One of my biggest challenges is motivating people to exercise, both young and old. For kids, ‘exercise’ has to be scheduled-when I was young it was known as ‘playtime’. I like ‘playtime’ better, and if I can somehow get that into the vernacular more than ‘exercise’, I think people would be more apt to put a more positive thought into the effort. I use this old Cherokee proverb often: Don’t let yesterday use too much of today.” Each and every day I get to start over; I can forget about anything less than ideal that happened the day before, and begin anew. Some main points that I cover when trying to change behavior is:First; don’t put too much pressure on yourself; you will surely set yourself up for self-sabotage. Think of activity as an opportunity to get a break from your schedule, give your body something it so needs, give your mind some inner peace, knowing you are making yourself healthier. Second, try to remember an activity that you really enjoyed doing; playing frisbee, swimming, Tai-Chi, walking, etc. If you are having trouble remembering anything enjoyable, try different activities and keep a log-record how you felt about each one shortly after doing it. You’ll eventually find one or more that bring out the inner you. Third, choose a long-term goal, and take daily action on it. Whether it’s losing weight, getting off medication, improving endurance for a walk-for -the-cure event, whatever it is, that will help you attain your goal. Think of a daily deposit towards improving your health like putting money away for retirement. Adding a little to the bank each day…. So get started. Mark Twain once said, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” Look where he is now.
Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.