Exercise? But It’s Cold Out There!
While it has been a pretty mild winter this year, it still seems like it's been a long one! And that cold, grey, darkness can bring on a general sense of laziness that takes its toll and decreases enthusiasm for activity.
To stay on track with your goals, exercise and nutrition (among others), first acknowledge your feelings, let them in, and allow them to marinate for a brief moment. After that acknowledgment, get ready to turn the page, knowing what you need to do to be successful. Know yourself - and your limits. You can take a day off, as long as it doesn’t lead to a week and then a month!
New Enthusiasm, New Energy
Sometimes taking a mental health day and extra recovery day leads to a new enthusiasm and energy towards your goal. If you're someone who is better off not taking time off, consider easier days. On one day, perform a good warm-up, then do one or two (one upper body and one lower body) strength exercises like a bench/chest press and squats/leg press or lunges. On another day, warm up and do 15-20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise with brief 30–60 second bursts of higher intensity.
This will help you keep consistent and will less likely totally derail you. While you are doing the lighter day or day off, think about your personal reasons for exercising and maintaining other healthy habits. Regular reminders that bring your reasons to the forefront of your mind help you push through the difficult times. Focusing on actions and your day-to-day successes instead of your long-term goals also can help you stick with it. If you need to change things up a bit, get a professional to help you with new routines and challenges. Have a good support system for camaraderie, and remember to track your progress, because: “we manage what we monitor.”
We all have ups and downs with our healthy habits, but if we stay on track the majority (80%) of the time we will be successful!