Eat less. Move more.
Perhaps you’ve heard this from your health care practitioner with little to no understanding of what that even means or where to begin.
Millions of people each day have the best of intentions when it comes to making exercise a priority. But lack of motivation, energy, and frankly, let’s face it, time make it somewhat of a day dream instead of a reality.
Without motivation, where do I even start?
Without energy, how do I even try any form of fitness?
What is the best form of exercise?
And how can I fit it in?
Questions like these are the most common I hear as a Fitness and Nutrition Coach. In Part 1 of this article I’ll address these questions briefly, and then provide you with simple solutions to make “becoming healthier” and the benefits of it a reality for you!
First, I’ve got some questions to toss back at you.
Question #1 – “Was there a time when I did seem to have more “get up and go” motivation, or have I always seemed to lack steam?”
Lack of motivation could be a chemical imbalance in the brain. Processed foods and too much sugar can be a reason for low dopamine (your “motivation” neurotransmitter). Simply adding in more plant-based foods and swapping out more protein instead of sugar-laden foods will help to naturally boost dopamine levels and help your brain naturally feel more motivated, not to mention your body to have more energy to burn.
Question #2 – “How much good quality sleep am I getting and could it use some improvement?”
Sleep deprivation is on the rise due to our chronic electronic stimulation and staying up for just one more episode on Netflix. Aiming for an earlier bedtime, and 7-8 hours of quality rest could help you awaken with more energy (and a little earlier for more daylight to fit it all in).
Question #3 – I hear it all the time – “What’s the best form of exercise?”
The answer is simply, “the exercise that you enjoy doing.” Let’s be real. If the idea of putting your running shoes on makes your stress level sky rocket, chances are you’re not a runner. That’s okay. Ask yourself this, “If weight loss wasn’t an issue, my motivation and energy were endless, and my health was spot on, what kind of movement would I do just for fun?” Perhaps it would be taking a dance class, or basketball with friends, or gardening with your hands. Exercise doesn’t have to be on a treadmill or in a stuffy gym. Think “outside the box” and aim to move your body rather than just exercising. Once you find movement you love, you’ll make sure to do it for life. That’s when real results take place.
Question #4 – “When would it feel the most natural to engage in my favorite form of movement?”
Some people feel their best first thing in the morning but have nothing left by the end of the day. Others take a while to get going and feel their most vibrant in the late afternoon or evening. After you’ve honed in on eating to boost your neurotransmitters to build motivation, and you’ve added a little more ZZZ’s to your shut-eye, and you’ve chosen a form of movement rather than exercise, now it’s time to make it fit into the most functional time of your day, even if it’s simply 5 minutes.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you have small stepping stones to spur you on to greatness, or at least you have created a “jumping off point” to implement the movement that resonates with you.