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Developing the Walking Habit
“In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties.” ~ Henri Frederic Amiel
Henri Frederic Amiel lived between 1821 and 1881, he was a Swiss philosopher. Yet what he said then is still true today. Health is one of the few things many of us have control over. The health of our body greatly influences the total wellness of many individuals. Often many do not start thinking about their health until it has become a problem. Habits, bad habits, have been formed and often they are difficult to change.
The first habit needed for a healthy body is the desire to become physically fit. It is not easy to change, it takes hard work, determination and persistence. After working all day it can be hard to muster up the desire to work hard and be determined and persistent about staying or becoming fit. It takes motivation. Which leads to the second habit needed, that of staying motivated. How do you stay motivated to take care of your own physical and emotional well being when so many others are needing your time and energy? The third habit that is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle is committing to action. Developing new habits are the only way to becoming fit and healthy and staying that way.
“Seventy percent of success in life is showing up?” ~ Woody Allen
The toughest part of beginning a new health program is just starting it. Something always seems to get in the way. Something more important pops up and we get distracted. It is time to call it what it is, excuses. They are excuses not obstacles. What are your excuses for not walking, for not eating healthy, and not committing to a better you? Write those excuse down. If you have to, ask your friends and family to help make your list. It is guaranteed they will be more than happy to let you know what your excuses are and which ones you use the most. Once you have them written down, commit to an action plan for each scenario. That way when they pop up, and they will, you will be ready with a way around each excuse.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~Aristotle
What motivates you? What excites you? Use those things as rewards for breaking old habits. If you love crafting, reward yourself with either time or a new kit when you successfully overcome one of your excuses, if shoes motivate you, then reward yourself with a new pair of shoes. Whatever motivates you then use that to your advantage and allow yourself to indulge in whatever activity you enjoy only after your walk. One way to look at it is if you continue following the same routine that you are following now, what in your life will change? Will you get to your goals? Will you maintain a healthy lifestyle? If you are not moving in the direction that you want to go in you must change direction. That means developing new habits and that means being committed. It is hard to break those habits but with persistence it can be done and the benefits are more than worth the effort.
“A man's true delight is to do the things he was made for.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
Our bodies were made to move. They were made to be active. Your body will reward you for taking care of it. You will become faster, stronger and more confident. Your complexion will improve, your sense of well being will improve, the list goes on. All that you have to do is what you were made to do, move. Richard Bach said, “Argue for your limitations and sure enough they're yours.” This comes down to those excuses again. Do not let them steal your health. They are not worth it. So get up and take your dog, child or significant other for a walk, enjoy the fresh air and let them know your body was made to move.
It is not easy to change habits. It is hard to stay motivated to do even more when there is already so much to do, but it is imperative to your quality of life. Sometimes you must “fake it 'till you make it”. Put a smile on your face and take a walk even when you do not feel like it. You may not even realize when that “fake” smile turns into the real thing. If you work on developing walking into a habit in your life pretty soon you will feel like you are missing something if you do not get to take that walk. It becomes something your body craves instead of sitting on the couch watching the latest crime show or taking that afternoon nap.
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