I was sitting in the Pavitt Health & Fitness sauna with several members the other day. While we carried on a lively conversation, a couple of other members came in wearing their yoga attire to briefly warm themselves up before their class. I had never thought of doing that before, but it sure seems like a good idea.
Along with the idea to use an outside source of heat like a sauna to warm ourselves up before stretching or exercising, I was struck by the number of other good ideas that got brought up during our talk in the sauna.
In no particular order, here are some random ideas that came up recently, as well as over the last several months as members have discussed the Healthy Lifestyle Challenge with me:
Always begin new exercise programs slowly and increase the difficulty, duration or intensity gradually. This applies to any new activity even if you are in pretty good shape from doing other things. Cross country skiing may have kept you in good shape all winter, but you will still be using new muscles when you start running when, or if, the snow ever melts this year.
Forget about perfection. You are never going to obtain it and neither is anyone else. Improvement, on the other hand, is something we can all achieve. Even if last week was a total disaster both as far as how you ate and how often you got to the gym, you can do better this week.
Many of us do better with accountability and camaraderie. If you are having trouble getting to the gym or out for your lunch time walk, teaming up with a coworker can really help with your consistency as well as making exercise more fun.
Obesity may not really be contagious, but if all of your coworkers bring in candies and goodies to the office it might seem like it is. Almost everyone will eat these things if they are laying around all day. I'll bet that if you have frank discussions with those in your office you will find that others would like to be spared the temptation as well. If it isn't there you can't eat it.
The same goes for the food in your house. If you are trying not to eat junk food, don't bring junk food into your house! I was raised not to waste food, but it really is okay to throw out health destroying "food."
Lastly, your health and fitness is in no way related to your self worth. Obesity is not a moral issue, it is a health issue. Smoking doesn't make you a bad person but I do really hope that for the sake of your health you are eventually able to quit. In the meantime cutting down is an improvement.
This year's Healthy Lifestyle Challenge is ending, but our journeys go on. Good luck with all of your health- related endeavors and please remember to be gentle and loving with yourself as you continue on your own personal healthy lifestyle challenge.