Believe it or not. It does not come naturally to want to wake up early, get dressed and go for a run in the early hours of the morning. Especially weekends. For fun. I know…
As an adult, there comes a point in your life where you want to improve your overall health. Maybe you want to lose a couple of pounds or just stop getting winded climbing a few stairs. Whatever the case, here are a couple of tips that helped me become one of those early rising, active types. Trust me, this was not always the case.
- Start small – not that long ago a victory for me, consisted of waking up and going to the gym. Even if it meant walking at a snail pace for 10 minutes on the treadmill or even just sitting, reading a book in the gym lobby waiting for my friend to finish training.As time goes on, increase the intensity, speed, weight or length of the activity you have chosen. If you are like me (a millennial) you have to fight the urge to want to become a triathlete, overnight, just because you thought it would be or look cool. One training session will not result in your looking like The Rock or taking on the Tour de France.
- Be consistent – Slow and steady wins the race. Walking every single morning for 20 minutes for a month is better than running a 5km once a month.
- You cannot out-train poor nutrition – Surprise, surprise. No matter what activity you are doing. Try running a car on mud and it will break down.
- Find a gym buddy or running partner – find someone who you enjoy being around, someone who is in better shape than you and can help push you past the point of what you think is possible. Remember, we become like those we associate ourselves with. Unless you are really self-driven and disciplined, I would say having a gym buddy is vital. I would often throw myself out of bed in a spin at 5 am running out the door to go train. Just because I knew my training partner was downstairs in the car waiting for me.
- Find a diet, eating plan, lifestyle (eating method) that works for you– Keep trying until you find something that works for you, you can keep it up long-term and it doesn’t make miserable. Slow and Steady. We in this thing for the long haul. What worked for me was intermittent fasting – OMAD (one meal a day)
- Do something that you like – try to find an activity that you like. I hated going to the gym and running. So I would cycle, walk and play squash because I found those to be a lot of fun. After 45 minutes of any of those activities, I would be dead tired, sweaty but had a smile on my face.Now that I am fitter, I actually like running (and gym), I feel better about myself, and can run for more than 2 minutes (not kidding) before it feels like my legs were going to break right under me.
- Doing something (even the tiniest amount) is FAR BETTER than NOTHING – I know this is basically point #1 coming up again but it is true. You might be tempted to think that if you can’t get out of bed and run for 20km, there is no point. This is false (thanks Dwight). Keep at it. Waking up turns into walking. Walking to jogging. Jogging to running. Before you know it, you are finishing races and waking up early on a Saturday to go running and there is nothing else you would rather be doing. Not even sleeping.
Whose with me?