By Taina Ty Dorce
The clichés, how well we know them: “Just do it,” “Think positive,” “One step at a time,” and all the other oh-so-common ones!
A health and fitness journey is just that, a journey. Getting started to a healthy lifestyle takes discipline, starting in your mind. Our minds are like fragile computers; one tiny glitch can set us off into a tailspin. Whether it be a relationship, a career, a child, an illness, a set back in our eating habits, or a missed day at the gym. If we let them, they can mess up our disciplined minds.
That’s where it all starts, getting your mind right. I like to think, “Back to center.” A centered mind is easily pulled back to a stable place of discipline. This means no highs or no lows will set us too far from center. You may have to pull back to center a hundred times a day, but that is where it starts. Our stable place is a disciplined mind. Here you learn balance. Here you learn the scales can never tip too far out of center.
Your diet is the single most important thing you can do for your health. Our food intake can easily affect our thought process; put a lot of processed foods in, get a mind full of junk. Here we can easily practice self abuse if we choose. For example, getting angry at ourselves for falling to a weakness for chocolate, ice cream, or whatever your guilty pleasure is. It is not the end of the world if you have a bad eating day. Just quickly pull back to center! A healthy diet includes lean proteins, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and low in dairy products. Do not eat a lot of foods high in solid fats, added sugar, and salt. If you enjoy a nice, juicy steak, have it once in a while; don’t make it a daily habit.
Speaking of habits, did you know it takes 21 to 30 days to break or form a habit pattern? During this time, you can break or create some very powerful habits. Is it easy? Probably not for everyone. The good news is that anyone can do it! The centered mind to the rescue! During the starting period of habit breaking or forming, do not cease for at least 21 days as your mind will develop your new healthy habit (or a bad habit for that matter, but we’re talking about forming good habits here)!
Now let’s talk about exercise. Most adults should do at least three hours of exercise each week. That’s 180 minutes of the 10,080 minutes in each week. That is less than 2% of your weekly time! During this time your heart rate should be increased resulting in a sweat due to moderate-intensity exercise. You should also do strengthening exercises at least twice a week in addition to moderate-intensity exercise. As you progress, you will want to do more, resulting in increased time exercising. The major benefit of exercising is that our brain releases endorphins, serotonin, norepinephrine, BDNF, and dopamine. I can later explain what connects all of these chemical releases in a future blog. My goal right now is to encourage you to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
On your journey, don’t look around you to see what others are doing, look inside of YOU. There you will find your peace, your strength, and your disciplined, centered mind! Let’s do this as the time is now!