This month I’ve been focused on establishing routines – slowly incorporating healthy habits, increasing exercise, and moving more. It’s been going great. But developing new routines around health can be hard and winter, toddlers, and busy renovation schedules can easily take precedence over health priorities.
So far, the small changes I adopted at the beginning of the month have helped me keep myself feeling fit and healthy, even with limited gym visits. Here’s what has worked in January:
- Drink more water
- Snack less
- Eat good-for-you whole foods
- Walk daily
- Exercise regularly (2-3 times a week)
Within days of drinking more water, I was consuming less caffeine, had more energy, and started craving even more water. Within days of snacking less, I was noticeably lighter. While good-for-you whole foods are a little less accessible this time of year (we tend to prefer seasonal foods), we’re working through some great recipes. I walk in cold, in snow, in freezing rain, and over ice. Walking daily is nearly as necessary as drinking more water: without it, I feel its absence and I miss/need it. Regular exercise has been difficult to attain, so I’m working around it with quick at-home solutions.
The work is slow. The progress is steady. But it’s noticeable. And change is more than possible, it’s in the future.
This week I’m traveling. A trip extended by Winter Storm Juno which is, as I write this, preventing any and all travel in and out of the Northeastern US. Thankfully, I’m “stranded” in sunny Florida where fitness is as accessible as a pair of running shoes and toddler wranglers (i.e. in-laws) are plentiful.
This vacation is a slow, easy restful one – which offers me plenty of time to add in moments of fitness. And that’s what I call them: moments of fitness. I don’t have hours at my gym. I don’t have equipment to support a real workout. But I do have running shoes. And my iPhone. And bits of time in between obligations.
So here is what I’m adding to my routine while I’m on vacation:
- Follow the 80/20 rule
- Increase daily walks
- Sit less (stand more)
- Yoga Studio App and/or Nike Training Club App Daily
- Sleep more
After a few small runs this week, I managed my longest run in 4 years: 7.5 miles. And it felt amazing. This is slow progress: small changes, steady work, lasting results. And successes like this long run are motivation to keep going. To choose better foods. To hydrate. To walk a little every day. To keep going, even when I’d like to let go.
But lasting results don’t happen with short term interests in mind. They happen because you stay the course, even when you want to let go. You hold on, especially when it’s not easy. You find ways to work around challenges. You get outside even when the weather suggests otherwise.
Because when you commit to a fitness goal, it’s a commitment to yourself. And I owe it to myself to see this through.