Don't Do It All At Once
Don't defeat the purpose of transitioning to a healthier lifestyle all at once---a definitive prescription for BURNOUT! There is a way to change from old habits and adopt a healthier lifestyle overtime.
When you decide to make changes---any type of change in your life, I know, you want to see the end result immediately---we all do. However, it could be a potential prescription for burnout and not accomplishing anything.
But, there's hope. There's a way to transition from old habits and adopt new ones. It's not an immediate fix, but over time and before you know it, you will see results. If I can do it, you can too. I say this because I feel I am the weakest of the weakest when it comes to making changes.
What I've discovered along the way, that, over time and with patience, you can make it happen.
I want to share a story about me, which I hope will be encouraging:
I have never had a weight problem (neither over- or under-weight) and I've always been health-conscious, even as a young adult. In my 30's, I jumped on the bandwagon and began to take on a healthier lifestyle.
I began to exercise more, watched what I ate, and avoided battles that were bigger than me, as to manage my stress level.
Although unfortunate, I learned a lot about my health, just watching my loved ones over the years, practice unhealthy habits, which took their lives prematurely.
While learning from their unhealthy habits, and heeding healthy behaviors my mom had taught me (my mom lived-out her natural life and died of old age into her mid 80's), and following my doctor's guidance, that guidance, exposure and those experiences motivated me to kick my healthcare up a notch.
It was overwhelming at first; I thought about exercising, eating, and my stress level. Those were the first things I had been exposed to early-on. I saw my mom and my sister eating salads, taking on fad-diet challenges, being bombarded by stressful situations day-after-day, and doing "pseudo-exercises." But, I wasn't having any of it---I wanted my life to be different.
I began exercising at least three times per week on the treadmill, which became boring over time. I hired four personal trainers at different stages during my healthy-lifestyle journey. I tried working out before work, early in the morning. I changed-up and began exercising in the evening after work. I danced to music. I popped-in videos. I walked through my neighborhood, and even walked on the walking trail behind my subdivision, and in the park. I even had a walking buddy, I walked with a group, and worked out at a few gyms!
I began to feel the weight of my own pressure to adopt an exercise regimen. As I read and explored options for exercise, I discovered that I had to create an exercise program that I would enjoy, with exercises that would give me a total-body workout, and exercises that would not cause injury (I injured myself several times).
I had been keeping up some form of exercise over the years. Yes, I kept moving. But, I didn't enjoy the workouts. I knew eventually, I would either plateau (which I did), and burnout.
The fear of burning out was a lifesaver for me. So, I did a self-assessment, which was when I discovered that I needed an exercise program that would give me a total-body workout, and exercises that would not cause injury. I also discovered that I needed my exercise sessions to last at least 30 minutes, a program I would have fun doing.
Those requirements were great and just what I needed. But, there were still a few things that I had to acknowledge.
I needed to be determined (which I was there--I wasn't giving up).
I needed a goal (which I did have---to live a healthier lifestyle).
I needed results---which I was confident, I would achieve, once I adopted my exercise regimen).
I needed discipline (which I felt I would have, once I discovered an exercise program I would enjoy; it would be my source of motivation).
BUT, there was one thing that was still missing and without it, I was sure to fail:
I needed an exercise program that would give me a "guided tour" of sorts---a program that I could follow, along with visuals that would demonstrate the workout, AND talk through and explain each move---I needed all of it.
Once I figured out what I needed to have an effective and successful exercise program and workout, it all came together for me at the end of 2019 and early 2020, just before Covid.
I hopped on YouTube, plugged in a few key words, and wah-lah, I hit the jackpot!
I found my 30-minute workouts. I found my 30-minute walking exercises. I found my 30-minute cardio workouts. I found my 30-minute total-body workouts. But it took me several years to get here.
I set a goal. I was determined. I was disciplined. I knew by staying-the-course, I would get my desired results. And, by persevering, I found structure abound within the YouTube videos.
How did I make it work for me? How is it working now?
I have subscribed to a few *YouTube channels
Walk With a Doc
Walk at Home (Leslie Sansone)
**I DO NOT get a commission or get compensated for promoting YouTube or any of these channels.
2. I may select a different video every so often to keep it interesting, or exercise to the same video indefinitely for 30 minutes.
3. I began cardio 5 days per week (any consecutive 5 days are okay).
4. I incorporate healthy eating with exercise (check-out my blog posts on healthy eating).
5. Just last week after 3 years, I finally found a strength-training program that works. I took my time, since I had injured myself multiple times in the past.
a. The *AARP Bulletin - December 2022 issue, pages 18-19 has the perfect strength- training program (for me), which I started the last week of 2022.
**I DO NOT get a commission or get compensated for promoting the AARP Bulletin.
b. I do strength training 2x per week (my days are Tuesdays and Thursdays)
6. Since I have incorporated strength training into my exercise program, I do cardio and my lower-body workout exercises 3x per week (my days are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays).
Had I discovered both strength training and cardio workouts at the same time, I still would not have incorporated them into my routine at the same time.
It's good practice to add new exercises, routines, even new foods in layers or phases. This will prevent you from becoming overwhelmed, burning out and quitting.
The two main takeaways for me have been structure and finding the perfect exercise program that works for me.
It is my hope this is a source of encouragement to help you discover what works for you. The thing you don't want to do is give up.