Whether you’ve sat on the sidelines for years—or your whole life—you can get active no matter what your age or size. Making it a habit starts in your head, says Spry Fitness Coach and internationally recognized expert Petra Kolber. Here’s her advice for making your move in 2012.
- Drop “exercise” from your vocabulary. Often when we hear that word, we immediately connect it to “weight”—it’s no wonder so many people have such a fraught relationship with the concept. Instead, use a word that’s joyful and playful. (I prefer “movement.”)
- Think outside the gym. Dancing is movement, gardening is movement, playing Frisbee and walking the dog are ways of moving. You don’t have to wriggle into Spandex and sweat among a group of strangers to get the benefits of exercise.
- Measure your progress by how you feel. Our fitness culture measures success solely on numbers—how many pounds you’ve lost or calories you’ve burned. Instead of stepping on the scale, rate how energized and motivated you are on a scale of one to five after a workout. If, on most days, you’re more of a two than a five, you may need to try something else.
- Banish black-and-white thinking. For example, “I didn’t get out to walk this morning and it’s already noon, so I may as well wait till tomorrow.” A little movement is better than no movement; just do the best you can and don’t look back.