Don't be fat, look younger, look less tired, wear clothes that make you acceptable to others....exercise and diet compulsively to achieve other people's aspirations for you....
I bet if we're all honest, at some time or other, we've been affected by that.... I know I have.
We all want to look good but is it a sustainable way to keep fit, when your goals are aimed around what you feel you should be doing, how you feel you should be looking, rather than what you love to do?
The thing is that the relentless pursuit of an ideal body isn't likely to offer most of us a sustainable health and fitness programme. It can set us up for failure and leave us confused about what our goals really are and why we are not getting there.
Chose your exercise like your friends...you may have lots of friends but there will always be a handful of special people that make the difference to you. In the same way, do lots of things to keep yourself fit but find those things that you love to do and your exercise becomes sustainable for life. You may not have found that thing yet...you may still be driving past the gym with a grimace and a guilty sidewards glance at your bankcard, your bike may be gathering dust in the shed, the cross-trainer in the garage making you feel bad every time you go to the tumble dryer..
If that's the case, then that's not your thing - you tried it, which is commendable. So move on...try something new. Change something. Fall in love with running, swimming, cycling, walking, hiking, climb mountains, join up to something, play a team sport, join a class, get advice, lift weights, join a group.... I don't know what it is for you...but keep trying because your passion for exercise when you find it will be the most amazing reward.
So if you're worrying about the numbers on your scales this week....going backwards and forwards.....stop and have a think about whether you can set yourself a goal that challenges you instead. Something that's about you and about being strong and fit for your future. I hope that you find your motivation and that you fall in love with that form of exercise, not because it will give you the 'ideal' body but simply because you wake up wanting to do it
We live in a culture where often there is an unrealistic idea that being healthy is no fun - it's too hard and involves hours of soul destroying exercise combined with gagging on limp salad leaves and regurgitating bits of cucumber
Exercising, once you find something that you love to do, feels pretty fantastic. For me, personally it is one of the highlights of each day. It's a personal time that allows me to put my earphones in and zone out. It keeps me fit and strong and I love that feeling but just as importantly, it keeps me balanced, feeling in control and it allows my two teenagers to continue living in my house.
The exercise is always challenging but I wake up each day and I look forward to doing it.
I enjoy eating real food that I know my body needs.
It's a journey to get to that point for any of us but it's more than worth the effort and if you listen carefully, you might hear your future self encouraging you...
Doesn't feel good?....try it before you make your mind up.
If you're looking for a way to get your journey off the ground or back on track, next week, I'll be adding some tips to get you started or keep you going towards that goal of being as healthy as you can be, whilst having fun (yes you really can!!) and keeping it realistic..
Hope that you have a great weekend and stay active
So, this weekend I have a full day running course to complete on Saturday and am taking part in the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge on Sunday on behalf of the NSPCC with a big group of lovely people (my legs are already sobbing quietly at the thought of the whole weekend - I'm rubbing them soothingly in the style of Vic Reeves in an unconvincing effort to reassure them) so by the time I see some of you on Monday, I could look a bit on the interesting side. I have some flapjacks so all is well.
I'll let you know how it went next week and how my body responded to the challenging weekend. Hope you all have a brilliant weekend and manage to get outdoors in the sunshine!
Walking is a great way to stay active and improve your fitness, without the added intensity that other exercise forms bring, so almost anyone can do it. A good walking technique is key to staying healthy and improving fitness.
Always try to engage your core muscles. This is particularly important in walking because you are upright the whole time and supporting your entire body weight. So tighten your tummy muscles and this will naturally make you walk taller with better posture.
Try not to slouch, which is sometimes difficult on longer walks. Spinal alignment is part of the core strength that I just mentioned. You should stand up straight, trying not to lean too far forward or backward so that you don't end up with back niggles.
Let your arms swing naturally and try not to hold tension anywhere - check that your fists are loose and that your jaw is too. Use your energy effectively for the walking.
If you're new to walking and wanting to make a start and improve, why not join a local walking group. Both York and Selby, like lots of other areas run 'Walking for Health' groups.
The Selby group organise group led graded walks from Abbey Leisure Centre, Brayton, Thorpe Willoughby, Hambleton, Barlow Common, Drax, Escrick, Tadcaster, Saxton and other local areas. Family walks for parents and children/young people have now been introduced in Selby Town. The walks are free of charge - check them out.
If you're wanting to make changes to your health, walking regularly can be a fantastic start to your fitness journey
Virtually any form of exercise, can act as a stress reliever. If you feel out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management. Discover the connection between exercise and stress relief by trying it out. Start with walking and increase your distance and speed over time.
Your body will thank you for doing that rather than bottling it up or using poor food choices for comfort (we've all done that). Head outdoors if the weather allows and find your own balance with your own body.
It's not selfish to take care of yourself and make your health a priority. If you feel stressed, take some action to counteract that and you'll be surprised how effective it is.