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The Club, Issue #014
April 16, 2021

Newsletter Issue #14 - April 2021

It's finally starting to warm up in my area and I'm already looking toward summer! Get outside and enjoy the weather and fill up on fresh, spring vegetables!

In this newsletter, you'll find...

📍Ready, Set, Run! A Simple Plan to Start a Running Program

📍5 Things To Do To Make Exercise A Habit

📍Movement Breaks: More Important Than Ever

Ready, Set, Run!

A Simple Plan to Start a Running Program

Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a runner. Maybe in the current COVID situation, running is your best option for exercise. Maybe you just want to try something new and different.

With spring finally here and the weather warming up, now is a great time to begin a running program.

Make sure you’re prepared with a good fitting pair of running shoes that are not worn out. Take the time to be properly fitted at a specialty running store if possible and pick the shoes that work best for your needs. Not the “popular” ones or the “pretty” ones! A good cushioning pair of socks is helpful and you’ll need some way to time the intervals of the below workout. No, you don’t need a fancy, expensive running watch. A simple watch or timer feature on your phone will work.

This is a 4 week plan but you can extend it if you need more time to ease into running. Just repeat the first or second weeks as long as you need to. This plan assumes that you have a basic level of fitness to start with, meaning you can walk briskly for at least 30 minutes. This plan also doesn’t list warm-ups and cool-downs so make sure you walk for 5-8 minutes before and after each workout.

You can continue this pattern of workouts beyond 4 weeks gradually shortening the walk time and increasing the run time until you are running non-stop. Or you can continue the walk/run method indefinitely. It’s a great workout either way!

5 Things To Do To Make Exercise A Habit

People often believe they need to be motivated to exercise. But let's face it, nobody is motivated ALL the time. What keeps you going is consistency and creating habits. The more you can make exercise a regular, routine, normal part of your day, the more likely you are to do it even if you're less than motivated sometimes. Here are some things you can do to help make exercise a habit.

1. Schedule it. If your schedule is the same most days, this will be easy. Pick a time that allows at least 30 minutes of exercise and put it in your phone calendar, day planner or whatever you use. If your schedule is frequently different every day then take time on Sunday and look at your upcoming week to figure out when your exercise will take place. Maybe it has to be in the morning on Monday and Wednesday but after work on Thursday and Friday. You can still schedule it even if it's not at the same time every day. Scheduling your exercise sessions gives you the added benefit of viewing your program as a whole and making sure you're not focusing too much on one type of exercise and not enough on something else.

2. Keep your equipment and workout clothing handy. If, like so many right now, you're still working out at home, stashing your dumbbells or jumprope or whatever in the spare bedroom closet doesn't exactly shout convenience. Move them somewhere that they will serve as a visual trigger to remind you to exercise. Do the same with your workout clothing. Pull out your workout clothes, including shoes and any other accessories you need (towel, hair tie, phone holder)and put them where you'll see them several times a day until you get your workout done.

3. Find a type of exercise that you love. This one seems obvious to some but I know so many people that run because they've heard it's "the best" exercise or do CrossFit because "it's a hard workout". Don't do something you hate just because you think you should. The chances of you creating a habit and sticking with it are greatly improved if you find something you enjoy. You may never LOVE exercise. I get it, some people just don't and that's ok but everyone should be able to find something that makes them feel good.

4. Make it social. With COVID restrictions right now, I realize this might be a little challenging but even if you can't workout with a buddy, you can check in with each other every day. Being accountable to someone helps you stay on track. You can also join regularly scheduled live-streamed group classes or enter challenges that have long-term goals. Anyone or anything that requires you to check in every day or week as you work toward a goal sets you up for creating a habit.

5. Just do 10 minutes. This goes back to the motivation thing we talked about in #1. Sometimes just the thought of an hour long workout makes you tired! Instead of trying to muster the motivation for a full workout, commit to 10 minutes. Go for a walk, do some yoga or run up and down the steps. Anything that allows you to "check the box" for exercise for the day. If you end up feeling better after getting started and end up doing more, great! But if not, at least you did something and that counts for consistency.

You may already do some of these things to help you stay consistent but if you don't and you're struggling a little, give a couple of these ideas a try.

Movement Breaks:

More Important Than Ever

If you're still working from home, how often do you get off the couch or up from your chair? Probably not as much as when you're working in the office.

At home, you don't have to get up and walk to a co-workers desk or to the conference room for a meeting or to the break room or cafeteria to eat. And if you work at your kitchen table, you're probably within arms reach of snack food that you wouldn't have at the office.

Spending more time looking at screens than ever before (thanks, Zoom) strains your eyes and makes you mentally tired and also keeps you from getting up and moving.

When you work by yourself at home, it can be easy to lose track of time and realize you've been sitting in the same spot for hours.

All of this is rough on your body even if you exercise regularly. This is why it's so important to remember to get up and move. Set an alarm on your watch, phone or computer for every 30-60 minutes. When the alarm goes off, get up and walk around the house for 5 minutes or do some jumping jacks or go outside and get some fresh air and stretch. When you come back to your workspace after your 5 minute break, try to change positions if possible. Stand and work for a bit or sit in a different chair. Anything to change things up for your body and brain a little.

Taking regular movement breaks will refresh your mind, help you refocus and keep your body from being sedentary for too long.

🔆 Are you looking for more customized help to reach your fitness goals and New Year's resolutions? Click this link to learn more about my online fitness coaching services and enroll in a monthly plan.

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