To me, staying active and fit is not just a desire. It’s a necessity. Non-negotiable. I’ve always been that way … oriented toward activity. I’ve always felt most myself while in motion. But this characteristic became a choice when I developed my first list of goals and values, while still in high school. That’s when I made a conscious decision and wrote in a notebook, “I have abundant energy and can always demand extra effort from my body.”
This defining statement – one of many – formalized my desire and commitment to stay fit throughout my lifetime. I knew then that I wanted to be active and agile into my later years of life. And now, a few decades later, I am more determined than ever.
Deciding to be fit and healthy is the first step. Write it down in a language and clarity that speaks to you. Putting your intention down on paper is extremely important, otherwise it’s only wishful thinking. Writing is real. Imagining or intending or wondering is ambiguous and often fleeting.
Exercise equals energy. I’m not saying that you can only exercise when you feel energized. I’m saying the opposite. When you put your body in motion – whether it is walking, jogging, cycling, doing yard work, stretching, going to the gym, or whatever gets you off your butt and into action – you manufacture personal energy you can use! This means you will feel better, think more clearly, be more effective fighting off disease and generally be more happy and fun to be around. Life is better when you are oriented toward fitness.
Mini workouts make a big difference. You don’t have to run a marathon to experience these benefits. A brisk walk will jump start your system. Start simple. Build momentum. It isn’t about intensity, it’s about frequency. Make a commitment (write it down) to do something every day to activate your muscles, elevate your heart rate, and experience the “rush” of being an active person.
If you are new to fitness, or it has been awhile, start by parking your car on the other side of the parking lot and walking the extra steps (quickly). Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stand up and stretch a few times throughout the day. Two to three times a week, do something a bit more intense, such as a longer cardio or strength training workout. Again, start simple and slow. Let these habits develop, instead of forcing them into place.
Do you have a heartfelt desire to be more fit? How do you want to feel a year from now? Personally, I want to be in the best shape of my life. And what do you know? I just wrote it down.