We all should be celebrating this weekend. It’s EARTH.DAY and there is no better way to rejoice with MOTHER.NATURE than by being in the great outdoors. In NYC, several neighborhoods are going carless today and embracing the impact we have on protecting our beautiful planet.
What better way to show our appreciation of our world than by getting out there, breathing some fresh air, and finding your new favorite exercise. I’ve come to enjoy walks with my dog and running outside as a way to stay physically fit, as well as mentally sound. Being out in the sun, or on a brisk day like today, I notice natural beauty. Birds chirping to welcome Spring, trees and flowers blooming, the happiness my dog brings to me when she’s out and by my side: these are all reasons that fitness helps the body, mind, and spirit. I’d like to share with you my goals for getting fit, and ways I achieve them in a healthy way.
1. How can I start a GET.FIT plan?
Baby steps. The same way mindfulness teaches us to focus on one thing at a time, evaluate the first small step you can take towards your health goals. Write a list of ways you can improve your health. Prioritize and take the initial step that makes the most sense. I cut out red and white meat from my diet. I have gastrointestinal issues, so making this small change improved my energy, digestion, and metabolism. For exercise, I began hiking and walking with my dog, which evolved into jogging and running. Want to try something outdoors? Go to your local park and take a lap around it. Make a game out of it: how many trees can I identify. It may sound silly at first, but I assure you, there’s no harm in feeling a little goofy. You would be surprised by how great it feels to try something new in nature.
2. What’s the best way to keep up the GET.FIT momentum?
I use my iPhone much more nowadays, for the major reason that mood and fitness apps exist. It’s like having a physical trainer at my finger tips. I used Runkeeper to begin my running journey, and it increasingly improved my abilities, distances, and time. Knowing that I get a gentle reminder every few days to get outside has kept up the momentum. I feel I am held accountable when I can track my progress and feel the nudge in the right direction. Other apps can get you out there and meeting people interested in similar outdoor activities, like Meetup for instance. Building confidence through trying something fresh and new is healthy for your SELF.ESTEEM and MENTAL.STATE. Feel like giving it a go?
Just as the Nike tagline goes, JUST.DO.IT! Put one foot in front of the other, take it one day at a time, and get that momentum going. Some days I don’t want to be outside. I give myself a little push by remembering how amazing I feel when I get back after that brisk walk or run. We only have one life to live, and it’s never too late to begin a GET.FIT plan. Talk to your doctor about what exercise is appropriate for you. And look in the mirror when you get back, say that positive affirmation you love, and believe in yourself. Why not get it started on this lovely EARTH.DAY weekend? The planet will thank you. And there’s no day like today.
Ahh, Earth Day, the only day of the year where being able to hacky-sack will get you laid. — Jon Stewart