity improves bone health, heart health, and mental health. It really boosts their self esteem!
- In adults, physical activity can lower the risk for Type II diabetes, heart disease, some kinds of cancer
- Physical activity keeps your bad cholesterol down and good cholesterol up.
- Plus, it helps you feel better, look better, all while improving your sleep.
Being physically active does not mean going to a gym every day. There are some simple things you can implement into your daily routine to up your activity without costing you a penny. The first thing you must do, though, is change your mind set. It’s time to find ways to make movement a priority in your life.
- Take the stairs! Always. Up and down.
- Stand up and talk to a colleague instead of texting her.
- Park in the spot farthest away from the grocery store and walk.
- Never just “sit.” While watching TV, do crunches or pushups. While talking on the phone, walk around the house.
- Set movement goals. If your destination is within half of a mile of where you are, walk it. Then slowly add to it. (Obviously, as long as you’re safe!)
- Incorporate one “exercise activity” into your life that you love, whether it be line dancing or taking a walk in the park, gardening or tai-chi. Carve time out every week for this activity.
- Make active time family time. Go for a walk with your kids after dinner. Instead of watching cartoons, play hopscotch or throw a ball, jump rope or rollerblade.
- Make your health a priority. With work, family, and pressure, we often let ourselves come last. It’s important to remember that being active is to help you be better at work, with family and more.
- Some people need a little peer pressure. Accountability is a big deal. Share exercise goals with someone and “report” to her. Cheer each other on.
- To celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we encourage you to find ways to bring movement into your and your family’s life.