Summer’s here!  Remember in January when you and I decided that as soon as it got warm, we would commit to exercising?  It would be so easy once the grass turned green and the walking paths were clear.   Bleck!  Easier said than done.
So I went on a pilgrimage to find a workout strategy I could actually stick with.  Here’s what worked for me.
1.  I invested in a good heart-rate monitor.
I need instant feedback on how I’m doing.  Without it I lose momentum waiting a month to achieve a feeling of “well-being” or a smaller waist measurement.  That just didn’t cut it for me.  So I bought a heart-rate monitor.  I bought the Wahoo one off of Amazon for about $50.  There may be cheaper ones, but you just need to make sure it’s supported by whatever app you want to use on your smartphone.
This one you have to strap on your chest.  I know it’s awkward to do that, but it’s worth it when you can connect it via blue-tooth to your smart phone and then use an app like PEAR Sports or Endomondo.  There’s a guy who talks to me while I’m working out and tells me how far I’ve gone, my current heart-rate, and how many calories I’ve burned.  He’s even funny once in a while.
I love that because I know instantly if I’m pushing too hard (or not enough) and if my fitness level is improving.  You have 5 heart rate levels, and he’ll tell you which one you’re in.  That keeps me interested and motivated.
2.  I practiced ignoring my negative thoughts.
For me I have 3 levels of attitude toward working out.  Level 1 is the first feeling I get when starting a new workout.  It goes like this:  “I’d rather get a root-canal than work out today.”  THAT is negative and not helpful at all!  So I change that inner narrative to this:  “Starting anything new is hard, and this is only a temporary feeling.  It will get better”.
Once I committed-to and completed 6 workouts in two weeks, that’s when I get to a level 2 attitude that says:  “Well, I guess I don’t hate this.”
And then level 3 is, “Hey, this used to hurt and it doesn’t anymore!  I can do this!’
3.  I chose something that I could grow with.
I found music in my iTunes that was bright and fun and positive and created a new playlist called “Happy Walking”.   My iphone would play the fun songs and periodically, my PEAR Sports fitness app guy would interrupt and tell me my heart rate and calories burned.    I started with just walking.  The next step up was ‘walking’ three songs then doing a gentle run (barely faster than my walk) for one song.  It got my heart-rate up.  I kept that pattern of walk 3 songs/run 1 song for about two weeks.  After that, I walked two songs, and ran one song.  Now I’m running two songs and walking one song.   But with this method, I can grow it according to my fitness level.
I realize this might not be for you, but then again, it might!  So try it and see what you think.  I can really live with this plan.  Hugs and good luck!

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