I’ve finally found the motivation to lose weight and be fit again. Because I was not very athletic as a younger person, it has been very difficult for me to find an exercise program and stick with it. All that changed when some friends and I set a goal to walk in the National Kidney Foundation Walk (5 kilometers). For a person that is not in shape, 5 kilometers can be quite a distance. We gal pals have challenged each other to simply complete the race on that day. Now I have no intentions of failing at this task, and I don’t plan to finish it out of breath or barely making it across the finish line. In order to do this I’ve enlisted the help of my husband and my dog to help me train for this event. I am taking this very serious. I walk a couple of times a day (the dog is helpful with this), and/or do a combination of walking and working out on my trampoline. I am also watching my diet as I know it’ll be easier to carry 20 less pounds across the finish line. The idea that I am training for something like this has me pumped and I am truly motivated to continue to workout and prepare myself in order that I might do well. After this walk, I’m going to set a more ambitious goal in order that I might continue to live a healthy lifestyle. Maybe the Seaway Run (a 5k run down at Lake Michigan) or the Human Race (a 5k and 10k run sponsored by a local United Way agency), or even a marathon. I know that nothing is impossible if I really put my mind and heart into it.
One of my girlfriends had similar success. She set a goal to participate in a triatholon. At the time she was quite overweight and out of shape. She began by joining the YMCA and taking a spinning class, and then on to a bootcamp program and closer to the time of the triatholon, she began swimming. Everyday on her lunch hour she worked out as if she were training for some sort of competition. Boy was she geeked when she finished the race. She did not win any awards or accolades (except from her family), but she achieved her goal. That was a few years ago and she is still continuing to eat right and excercise regularly. Almost every lunch hour she can be found at the Y working out. Setting this one goal has aided in permanently changing her lifestyle.
Here are some tips for preparing for the “motivational race” that you choose:
1. Go on a training diet.
2. Solicit the help of a family member or friend to serve as your “trainer”.
3. Set short-term goals (i.e. starting with walking 1.5 miles with ease then moving up to 3 miles, etc.).
4. Tell others about your goals and/or find a buddy to participate in the race with you.
In addition to walks, marathons and/or triatholons, is the motivation to be part of a sports team again. Many municipalities and companies have adult/community sports teams. Softball, volleyball, golf or even basketball are available in my community. Competitive sports can be real motivation for getting in shape. Who wants to get out there and look bad! One can set a goal in the fall or early winter to play softball in the spring. Begin simply by playing catch with someone and going to the batting cage in the fall. Then in the winter begin working on your strength, speed and endurance. You can do this by regularly ice skating or taking an aerobics class. What a blast it will be to put on a softball uniform once again and just think – you’ll be healthy and in shape once again. It’s truly worth the effort. Also consider sports clubs like ski, swimming or running clubs. This can be both physically and socially beneficial. Whatever you do – have fun, because being physically fit and active can be fun!