Saturday, 25 January 2014

Day Three of Your Personal Challenge

For those of you participating in your own Personal Challenge, well done. Bravo for taking the first step, no matter how small, that first step is going to be the most important step of your new life.

Whether you are riding your stationary bike, walking round the block, or running up Castle Hill with 24kg of extra weight... It's a job well done. It's the first step of making your world a better place to inhabit. Every drop of sweat inches you closer to a better life, a healthier and happier life.

I've had so many messages, these last few days, from people almost apologising because all they had time to do, was a quick short walk. 
No need to apologise, nor beat yourself up about it, because as we all know, life happens. There will be days that our exercise plans may not quite come off.. Don't get upset, or frustrated, just do what you can, as often as you can. Be kind to yourself. Every bit of exercise that you do adds up.. And even if you can only manage 15 minutes today, you are still beating everyone else that's still laying on the lounge. 
Perhaps set a weekly exercise time target rather than a daily one? eg 3.5 hours of exercise time this week. If the world gets busy today, make it up with a longer session tomorrow. 

One way I manage to fit in at least one 45 minute exercise session every day, is to forward plan. 

I know you will know that I am a list writer, (if you have read any of my past blogs) and that each morning, over my morning juice, I write a list of things I will achieve for that day. I include home chores, business tasks, meetings, bills to pay, reminders and always includes exercise. Whether it be gym, training session, a run, or an evening bike ride, it's on the list. And each day I get great satisfaction from marking it off. 
This year I have managed to find a notebook that even has a place to record glasses of water consumed.. How cool is that? A training friend of mine has an exercise journal she bought from Officeworks, a small notepad that is designed to record training sessions, it has space for goals, and room to record weights and reps etc, but you could just use an everyday exercise book.. Use the one that's right for you. It doesn't have to cost the earth, it just needs to be suitable for your personal goals.

I savour the time each morning, and think carefully about what my plans are for the day. It allows me to focus on what needs to be done, and gives weight to my overall or long term plans. It gives me a way of dealing with temptation, and with distractions and having plans in place to deal with these should they occur. 
My morning time can be as short as 15 minutes, or as long as an hour. I'm a little spoilt at the moment as I currently run an office from home, but in the past I have been known to voice record or write a list whilst travelling to work. We all have the same amount of time in our days, learning to use that time productively is an art. If I have an early morning meeting, or flight, I often plan my day the night before, preparing for the smooth execution of the day. 

No stress, no last minute panic, no lost car keys or gym shoes. 

Nowadays there are also interactive apps you can use in conjunction with your smartphone technology, to assist with your exercise needs. Nike has a good one, outlining areas of the body and designing exercises to work specific muscles groups. Runkeeper is another good way of tracking your progress, I love it when they send me emails telling me I have set a Personal Best time for distance or time. It's these little things, that offer motivation, enthusiasm, and a way of measuring your success. I need that. 

I've decided to run a 10k fun run in every state of Australia. It's made it to my revised bucket list now, and even though its a long term goal, I try to do something every day that will make me into a runner. I have started running on a treadmill, because it accurately measures distance. I have researched training for beginners in the Internet, I have talked to people who run marathons and gotten insights into what they do, and to get advice on how to start. Yes, my first run is months away, but I'm preparing, both mentally and physically for it already. I'm now even brave enough to run outside in the daylight.. Which till recently I've never been able to do. I was always too embarrassed about being overweight, hot, sweaty, lacking in the graceful fluid motions that runners have. I used to run till a car came down the street, then walk till it passed. Or run at night where no one could see.. And I mean midnight, not just dusk. Looking back that was ridiculous behaviour, but it was my mindset of the time. If you ever drive past me, be gentle, give me a yell or a wave for encouragement, I'm getting there... 

I'm fifty, as far removed physically from the physique of a runner as possible, I've not run competitively since high school but now its seems like something I could achieve if I tried. So, I'm trying. I'm going to be a runner. Who would ever have thought? My plans in place, I'm now ready for action. 


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