How to Make Exercise a Priority

When nothing is the same and everything is different

How do you make exercise a priority when you’re out of your environment? It’s a great question, and the answer is different for everyone. Maybe you travel a lot and work keeps you moving from place to place. Nothing is the same. Each town is different. The travel alone can try a person’s patience. Maybe the kids are home and everyone is on break, and the break is causing stress. No one wants to be in the kitchen, or stuck in the tension bored kids create. We can talk about parenting later, but what if you’re with…extended family? Eek! Is it a job or life transition? Perhaps you’re trying to find yourself because your old self is broken and it’s time to try something new. When work, physical, or emotional commitments stack up exercise and eating well are the first thing to go by the wayside. We can relate to the sameness in this: everything is different. Bringing in a little Yoda:

Here’s the best help I can offer. Let your internal compass be your guide. It will feed your soul.

Be flexible

Full acknowledgement that this is easy to say and hard to do. That said, isn’t life easier when we are pliable, adaptable? Embracing “different” can be a challenge, unless it’s a way of life. On days I exercise first thing in the morning I feel unconquerable, and we’re not all early birds, so maybe your jam is late at night. Find the time that works best for you and block it so nothing else gets in the way. If that’s not possible, make the best of what’s available to you.

Park way out

Park way out in the parking lot. I like this, not only because I’m a bad parker, and the person next to me cusses my parking job, but because I can log extra steps. It also helps that I can seldom find my car on the return. My kids laugh, “Mom, you always lose the car”. It’s part of my charm and my sinister plan to make them exercise more.

Take the steps at work

This is so easy it’s elementary, my dear Watson. Walk right past the elevator, escalator, or anything that relieves you from moving your body. Take the steps every time you can, especially if you have to deliver a file, check on the project status, go to a meeting, or anything that will get your blood pumping at work.

Need climate control?

It’s wonderful to take laps at an outdoor track or park when weather permits. If a controlled environment is necessary visit the local mall. Many are open before and after stores close. Take advantage of the opportunity or search for apps on your phone that don’t require a gym or special equipment.

Play-enjoy a family activity

If I had a nickel for every time I thought I’d be a millionaire if I can bottle that energy. Kids have a lot of energy. Borrow some and play, wrestle. Go for a walk or play a family sport. Leave the competition on the field and have fun with the movement and enjoy quality time.

Count your steps

Wear a pedometer, or use a health app on your phone to count steps. Set a daily goal and aim to hit it. More importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you fall short. It’s about the success you create on the journey, and small steps count.

Travel options

This link will help locate a 5K, or an event near you. It’s okay if you’re not a runner. Most events allow for a walking option. Be sure to check the rules for availability before you sign up. If there’s no time for a race then stay active by getting a hotel with a workout room.

Clean the house

Clean the house — really deep clean the house, scrub, squat and lunge from room to room. I’ve heard it said that scantily clad is the best way to clean the house. We’re not talking about an afternoon roll in the hay, although that can be great exercise, we’re talking about working so hard cleaning that you require a shower afterward.

Set goals

Set goals, then cut them in half. Jon Acuff says cutting your goals in half makes them more attainable. If you have to lose 1–3 lbs instead of 5–7 or more, aren’t you in a better place because you didn’t stop moving altogether?

Above all… Don’t stop!

Don’t stop! Clap heartily so others will see this too.

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