I woke up this morning and looked at two piles of clothes: one was a pair of jeans and a stripy top and the other was my running gear. I sighed and walked towards my jeans. Did I really want to go for a run today even though the sun was shining and I had childcare and really no excuses? I felt a little sluggish. I had had a long day yesterday and had gone to bed late. Perhaps I should just stay home, make a hot cup of tea and breakfast and get to work…
Then a voice in my head said “Just do it”. There is something important about briefly looking ahead in your life by a few hours and wondering how you would feel after you take certain actions. I knew I would feel better after a run. I knew I needed some fresh air today. So I put on my running clothes, dropped off my kids and went over to my local park. Simply by putting on my running clothes, I had changed my mindset about exercise. In the park, the sun was streaming through the trees, the leaves were golden and red and I felt good. Oh hello, here are lots of other people exercising at 9am too. Bikers, joggers, walkers, moms and dads pushing strollers, soccer teams, exercise classes. Everyone out enjoying the fresh air and beauty of nature. I was out for about 45 minutes running through the woods and on various paths and when I came home I had so much more energy for work and everything else that is happening today.
I’m not a life-long runner. I started in my mid-thirties with a “Couch to 5K” app on my iPod. I’m not very fit. I’ll probably never run a marathon or even a 10k. But I like it. I love the feeling of strength and energy running gives me. I just love being out in the park and fresh air. It’s good for the soul.
When I talk to my clients about incorporating exercise into their daily routines, this is exactly what I mean. Do what you like, not what you think you should be doing. By that I mean: make exercise fun. If you don’t like the gym, head outside. If you don’t like running, try swimming. If you like dancing, try a fun class. There are so many different options out there that don’t involve running on a treadmill in a sweaty gym. Make exercise fun and before you know it, it just becomes part of your daily and weekly routine and you will feel fabulous! Just do it. I promise, it works.