I'm guilty. I know I've used those exact words and what's unfortunate is I convinced myself I was telling the truth.
Really? I didn't have time or was I just not making the time? I have time to watch TV. I have time to check Facebook and Pinterest. I have time to send a text or reply to an email.
I remember having dinner with a friend about a year ago, and she is a mother of two children, younger than my own. She works part time as a Marketing Consultant, and exercises regularly on a weekly basis. I asked her how she fits it in to her schedule?
She simply replied, "I make myself a priority."
Those words have stuck with me ever since. I'm sitting there wondering, why have I not made myself a priority? Why is this not important enough to me. Because we all know when we really want something, we make time for it. I admit I had to ponder this concept for awhile. Dig a little deep to figure out what was really getting in my way. A big part of it was my energy level. I was tired. But I knew that once I got started on a regular routine, my energy would naturally increase. I would feel better. I knew this because I have gone through this cycle before.
I'll be honest, exercising on a regular basis is tough for me. I go in cycles where I will be really consistent and then a few days go by where I don't exercise and suddenly, I have broken the routine. I can't say I hate to exercise because I really don't. I always feel great when I do it and there are some activities, I really enjoy doing. It's being consistent that has gotten in my way.
When I am consistent, I have noticed some patterns of behavior that set me up for success and these are what I would like to share with you:
1) Schedule Your Exercise - I'm a planner and if you have followed my blog or my podcast, this will come to no surprise! If I don't have it planned, it doesn't happen! I look at my week ahead and I schedule times where I know I can workout. I book into calendar just like it was an appointment. The key here is being committed! Don't cancel on yourself.
Make yourself the priority!
2) Just Do Something - Your goal may be to do 30 minutes of exercise a day, however if you can only start with 10 minutes, then just do 10 minutes. Tomorrow, add a minute. Eventually you will work yourself up to 30 minutes a day. You don't need to be in the gym for an hour plus to benefit from the exercise.
3) Set Yourself up for Success - What can you do to make it easy to make this exercise appointment? Maybe it's having your workout clothes ready to go in the morning. Or maybe it's not going to the gym at all but working out in your home. Recently, I signed up for the Gaiam TV through my cable company, now I have several workout routines to choose from and I don't have to leave the house!
4) Try Something New - The ADHD mind can get bored and so can your muscles! Branch out and try something new like a Yoga or Zumba class. Go on a family bike ride or a hike. Do you have a local community center? Many times these centers offer low cost options for swimming and other kinds of exercise. Your 30 minutes a day doesn't always have to be on treadmill!
5) Combine Your Exercise With Something You Enjoy To Do - Do you have a favorite 30 minute TV show or favorite podcast you like to listen to do. Combine this activity with your exercise. So every time you go for that walk, you listen to your favorite show. It's a great way to combine something fun to do with something maybe not so fun but you know is good for you!
6) Find an Accountability Partner - This can be a very important piece to your success plan! Find someone who is willing to keep you accountable. They can join you in the exercise or check in with you daily or weekly, or best yet, you never know when they will check in on you! It's much more difficult to use your excuses on a person than it is to yourself.
7) Be Grateful - This may seem strange to some, but sometimes when I lack the motivation to exercise, I think about how grateful I am that I can exercise. That my body allows me to take a walk without pain or to do the yoga class even if I'm not very good at it. We have one body, one life, and to live your best life, we must take care of ourselves!
Make yourself the priority!
8) Remember Your Motivation - Sometimes you have to be reminded of why this is important to you. Sometimes we need to look for inspiration. I have a Health Binder, where I collect different exercises, recipes, etc. One section of the binder is dedicated to things that I have find inspiring. Quotes, notes from my accountability partner, things like that. This helps me stay focused on my intentions.
9) Track Your Results - I don't mean weigh yourself everyday. There are different theories about this from different health experts. I have a hate / love relationship with the scale. If I've lost weight, I love it, if it goes the other way around, well then I hate it. It can ruin my whole day! I still occasionally weigh myself just to check in. But when I say track your results, I mean track how you feel. Once you get into a regular routine, exercise makes you feel great. It gives you more energy, more self confidence, a better more healthy attitude overall. Let this be your drive to continue.
10) Be Kind to Yourself - My accountability partner always told me to be kind to myself. There are going to be bad days and there are going to be great days. Let go of the bad days and remember tomorrow is a new day to make a different choice. I hold on to this everyday. The past is in the past, the only thing I have control over is right now. And what I am going to do right now, to get me closer to my goals...
For more information about how nutrition and exercise can help manage your ADHD, be sure to check out our ADHD and Healthy Living Board on Pinterest! Of course, I recommend doing this only after you have exercised for the day!
Until Next Time....