By Amy Lortie
Fitness is a habit, just like brushing your teeth. It takes a bit of conscientious effort, and then before you know it, it’s a part of your life.
Two things come to mind that tend to hold us up. Most of us have a negative self-talk about looking after ourselves, which ultimately ends up sabotaging our efforts in supporting our own well being.
We think, “I will start biking again when I look good in shorts” or, “When my child starts school, I’ll take time to take a dance class.”
There will always be something, so now is perfect: Start where you are!
Sometimes, when we do get inspired, we tend to take off like a rocket on our quest for better fitness. This can lead to dropping out before we really see or feel the benefits of our efforts, because it’s not sustainable.
Realistic consistency is what creates a new healthy habit.
Wherever you are health-wise, you probably didn’t get there overnight, so creating change is going to take some time. It is impractical to start a new thing in such a way that it compromises all the other things in your life that require maintaining.
A successful approach can involve a series of small steps. A 10-minute morning walk, for example, is much more easily integrated into a daily routine than a five-mile run.
As your new daily activity becomes habit, you will find your mind clearer, your body more relaxed and your general sense of well-being improved. You will spontaneously want more. Then it’s time to add another piece. Or change it up so you don’t lose interest.
Choose something you find enriching and enjoyable, so that you look forward to it rather than it feeling like it’s a chore. Give yourself kudos for what you have accomplished instead of beating yourself up for what you haven’t.
The self-esteem generated by this naturally supports you to keep growing your healthy habits. The better you feel, the more you want to do, the more productive you become in your daily life, the more you attitude improves.
Daily health habits have the bonus of creating a sense of empowerment around our own health. So many of us have chronic pain or illness cropping up as we age. Daily self-care can help us feel like we are participating in our own wellness, rather than relying solely on professionals or feeling like a victim of our bodies and of time.
Your body and everybody else in your life will be grateful for your efforts.
- Amy Lortie, a health-care practitioner for 25 years, is just as inspired by assisting others on their path toward better health and self-fulfillment as she is by our lovely island.