Small changes...big impact...EXERCISING
By Jinga Mom
If you’re reading this on hold to 24 hour banking, whilst trying to cancel your gym membership that was erm ‘set up in error’, keep reading, it will only take a minute. After my 627 steps shame, I knew I had to squash exercise in somewhere - I’m at that age, sigh - but I also knew there was no way in hell I’d keep up with a structured routine. My kids were pretty young at the time so if I was working all day, I felt guilty if I went out at night and if I was at home during the day I didn’t have the energy to move after 6pm.
Exercising consisted of me putting the kids to bed at eight, waking up beside them at eleven and stumbling into my own bed. So I started with small changes; using stairs instead of lifts and escalators. I stopped circling the car park for a space near the door, pulled in at the first available spot and walked the extra few minutes. If I was out of milk, I ran up to Centra instead of automatically jumping into the car. These little bursts of fresh air and exercise really paid off. Now the kids are in school, when I drop them off, I stick in my earphones and walk the long way home. My brain assumes it’s part of the journey and I actually enjoy it.
Don’t believe me? Ever driven down a familiar route and ended up at your Mammy’s/the shops etc... when you meant to go somewhere else entirely? That was your brain doing you a favour, saying ‘I know where we’re heading, take five, I got this’.
Getting started is always the hard part but once the habit kicks in it’ll eventually stop feeling like a chore and become part of your routine. Habits are like muscles, you need to start small and build. How many times have you thrown yourself into a new exercise regime, completely banjaxed yourself and then for the next week couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs?
No wonder we throw in the towel so easily, our conscience may be saying ‘I really should’ but our subconscious only remembers the associated pain and has already clicked on to Netflix and is singing along to the opening ‘de-de’. Aim for something doable like 1000 steps a day in the beginning (if you got a Fit-Bit for Christmas you can link it to your Jinga account) and add a couple of hundred to it every week.
Soon you’ll be looking forward to getting out and about and who knows, maybe one day you might actually use that gym membership.