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Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Finding MY Motivation

I’ve been exercising and eating right for many years . . . many, many years, sigh. In general, I think I’ve done a pretty good job. I am healthy. I am mobile. I am happy. Yes, I am heavier than I was at a younger age – and I want to change that. And, no, I am not as strong or sturdy as I was at a younger age – and I want to change that as well.

However, sometimes it is hard to find the motivation to really effect a positive change. Sometimes it feels like I am just going along, doing the same old thing and not striving for improvement. I think we all feel like this at times, I know I sure do.

So in order to get out of my same ol’ routine, I recently joined a new online exercise and nutrition support group through the Beachbody community on Facebook to shake things up. Although we’ve just started this group, I am already finding that working with new people is a good thing. The members of the group have challenged me to think about things in a new way. The members of the group are positive. I feel like I have new friends and there is a built-in accountability aspect with the members of the group that comes from us checking in online with comments, suggestions, and ideas for improvement. And the support I have received is incredible.

Previously I have used an app called MyChallengeTracker for another online group through Beachbody. I really liked this format. The app made it easy to log in, record the positive things I had done for the day in either exercise or nutrition, and it even reminded me if a day passed and I hadn’t logged an event. Ah, gotta love technology.

Then there’s music. Music really is a motivator for me. I love to put my headphones on and head out for a walk or a run. I’ve spent a fair amount of time organizing playlists on iTunes that suit my various moods. For example, I have a Latin playlist with songs by Marc Anthony and Romeo Santos, a Soundtracks playlist with songs from movies like Tron and The Hunger Games, and a Girls playlist with songs by Bette Midler, Amy Winehouse, and others. Then I use an exercise app called RunKeeper which tracks my distance, speed, duration, and plays my music all the while.

If you are slacking in your exercise and nutrition efforts, consider where your motivation comes from. Are you the kind of person who is completely self-motivated? Do you spring out of bed ready to get in a run? Or, are you a person who really loves a good aerobics class at the local gym? Do you find that exercising (and chatting) with friends is how you like to spend your exercise time? Do you like to exercise indoors, or do you crave exercising outdoors? Whatever your normal routine is, think about a change.  If you haven’t been to a yoga class, try one. If you normally go for a run, think about taking a swim. If you’ve been exercising alone, seek an exercise buddy. If you’ve been counting calories, try a once a week fast instead. Consider adding more vegetables to your plate, or think about tracking your nutrition through one of the apps available. Making a change can be very motivating.

Find your motivation and stay healthy and fit!

 -- Lynn Thompson Baca, guest blogger
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Sometimes transitions are anticipated, sometimes they are not. Anticipated transitions can include moving from one city to another, going off to college, finally reaching retirement. Unanticipated transitions can include moving from one city to another . . . not because you want to but because you need to, changing jobs due to layoffs or other surprise reductions, loss of a spouse. Whatever the transition cause, stress can result from a change. What do we need to do to combat stress – say it with me, “exercise.”

But saying it can be easier than getting out and doing it. I recently transitioned from living in a remote setting in the West to living in an urban setting in the South. Whoa! In addition to the challenge of exercising at all during the actual travel days (I didn’t), then I was faced with so many options for how to establish a new exercise routine.

So, today I got out my yoga mat and got on the floor. Good. Step One done. Then I took an hour-long walk downtown. Okay, now. Step Two done. I feel better now. I am a little more limber. I got sunshine on my face. I burned a few calories.

Now I am going to sit down with a cup of coffee and my Shakeology and think about what I want my new exercise routine to look like. Shall I take a class once a week? Shall I buy a new exercise video and workout at home? Shall I repeat today’s activities? Options!

Whatever exercise options I decide upon, I know exercise will make me feel better and help me ease through all the other parts of the transition.  

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