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Three weeks ago the newsletter focused on using this mild winter to build up a better baseline fitness level. I told you how in a study by Simon Young on how to increase serotonin in the human body without drugs, there were 4 methods found to be effective: meditation, bright light, exercise and diet.
My big "DO" recommendation was to commit to walking more so you'd enter spring time with an exercise routine already built in to your week to make you more knowledgeable about your fitness abilities and less likely to overdo it when the weather improves so that your joints would be ready for an increase in activity and you'd have kept the winter weight off.
Did you do it? (In my mind I'm hearing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes!).
When did you make the change? How often have you been? How long have you spent out walking?
If you've made it out twice a week since then you're definitely ready to ramp it up so this week's "DO" is about how to do it safely.
You may be ready to spend more of the day out walking so preparation is key. Think weather, clothing, footwear, supplies. Here's a great article about hill walking preparation but there's no substitute for experience so my advice would be to go with a regular hill walker or group. Big warning: mobile phone signals cannot be relied upon in the hilly areas. The signal may simply be absent or can be affected by the weather so phones should not be used as GPS tracking devices or routefinders.
I'm hoping that if you're at the hill walking stage you've found some friends to assist but what if you didn't quite make it out three weeks ago. .. Is all lost? Are you done for before you begin?
If your intentions were good but somehow it didn't pan out it's time to take another tack. Try this:
1. Admit that you have the desire and intention to take more exercise.
2. Accept that you need a prompt.
3. Choose a small goal.
4. Allow yourself a reward for achieving the goal.
5. Phone a friend and tell them that you need an encouraging shove to achieve your goal to enjoy your reward. Specify each of these items in advance and make sure that you get your reward within a week.
Then here's the clever bit... Ask them what they need a shove with, what their goal is and how you can help them achieve their reward. That's for next week. Then it's your turn again.
Getting other people involved leads to greater success because a) you don't want to let them down, b) you need a really good reason or they'll call you on it and c) saying your plans out loud makes them harder to hide from. If you're keeping your weight loss and fitness plans a secret, please stop and ask yourself why. If it's because you don't want people knowing when you've failed then you're making life a lot harder than it has to be. Accept now that you WILL fail at some point and that's part of the process. Long term fitness only comes from managing these failures so actually, failing is useful whenever we learn something from it.
What's your goal? What's your reward? Tell me and we'll make a difference.
Enjoy Good Health!