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Staying in good health should be one of our most important priorities. Similar to your car needing a tune-up, we also need to keep our hearts pumping to stay in our best health! Sure, there are many people who do all of the right things, keeping their health in mind. They eat the right foods, paying particular attention to their exercise rituals more seriously than most of us do. Then there are people out there like me. I'll keep the part about my weight fluctuation off the table right now (I've always struggled to lose those excess pounds or keep it off once it's gone). Your current weight aside, the older you get the more important things like your health become. You start to watch what you eat, following all the rules of whichever diet plan it is that you've chosen to follow. You even go as far as not allowing yourself to give into the temptation that nags deep down in your core every now and again. Instead, you fight it, and you win. Or so you think…
The day comes when it's time to see your results. The results you just know you'll see because you were so diligent, why wouldn't there be results? Unfortunately, the split second it takes to see that one dreaded number on the scale brings your spirits down from the cloud-nine “I've got this” plummeting to the floor, as you feel terribly defeated and on the brink of giving up! What did you do wrong? You ate all the right foods! You were sure you were going to see the numbers on the scale dip even a pound or two in opposite direction, instead, it remains stubbornly on that one number you just can't get away from! Then, it dawns on you! You did everything right, except for exercise!
I've been in this very spot so many times before! I had so many excuses too. “I'm too busy” “I don't have a babysitter” “I can't afford a gym membership”. Well, now that the second most feared number in my life (my age) is pushing forty, I decided to stop playing around and falling victim to the same old roller coaster that my body has been on its entire life. In reality, the excuses that I had weren't necessarily excuses, they were a reality. I really didn't know when I'd find the time to squeeze in even a thirty-minute workout, let alone an hour and so on. I managed to find a way to trick myself into getting the exercise I needed in order to get to my healthy weight without stepping foot in a gym, rearranging my already over-booked schedule, or spending a penny on expensive exercise equipment that would only end up collecting dust in my basement when I hit the defeated brink of giving up again.
When I finally found the ideal diet plan for me, I knew I had to incorporate exercise into my ritual somehow. I figured out how to do this, and I'm going to share it with you. Here is how I did it; first, you will either need to invest in a Fitbit or a step counter app on your cell phone. Personally, I invested in a Fitbit. They make cute bands with varying colors or patterns so you can color coordinate with your clothes if you'd like. If you're not the type of person to wear something like a Fitbit on your wrist, go to your app store on your cell phone and download an app that will track how many steps per day you walk. When you start setting up your Fitbit or new app, you will be prompted to enter your information (height, weight, ideal weight etc.). Once you've entered in all your personal information, the app or FitBit will calculate exactly how any steps per day you need to take in order to hit your goal weight. Here's what I did to hit my goals because this still doesn't answer the “how” question, does it! Well, here's how:
Park in the furthest parking spot wherever you go:
Whether it be at the grocery store, bank, post office or work, your instinct tells you to find the closest parking spot to the door. But, if you pick the furthest, you could get an extra thousand steps in by simply walking in and out of a location you're going to anyhow! Another added benefit of doing this, you will always have a parking spot waiting for you. Not many people are honking their horns, waiting not so patiently to steal your parking place when it's on the opposite end of the parking lot!
Walk to your mailbox
For those of you who have a mailbox at the end of your driveway, instead of pulling up to your mailbox as you get home, go park your car first! This will force you to walk to your mailbox, then back to your house again. Here are some more steps added to your total, bringing you one step closer to the goal you need to hit by the day's end. How many depends on how far away your mailbox is, of course. But either way, it's more than you were doing before.
Purposely make two trips around the grocery store
If your not making a rushed trip to the grocery store, purposely walk by something you need on the shelf. Make a note on your list to go back for it before you leave, of course. Here are a few more forced steps added to your step counter, pushing you in the right direction!
Put things away one by one at home
If you're tidying up at home, instead of picking up the shoes, coat, and bag all at once to put them away in one shot, do it one by one. There are three trips from one end of your house to the other simply putting out of place things away. And even more steps on your counter! You're going to do this anyhow, so prolong the trips back and fourth.
It may sound silly, but it works! This is exactly how I finally lost a whopping forty-two pounds over the course of the last seven months! Of course, I followed my tailored diet plan religiously as well, it was a combination of the two. You can't get results with one or the other. But, when I finally started seeing results, and how easy it was to get the added exercise I needed into my life this way, I kept going. I stopped the roller coaster of losing the weight loss battle time and time again. I never hit the defeating brink of giving up that forced me to throw my hands up, and mourn my defeat over a velvet chocolate cake and bottle of Merlot (yes, the entire cake, yes, the entire bottle)…
At this point in my life, my goal was more about being healthy than it was about getting that one pair of pants to fit. Either way, whatever your reason may be, even the slightest bit of exercise that you wouldn't normally get into your day helps put you on the path to a better you. When you start to see the results you are looking for, you stay motivated to continue and stick with it, versus getting the cake and bottle of Merlot like I did countless times before. Now, I'm at a point where I'm happy with my body. By all means, I'm not a supermodel, and I'm still far from perfect. But I'm happy with where my health and body is today. Having an aid to count my steps was very important and helpful to me. It held me accountable, I pushed to hit the goal I needed to hit each day, and by the time I got home from work I had an idea of how many trips I had to make back and forth between the front door and laundry room before I called it a day. You can get a Fitbit many places, they have them all over. Here is a link to find one online at Amazon.com (click here: http://amzn.to/2sNz91q ) they also have various accessories, which you can also get online at Amazon.com (click here: http://amzn.to/2swRJGZ ),
Exercise, dieting, and health can be a challenge for some. Others, it's a way of life. Sometimes we all need a little guidance or help to take a step in the right direction. I hope this guides you to take one more step towards your goals!