No Wrong Way to Get Started

We all have our own unique motivations for living a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to exercise, there are many ways people become active, like sports or training with a friend. There is no wrong way to get started being physically active. I had a fairly unique beginning which grew to much more over time.


As a young child, I played sports like baseball and hockey; I never saw that as exercise, and I never trained outside of those sports. I quit playing sports while I was still young and remained inactive for several years. I put on weight and was quite out of shape. (The required one mile run in gym class soon became my nemesis) What lead to my return to being physically active was actually more accidental than intentional.


I was recently asked what inspired me to make exercise a priority in my own life. Honestly, I could not remember how I started being active on a regular basis, but after a day of dwelling on that question, the answer came back to me. In eighth grade, I was a huge sports fan and would watch ESPN as much as I could, especially in the morning before school. ESPN was channel 25, and ESPN 2 was channel 27. I would flip back and forth between the two channels to watch as much sports coverage as possible. As I flipped between ESPN and ESPN 2, I would often see a flash of a bright, beautiful beach that caught my attention. It was channel 26, and I eventually decided to stop and see exactly what it was.


Channel 26 was Lifetime, “Television for Women.” It was Denise Austin’s morning workout show. Whether I stopped for the beautiful beach or the pretty woman, I can’t really seem to remember. I watched it in little bits during ESPN commercials and I began to say to myself, “I can do this.” So I did. I started slowly doing body weight exercises in my bedroom before school. This was the beginning of my regular exercise routine. To this day, some of my favorite core exercises are ones I learned from her shows. After following along in my room for a few episodes, I started to feel stronger and began to look more toned. Probably not how most teenage boys start a regular exercise regimen.


So why share this funny tidbit about my life with you? There is a very important lesson to be learned from this story. As I stated, the beginning of my regular exercise routine was different than many other teenage boys my age. That is exactly the point of this story. There is not a wrong way to get started with your exercise routine as long as it is done safely. Whatever type of exercise you start with is OK, there are so many types of exercise and ways to get started. Whatever way you decide to start can lead to more success down the line. You just have to get started.



CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant


Keeping Up Cardio When the Weather Gets Cold

During the Summer, the days are long and the weather is warm. Going for a walk, run, or bike ride can be a great way to enjoy a beautiful day and perform cardiovascular exercise. It is easy and convenient during that time of year. As we move into Fall, the days become darker earlier and the temperature begins to drop. Many people struggle to keep their cardio consistent during this time of year. Here are some tips to bridge the gap until the weather warms up again.


First, let’s quickly address the simplest solutions. At home, you may have an elliptical, stationary bike, or treadmill. While some people may not enjoy using these types of indoor cardio equipment as much as being outdoors, they are convenient ways to keep your cardio routine consistent. If these types of indoor cardio exercise equipment are not available at home, then another option is looking into a gym that does have them. When looking into gyms, always take into consideration the cost, equipment available, and how often you will be able to make it to the gym. If these options work for you, then look no further, you have found a simple solution to your problem!


However, it may not be that simple for many others. Home equipment can be expensive and gyms may be too far away, too costly, or your time is too limited. There are other options available that can be done at home to keep up your cardio routine. Some options include the use of light equipment such as a jump rope or aerobic steps. Other, even simpler, options may require nothing but using your own body. Try burpees (AKA “Squat Thrusts”), mountain climbers, or the classic jumping jack.


The main point is that no matter how dark, dreary, or cold it may become outside, there are many options to still fit in cardio exercise. I often see people who achieve their goals (weight loss, being more active, feeling healthier) when they can be active outdoors just to see them lose those results when darker and colder weather comes in the Fall and Winter. Keep these options in mind this season and continue your routine consistently to reach your goals.



CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant


You Have to Believe!: How to Avoid Being the Loveable Loser

For the first time in 108 years, the Cubs are no longer losers. The Cubs were synonymous with losing. Every year, you could be sure that something would come along to stop their chances of winning; even when they would do well, they would end up blowing it. An injury, errors, or just plain bad luck would always ruin their chances to win the World Series title. This happened so often that Cubs fans believed that they could not win, that they were “cursed”. No matter how well they played, deep down their fans believed they would find a way to lose. This thinking is not limited to sports. When life is not going our way, it can be easy to believe we might be “cursed” ourselves.


I often meet people that lack the confidence to believe in his or herself and go after what they want in life. It may be as simple as a new hobby or as serious as choosing a new career path.  Often the greatest struggle can be overcoming their own fears and self-doubts. Past failures, fear of the unknown, and lack of outside support can be negative factors. As a child, I often believed bad things would happen to me because I was not good enough or I deserved it. Therefore I felt I was not good enough to make friends, ask the cute girl out, or pursue my interests because I “knew it would just not work out.” Though I was able to grow past those feelings, it is easy to succumb to these negative self-fulfilling prophecies. What can we do to get over these negative feelings so we can still strive and succeed at our goals?


Commit To It

 This may sound incredibly simple, but seriously committing yourself to your goal is an essential key to success. Without fully committing yourself, it can be hard to focus and become easily distracted. If you had an important speech to give or test to take, it is vital to seriously focus on that particular task. Giving it your attention for just a short time is not going to yield the best results. Tell your family or close friends about your goals and get some support. Sometimes you just have to fully commit to what you want.


Plan Ahead

Whether your goals are big or small, you need to set yourself up for success. Do you need to set time aside or get items for your new hobby? Do you need to take a new course or complete a certification to pursue a new career? If you are unsure of the proper steps to take, ask someone that has achieved what you want. From beginning to fulfillment, plan the steps that it will take to reach your goals.


You Will Not Be Good In The Beginning

Believe me, you won’t, but that is completely fine. It is easy to try something for a day or a week, not do well, and then quit. Understand that you can and should learn from your mistakes. No one expects someone that is trying something new to be great in the beginning. This is no different from others who pursue their goals. Remember, when you do something incorrectly over and over, you will slowly begin to learn to do it better.


It’s easy to doubt yourself and believe that you can’t or are not good enough to achieve your goals. Even with these feelings, if you follow these steps you could be surprised at what you can achieve. Make your goals realistic. It may not always be easy to achieve the things you want, but it’s worth trying. The Cubs had to wait 108 years and failed time after time, but they are no longer the “loveable losers”, and you don’t have to be either.



CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant