by Stephanie Nickel
Mr. Puppy (aka Tyr), the full-grown German Shepherd we are fostering, was sorely in need of a bath. This morning when I got up, I decided I was just going to do it . . . no more procrastinating. So, into the bathtub we climbed. I straddled him and spoke soothingly. And guess what; it wasn’t difficult at all.
Is there something you’re putting off?
Drinking more water?
Purchasing a new water bottle and keeping it filled and close at hand has helped greatly in this area. And yet, it’s easy to slip back into old habits. I must be watchful and not let my water intake slip back to virtually nothing.
Eating more veggies?
The novelty of weekly trips to the farmers’ market has worn off. However, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t plan ahead. My track record has been to plan supper at about 4:00/5:00. If I leave it that late, it’s way too easy to pop whatever is handy and easy into the oven or, as I do far less thankfully, order in. “I’ll do better tomorrow” just won’t work forever.
Cutting back on refined sugar?
I did well on the seven-day no sugar challenge. (The challenge allowed participants to eat fruit and veggies. No need for one’s sweet tooth to be totally denied.) In fact, I have done fairly well not going back to where I was before the challenge . . . except . . . I am a real sucker for iced coffee, cappuccinos, etc. I’ve also discovered Cran Lemonade . . . yum!
If I drink more water, I will drink fewer sugary drinks. (Please note: Even concentrated juices without added sugar have a high sugar content.) If I limit my intake to one per day, I will be a long way on the road to limiting sugar. Plus, if I limit my snacking to the weekend, the negative effects of sugar will subside (and I may lose some weight in the process).
Going for a walk or run? Maybe a bike ride?
Cardio is so important. Walking poochie is good. Walking with hubby in the evenings is good. Grabbing my camera and going for a photo walk is great. Walking didn’t use to be my thing. And when the weather turns nasty (hoping they’re wrong about the incoming polar vortex in September), I’m going to have to find some other ways to keep my heart rate up. (Cardio is not my favourite thing.)
Putting in that exercise DVD?
Oddly, when my kids were young, I was faithful to exercise almost every morning. Now that I have the time and many DVDs to choose from, I’ve gotten out of the habit. (I may just have found the answer to what I will be doing once the weather turns nasty.)
Grabbing those weights?
If you don’t have dumbbells and/or barbells available . . . if you don’t know how to use them properly . . . if you are fearful of hurting yourself . . .
Those are all understandable reasons why you don’t participate in resistance training.
However, having been trained as a personal trainer, having access to everything from 5-25-pound dumbbells, and actually liking to lift weights blasts all those reasons out of the water for me. My only excuse . . . procrastination, which is no excuse at all.
If you are uncertain how do lift weights safely and effectively, I highly recommend Maran Illustrated Weight Training. You may even want to hire a trainer who will develop a personalized program just for you and show you how to do each exercise carefully.
Resistance training is important for all of us regardless of age or gender. Learn what you must to make it part of your fitness regime.
Signing up at the gym?
There are many advantages to belonging to a gym. They include, but are not limited to, the following:
– Access to equipment you don’t have at home
– Access to exercise classes
– Access to personal training
– Some have pools, squash courts, kickboxing instruction, and much more.
– Accountability if you sign up with a friend
– Additional motivation because of the monthly fee that is withdrawn from your bank account
Attending a group exercise class?
Some gyms have beginners’ classes and/or beginners’ options in their exercise classes. Several gyms have a wide variety of classes, providing options for just about everyone.
There were some classes I loved when I worked at the gym. Honestly, I wasn’t very good at any of them, but the instructors and my fellow classmates were encouraging.
Connecting with an accountability partner?
I love walking with my hubby in the evening.
I enjoy exercising with someone. In fact, when appropriate, I worked out with my PT clients.
Just be careful when choosing an accountability partner that you don’t talk each other into walking to the nearest coffee shop for cheesecake and a caramel macchiato. (Oh wait! That would be me.)
Other articles by Stephanie Nickel
Steph Beth Nickel is an author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer.