Aside from my love of all things personal finance blogging, is my passion for health and fitness. In fact I have another blog dedicated to that called Healthy, Fit, and Frugal.
Why? Because when it comes to life, there are three things that I consider to be the most important: Friends, Family, and Health. You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have any one of those three things, you are not what I’d consider “wealthy.” Of course having a lot of money can definitely make taking care of yourself easier, with access to better quality food, gyms, recreation, good medical care, etc.
As someone who has been a longtime regular exerciser, I can say the ONE piece of advice I would give non-exericisers wanting to change is this: DO SOMETHING EVERY SINGLE DAY!
I don’t care if that’s going for a five minute walk, cleaning your house, gardening, or going hardcore at the gym. The important thing is when you do something every day, you create a habit. And habit is what makes you eventually become a regular exerciser.
If you are new to exercising, or it’s been a long time since you’ve had a regular exercise plan, it may seem daunting to do something every day. It’s really not. A common mistake people make each year when they set resolutions, is setting unrealistic goals for themselves that look something like this:
- Monday: 60 minutes of strength training.
- Tuesday: Zumba.
- Wednesday: 60 minutes of strength training.
- Thursday: Spin Class.
- Friday: Yoga.
- Saturday: Run 10 miles.
- Sunday: Climb Mt. Everest.
Geesh!! No wonder people fail! And that’s just the exercise part. I didn’t even get to the part where people make unrealistic food goals for themselves. “I will only eat 800 calories per day.” Um, yeah right!
First of all that exercise plan is barely doable for those who exercise regularly…maybe with the exception of someone training to become Mr. Universe.
The point of exercise is to build a program that is sustainable…for life! Not for this week or next. And unless you have a personal trainer riding your ass every minute of the day, the best way to do that is to start very small, and begin building exercise into your life, until you find yourself one day feeling terrible if you miss a workout. You just can’t live without it.
So start small. In the beginning everything counts. So if you clean the kitchen, count that as a workout. If you walk to the post office instead of drive, then count that too. Eventually you will begin to expand on that.
Here are some other quick tips to begin building a fitness plan:
- Get rid of junk and processed food!
- Track your activity and calories in free websites like Myfitnesspal.com. You might be surprised at how many calories you’re really eating.
- Unless it’s for extreme medical reasons, never strive for losing more than a pound per week.
- Follow my 10% rule. Slowly add 10% more of the good stuff to your life, and take away 10% of the bad stuff.
- Get the whole family on board with living a new, healthy way of life. Lead by example if you have kids.
- Incorporate flexibility training into your schedule. I do this while watching TV at night.
- Never deprive yourself. What you resist, persists.
- Drink a lot of water
- Don’t skip meals.
So head on over to Ready For Zero’s Food, Fitness, and Finance Challenge and take the pledge to get healthy in all three areas. You’ll receive 14 days of advice, inspiration, and resources to reach your food, fitness, and finance goals.