11 steps to establish a daily workout routine
There is no argue about the fact that physical movement is essential for your health. There is no specialist who says: do not do exercise, it’s bad for you, unless you have a condition and you need to be careful. But even in most of those cases, there is a type of exercise that can be adjusted to the body’s limitations and improve the state of health.
OK, now that any residual doubt is out of our way, we can focus on HOW to introduce this on a regular basis in the busy and ambitious lives and the constantly distracted, interrupted and irregular schedules of our high-performing selves. Now that’s a mouthful, but I believe that it sounds familiar to you.
This is what working out daily has done for me (and for everyone I talked to, for that matter):
1. I lost weight (a no-brainer), but the drop depended a lot on my food intake (another no-brainer).
2. My body changed its shape, meaning the flesh (even the extra-weight) looked better, healthier and harder. THIS is what people noticed first and were congratulating me for losing weight, when I hadn’t really (at least at first). Interesting.
3. I stopped feeling pain and discomfort in the morning when waking up (except the sore muscle feeling from working out, which is one of my favourite feelings in the world). Back to the point, my back pain, joints pain, headache disappeared and they disappeared within days.
4. My energy level went up. Even though I was losing calories (i.e. energy) while working out, I felt I could do more and more physical activity throughout the day and I naturally started walking, taking stairs, biking, swimming more.
5. My brain fog lifted. And I mean the one in the morning, the one after lunch, the one when I felt overwhelmed, etc. I became more present, focussed and able to better and fully access all my internal resources, at work, at home, in my relationships, in the important and beautiful moments that turn into lifetime memories.
6. I started sleeping better. OK, I never really had issues with this, but working out improved my sleep and helped me be able to sleep the 7-8 recommended hours, a deep, restful, energy and peace giving sleep.
7. I gained so much confidence in myself! When I completed my first workout series (called Insanity), I felt like I am the queen of the world and nothing can stop me. If I was capable of doing THIS, I can do anything!
8. THE FEELING! OMG, the feeling… after the workout: warm muscles pulsating, sweat dripping down, rapid breath calming down and… the happiness hormones inundating you. The feeling of satisfaction, accomplishment and success, all at the same time… THIS is what keeps me going, it is so addictive. Feel it once and you’re never going back.
It is needless to say the people react differently to you, because you change. You feel better and better, look better and better and, believe it or not, you become a better and better person, because when you feel good and invest in yourself, you have more to give to others and also attract people that have the similar vibe that you have now.
And, I hate to break it to you, but you cannot be a high performer long term without taking care of your body.
‘Diana, I want all of this, too, what I do?’
Here are the 10 golden steps:
1. Identify your #1 motivator: losing weight, impressing others, health and no pain, fitting in your favourite high-school dress, being a role-model for your kids, taking your clothes off for sex and feeling desirable, etc. Whatever it is, choose what most resonated with you and makes your heart enthusiastic.
2. Associate a feeling with that motivator: success, love, excitement, joy, inner peace, pride, self-confidence, etc. Make it powerful and connect to it.
3. Visualize yourself in the future situation when you have already felt the desired feeling and bring it to the present moment. Trust me, that feeling is already within you, you’ve already achieved your goal, you already ARE what you think want to become. This is the vibe that will bring you the results you want. Like attracts like. From there you only go upwards.
4. Choose a physical activity you enjoy. ‘But Diana, I hate physical activity’. Well, this is just in your mind. You body loves and craves for exercise. It will prove it to you once you start. So, what do you like: walking, biking, swimming, yoga, Zumba, dancing in the house, belly-dancing, running, aqua-gym? What is it that makes you click?
5. LINK IT TO AN ALREADY EXISTING HABIT: workout right after brushing your teeth or after your morning coffee or after drinking your lemon water (that’s mine) or packing your lunch or when the clock shows 12:00pm and you get up from your desk to go in the lunch break or whatever you know you’re doing every day. The already existing habit will be a cue for you to do the new habit. Trust me, it works!
6. Decide how you want to start and START SMALL, with achievable goals, to avoid disappointment, e.g. walking 3 times/ week for 30min.
7. Find an accountability buddy, either someone who is starting now or someone who has gone through this process and you trust. Someone to be genuinely invested in your success.
8. Schedule your workout! I cannot emphasize enough how important this is. Put it in your agenda, in your calendar, on your bathroom mirror.
9. Increase your exercise routine regularly, ideally after every 2 weeks. You can do this by duration, repetitions, intensity, whatever you choose.
10. Journal on how you feel physically and mentally: before starting, then every 2 weeks. After a month look back on what you’ve journaled. Nice job, my friend!
11. Celebrate your success by having a massage, a spa day, buying a new pair of shoes, anything that brings you joy. You deserve it!
What I hadn’t expected, is that one good habit attracts other good habits with it. Gaining more and more motivation and inner strength, I was able to get rid of sweets, then of artificial sweeteners, then of other foods that didn’t serve me. I simply started to eat healthier, because that’s what my body was asking for and was receiving well.
I am no super-hero and I did it. I work out daily and have a hard time hiding how proud I am of myself. I share the above with the people around me and seeing my results they are inspired to do it themselves. Do it and be a role-model yourself! I believe in you.
Have you started already? What are you waiting for?[/thrive_lead_lock]