Raise your hand if you think diet and exercise are important for your health? While I can't see your hands, probably 99.9% of you would agree they are. I don't think there's any hesitation in acknowledging this concept; however, it's easier said than done.
Let's begin with dieting. If you're like me, you've seen your share of family members and/or friends participate in the latest diet trend. We all know it's good to watch what we eat, but why is it so hard?
Next up, exercising. Exercising is one of the most popular topics when formulating a new year's resolution list, but I wonder how many people actually stay consistent with it?
I've recently started paying attention to the foods I eat and running during my lunch hour. Now I remember why I've veered off track before... dieting and exercising are inconvenient on so many levels. Here are my top reasons why and how to deal:
1. Preparation. My morning routine has changed. I can no longer roll out of bed, find something to wear, fix my hair, and hit the road. I have to prepare my lunch every morning and pack an extra bag of exercise clothes.
-- How to deal -- Get ahead of the game. On Sunday night, plan out your meals for the rest of the week. I've found small healthy snack foods are best. They're easy to grab and typically come in convenient self-serving packs. Check out my recent blog post for 10 energy boosting foods to consider. As far as packing exercise clothes, don't make it too difficult. Select a combination of shirts and shorts and rotate them each day. No one will care if you wear the same exercise clothes each week (just as long as you wash them).
2. Costs. Junk food is relatively inexpensive. Healthy food can become expensive. A gym membership can get pricey as well. It's hard enough to maintain a budget without eating healthier and working out.
-- How to deal -- As previously mentioned, healthy snack foods are best because they normally come in larger quantities. For example, get a bag of baby carrots or a carton of almonds. These will probably last you through the week and they're inexpensive. Go old school in your workout routine. There's no need for a gym membership when you run outside and do plenty of exercises with your own body weight.
3. Sacrifice. I despise going to the grocery store. Most of the time, it's cold and full of extreme couponers. While you might not consider that to be a sacrifice, it's a sacrifice of time. Exercising is the same way. It's never going to be convenient to work out.
-- How to deal -- Find the foods that work for you and keep to them. Also, consider using the same grocery store each time your shop. This way, you'll know where everything is located and be in/out fairly quickly. Create a new routine with exercising too. Limit your workouts to predetermined amount of time so that you're efficient. I try to run for 30 minutes and use the other half hour to cool down.
4. Fatigue. One of the biggest deterrents of exercising is fatigue. Nobody likes the feeling of being sore. Sometimes, it can literally make you feel sick. Fatigue can also be associated with eating healthy and/or watching your diet too. You get sick of the process and slip back into old habits.
-- How to deal -- Find an exercise buddy. It might sound silly, but having someone endure the same thing you are will definitely help. You'll be able to use each other as motivation. Same with eating better, encourage your friends to join you. There's always strength in numbers.
(Image by FitnessTownEdmonton)