banner1gif.gif

Do Something Today; Beginners Welcome

This time of year, with Westchester Triathlon fever in the air, many people trying to get back in non-triathlon shape say they feel intimidated by all the fit, thin people in town. I recently read something that clicked with me and I hope helps get the doubtful motivated. In the old days, it would have been a small epiphany, but thanks to Oprah, it’s an “Aha moment”. Mine isn’t one that’s likely to be used on a sports inspiration poster (it was in a fairly dense textbook chapter on health behavior psychology), but here it is: “Activity history is arguably the most important and influential variable in predicting current activity levels”. Fast forward the timeline of the quote and you get “the more active you are today, the more active you’ll be next week, next year, in 10 years time”.

 

By Lee Sandford

 

This time of year, with Westchester Triathlon fever in the air, many people trying to get back in non-triathlon shape say they feel intimidated by all the fit, thin people in town. I recently read something that clicked with me and I hope helps get the doubtful motivated. In the old days, it would have been a small epiphany, but thanks to Oprah, it’s an “Aha moment”. Mine isn’t one that’s likely to be used on a sports inspiration poster (it was in a fairly dense textbook chapter on health behavior psychology), but here it is: “Activity history is arguably the most important and influential variable in predicting current activity levels”. Fast forward the timeline of the quote and you get “the more active you are today, the more active you’ll be next week, next year, in 10 years time”.


I’ll admit that Nike’s “Just do it” is snappier, but seeing all the research backing this up made me realize how vital it is to your future health to get out and do something today.

 

For many of us, the start of fall marks the start of a new year — with young kids going back to school, or perhaps starting school for the first time, opening up a precious couple of hours in the day. Even if you don’t fall into that category, why not view the beginning of ideal exercise weather as a chance to get started on a new regimen?

 

The First Step – Literally

 

Don’t know where to start? Go for a walk. No equipment required, no need to drive a great distance to a quaint little town on the waterfront, with a couple of nature preserves, because you live in one. So get going.

 

The Next Step


Start by examining all the reasons you haven’t succeeded in keeping up regular exercise in the past. (Hint: the most common one is lack of time.) With study after study proving the reduced life expectancy of sedentary people, less time for exercise means less time on this planet. So, look at your schedule and decide where to find time.

 

Some people will find they need something very flexible, most likely a solo activity like running, biking, or swimming. Upon closer examination, others may realize it’s more that they let time get away from them, so they’re better suited to a group class or a regular date with a workout buddy or trainer.

 

Another common reason for failure is that the weight-loss or fitness journey is just too long, so people get discouraged and lose interest along the way.  

 

Set intermediate goals, like running a certain distance or reaching a weight-loss milestone. When you reach a target, congratulate yourself and then get to work on the next one.

 

The Maintenance Stage

 

If you manage to make it fully into the action stage, hopefully you’ll be so invigorated by the endorphins that you’ll be hooked for life. Local mom Liz Vogt got into the action phase three months ago and says she won’t ever be inactive again. “I love the feeling of strength I have gained in my body and mind, a feeling that transcends into every aspect of my life.”

 

Relapse occurs most often where people get bored or stop seeing results. Find something you love and set new goals within that sport regularly – a race, a charity swim, for example. To keep seeing results, add something new to your routine, shocking the body and muscles into working harder.

 

In the spirit of “putting my money where my mouth is”, I’d like to work for free this fall with three Rye Record readers who consider themselves beginner-level exercisers and have at least 15 pounds to lose. Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 473-3790 for details.


Add comment


Security code
Refresh