Finding Healthy Success

Monday June 23, 2014

Written by: Mike Harrer, MS, CPT

Beginning an exercise program can be an agonizing and difficult decision. Many people justify one bad decision with another (I ate poorly today, I’ll just skip the gym and eat better tomorrow). Simply starting in the right direction can seem like an uphill battle, but here are a few thoughts to keep in mind as you begin your journey.

  • Exercise should not allow you to justify the huge meal you just had. Burning 300-500 calories in one hour will not compensate for gorging on a 1,000 calorie meal.
  •  Exercise doesn’t have to make you miserable. Try choosing an activity that you can enjoy and have success
  •  Start by making a few good decisions, then turn those into habits. Eating one bad meal or skipping a day at the gym doesn’t mean you have failed. Focus on making small changes and making better decisions that you can maintain over time
  •  Fix your diet first! Adding exercise to poor eating habits may only lead to further frustration when you don’t see immediate changes

As you progress into a new exercise program, find things that you are more likely to maintain over time. If you find the gym intimidating or just don’t have the time, consider a brisk walk or hike, or even an active cleaning spree around the house. Also consider active video games like Wii Tennis or Wii Fit. Your longterm goal should be to create a healthier lifestyle around activities and foods that you enjoy.