Walking – it “does a body good” - so why am I not doing it more often?
We've all been told of the numerous health benefits of walking for at least 20 minutes every day. Whether we choose to take a stroll indoors or out, the activity not only rejuvenates our body, but our mind.
I've been giving myself a lot of excuses lately on why I don't want to get on my treadmill. Even though I've started this new aerobics class and attend two to three times per week, I know that I should be filling in the days I don't attend with a walk.
“I'm not a morning person” (therefore, I “can't” wake up earlier to squeeze in 20 minutes); “I'm tired and brain-dead after work” (therefore, I “deserve” to relax when I get home); “I'm still tired and now full” (after eating dinner – therefore, why start now?)...can you tell where I'm heading here?
We've all fallen victim to this kind of habit – where we talk ourselves into (and out of) things or situations we just don't feel like dealing with at the moment. Truth is, most of the time the final “outcome” of what we're trying to accomplish is something that will ultimately be GOOD for us!
I know that I will feel energized and more clear-headed if I walk. I know that I will drop those extra pounds much faster (and my jeans will fit even better!) if I walk each day. I know what all the benefits are and can be, so why do I choose to ignore them?
I finally bit the bullet and signed up for the low-impact aerobics class, and while it's broken the ice and gotten me out of the house with a good friend, I haven't completely bought into the idea of making this concentrated activity a good habit. For that's what it needs to become – a habit. Thinking that I was just “lazy” I would berate myself again and again each time another week without exercise went by. Now that I've started doing something – taking the class for instance, I know that what I really needed to do – to get out of the rut - was take the first step.
How many of us (particularly during bad weather!) fall into those ruts? Before you know it, just the decision we make to remain there has become a bad habit! This is why so many self-help gurus have suggested that taking the first step is always the hardest. While the decision to change many not be difficult, the action required to actually DO something requires effort. Once we've taken that first step – performed the necessary EFFORT to break a current cycle – the rest becomes easier.
Deep inside, I'm desperately waiting for warmer weather. So many of us get caught up in the winter and bad-weather "blues." The perpetually gray and wet scenery doesn't do much for any persons' mood. I long to don my I-pod and venture out into clear skies and sunshine....but what's stopping me from listening to great music now, and visualizing sunny skies and warm beaches? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It occurs to me that often times the biggest step in undertaking any sort of change is changing our attitude. If my attitude going into a new decision or endeavor is in any way negative, change will just not happen.
My "state of mind" has improved greatly over the last several days, which has helped me physically feel much better (read my previous post "Spiritual Battles") I'll be heading out to aerobics class shortly, so I'm looking forward to regaining some energy and momentum. Georgia is slated to (possibly) get rain and sleet again late this evening and tomorrow morning, so I'm hoping the sunny skies we just enjoyed, and my re-newed sunny disposition can stand firm!
NOW I understand where Nike got their slogan: “Just Do It”
Here's hoping that we all can take a first step at something today.
Whether it be to exercise, change a habit, take a new class...
try something new and pay it forward!