Posts Tagged ‘habits’

Give It Up

February 18, 2015

It is February. It is freezing in most of the country. Those New Year’s resolutions seem so far away, even if it has only been 6 weeks.

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I don’t know about you, but my resolve has weakened a bit. It started with broken cookies. (Insert shameless plug: those homemade graham crackers from indigo jones eats are amazing!) With a double boiler full of melted dark chocolate on the stove from morning until night, I confess that I took to dribbling a little on my fat free Greek yogurt in the morning. Without going any further, I will just state that you would be amazed at what tastes great dipped in a little chocolate.

There have been birthday dinners, followed by an extreme desire to stay in and binge watch series on Netflix and Hulu.

Something has to give, and I think I just found it.
Today, Christians observe Ash Wednesday,which marks the beginning of Lent; a period of “fasting” which extends until Easter Sunday. This is typically a time when they give up something they enjoy for 40 days. Although this time frame is longer, Sundays appear to be fair game.

While I am not Christian, and do not wish to exploit a meaningful religous practice, the idea of giving up something for Lent is kind of appealing to me. It is a good long period of time to let a bad habit go, be it a food, drink, or doing something we know is not good for us. Why not designate this period as a non-denominational time of cleaning up our collective acts? My list of things I could give up is a little longer than usual, but picking just one, and commiting to it could make a big difference in my life.
The idea that it takes 21 days to form a habit has been widely disputed by experts, but certainly 40 days should be enough to at least get on the right track, right?

So who’s with me? What are willing to give up for 40 days to get on track for a better, healthier lifestyle?

photo: glasshouse images

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How To Be A Morning Exerciser

April 24, 2014

Rooster standing near alarm clock, studio shot

Working out in the morning has it’s perks. It’s energizing, it starts your day off right, and there are no excuses when work and life get in the way later. The downside: you need to actually get your butt out of bed and do it!
Becoming a morning exerciser is possible; even for those of us who like to press “snooze” more than we like to get our sweat on. Trust me, once you get going, you will be so grateful that you did. And it only hurts for a few minutes, before the adrenaline kicks in.

Here are a few ways to get yourself going in the morning:

1. Schedule your workout (whatever time of day you do it) as you would a meeting or a doctor’s appointment, and show up!

2. Book a class, a trainer or a training buddy to ensure that you really do show up.

3. Commit to your rest days in advance. This keeps me accountable. I can decide in advance when I am not going to work out, so I don’t just make the call when the alarm goes off and I don’t feel like getting up. Just deciding not to go in the morning is a non-negotiable.

4. Plan ahead. Lay out your gym clothes the night before. Pack your gym bag if you shower there to make sure that you have everything you need when you get there. Getting out of the shower and realizing you have no clean underwear is not fun.

5. Plan your pre-workout breakfast. Whether it’s a glass of water or juice, or a light breakfast, decide in advance what it will be to avoid wasting time in the morning. Make it enough to fuel your workout, and keep you hydrated, but light enough not to weigh you down or cause stomach upset.

6. Tell yourself you just have to do a certain amount and you can quit. Set a minimum amount of work, such as run a mile, do one set of a circuit, or put in 10 minutes on the bike. Chances are, once you get past that small amount of exercise, you will be pumped up to do more. Getting to the gym is half the battle. Once you are there, you are highly likely to workout.

7. Congratulate yourself on your diligence. Working out every morning is no small feat, but you will be so much better off for it. Pat yourself on the back, give yourself a treat and keep up the good work!

8. Don’t give up! Studies show it takes 21 days to form a habit, and 66 days to make it permanent. Push through it. You will thank yourself in the long run.

photo: glasshouse images

 


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