I’ve given a lot of attention to running in the past blogs. The reason for it is simple: 1) I love an excuse to get outside, listen to music and be alone with my thoughts; and 2) It gives me a high that’s comparable to eating a box of caramel turtle chocolates (minus the calories).
But running isn’t for everyone. Some just don’t find it enjoyable. Others physically can’t because the impact aggravates joint pain and old injuries. So what do you do if you want to get active, but aren’t sure how to get back in shape?
Also, it’s important to stay hydrated during your workout by replacing electrolytes. The better hydrated you are, the easier the workout becomes, allowing for maximum performance. In addition, a healthy diet, whether it’s vegan, vegetarian or a good ‘ol meater eater, will help you stay hydrated, keeping those muscles loose to prevent injuries.
Now, here are 5 tips:
1) It isn’t forever. Think of exercise as a date, a date who needs to impress you. While sticking to a regime is beneficial, it doesn’t mean you just have to do one thing. Also, the benefits of switching it up are well documented and keep you from plateauing. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find something you want to do day in and day out, your perfect heart-pounding exercise match, the yin to your yang. Until then, let them court you. Don’t settle. Don’t get stuck.
2) Make it fun. Think back to when you were a kid. Running around outside, throwing the Frisbee, splashing in the pool, rolling down hills. You did those things because you thought they were fun. Remember? Hopping on your bike and riding to your friend’s house was an adventure. Right? So what’s stopping you from making it fun now?
3) Go it alone or make it social. There are pros and cons to each. A partner will push you. Or they’ll show up and reinforce your I-don’t-feel-up-to-it-today attitude. Ask yourself how you’ll benefit with a partner. Do you mind letting someone see you sweat? Will you be more self-conscious with or without one? Sometimes distraction is good (Wow, did I really just run 5 miles while watching that TV show on the TV at the gym?), and sometimes it’s counterproductive (Gee, you’ve been talking my ear off the last hour and a half and I haven’t even broken a sweat.). The decision is yours.
4) Make a game of it. Set small goals and document your progress. So what if you can only handle the treadclimber 15 minutes your first time out of the gate? Or huff and puff the whole way through your first Body Pump class? This will change. And you’re going to start feeling like a rockstar as your endurance improves.
5) Reward yourself. This is really, really important. Been eyeing that super snazzy pair of running shoes? Been dreaming of a big bowl of clam linguine all week? By allowing yourself an occasional indulgence, you’re more likely to feel good about working out — Like it’s less of a chore and more of an excuse to pamper yourself. And when it comes down to it, what could be more indulgent than the gift of health?