Obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are a few of the negative effects of not exercising. African-Americans are much more likely to be affected by these health issues than the general population. That is concerning on many levels, especially since we can influence our risk if we just GET Active.
Physical exercise is something we all know is needed in our lives. Yet, very few of us live active lifestyles. When you ask the question, “why is exercise not part of your life?” You are likely to find many excuses reasons why not. Outside of physical limitations preventing physical exercise, there are 3 Keys to GET Active and Remain Active for everyone.
1) Create a habit
We are creatures of habit. If you survey your day, you will find that you do many of the same things each day out of habit. You drive the same route to work; you wash your body the same way each day; you fold your laundry the same way; you check the Facebook app on your phone as soon as you get out of bed each day (smiles). Your day, your week, and your month is likely filled with habitual actions like those mentioned. We are creatures of habit.
If you want to live an active lifestyle, your focus needs to be on creating the habit. The habit of doing something, anything, physically active each day. It is recommended that adults get at least 30 minutes. That could be playing with your kids for 30 minutes, walking around the block, or even playing motion detection video games like the Wii or Xbox Kinect. Commit to being active every single day until the habit is formed and until you do it without thinking.
2) Get support
We are social creatures. Very few things we do are done in isolation, and they shouldn’t be done that way. Creating that habit of being active can be a challenge without a support system. Some days you will not feel like doing it, and that is where your support is needed. On other days you will be the one who encourages. Support systems fill the need for the social creature in us all.
Your support can come in the form of a workout partner who does the activities with you each day. Or, a team of others who join you by committing to the same thing. Your team doesn’t have to meet physically to complete each workout. Social media has become a great way to connect with others who share similar goals. Seek out others who are at your same stage, others who are where you want to be, and others who are trying to get where you are in regard to living an active lifestyle.
3) Do something you enjoy
We seek pleasure and avoid pain. I’ve read that all the actions made in our life are based on us seeking pleasure or avoiding pain. I grew up playing sports because they were fun, they gave me a sense of pleasure. I continued to play sports and remain active even after my high school and college playing days were over. And I still do now because I really enjoy them.
If you want to remain living an active lifestyle, you have to find activities that you enjoy doing. As I said earlier, there will be times you don’t feel like it. Those times will come less when you enjoy the activity, and the pain of missing out on something you enjoy will likely move you to action. Seek physical activities that give you pleasure.
A (free) Challenge for you
Beginning September 1st, the second #GETActive30 Day Challenge will begin. The challenge is FREE and open to all who want to begin an active lifestyle or continue an active lifestyle. Each day you are challenged to complete at least 30 minutes of physical activity, every day for the entire month.
In addition, you are encouraged to share your activity with the other participants (your virtual team) in the challenge. By the time the challenge is complete, you will have: 1) created a habit, 2) developed a strong support system to encourage you, and 3) found physical activities that you enjoy.
For those in Atlanta you can use the challenge as part of your preparation for the Black Girls Run Coed 5k & 10K Race, September 14-16.
BMWK: Are you currently physically active? Please share some of your favorite physical activities in the comment section below.