Holistic Health and Fitness:
Five Tips for Staying Committed to Fitness

Getting enough exercise is one of the most important parts of a holistic health lifestyle. It’s also one of our biggest challenges. We’re all are in a time crunch. Sometimes it’s just too hard to find the time for fitness. As soon as we realize we’re not going to get to everything on today’s to do list, exercise is one of the first things we blow off.

Exercise is counter to what we demand everywhere else in our lives. We expect everything to be quick and convenient. Meals are drive thru; shopping, communicating and working are online; entertainment is instant queue. All while we keep our butts firmly planted in ergonomically designed comfort.

In contrast, fitness requires time and effort. So let’s be realistic: Fitness doesn’t fit.

But now let’s be even more realistic:

Your life depends on it!

Commitment to fitness is not optional in a holistic health lifestyle.

Here are some tips to help you honor your important committment to your self.

1. Follow the First Rule of Fitness. (Sound familiar?) The First Rule of Fitness is, “Play First!” If fitness isn’t fun for you, two things will happen (every time), in this order: First, your commitment will wane. You’ll begin to force yourself to do something that you don’t like to do. Stress! Then, you’ll quit, and feel guilty about it. More stress!

2. Schedule it as a high priority. Schedule it in advance and make it one of your non-negotiable priorities. In a holistic health lifestyle, fitness is something you plan your schedule around, and not something you just squeeze in when and if you can find the time. Read more here: Five Tips for Finding the Time for Fitness.

3.Join a group. Take a class, or join a club, team or league. This helps keep fitness fun by putting you in a social setting with people who share your interests. For example, I take a class in Aikido. We meet three times per week, including 8: 00 Sunday mornings. Not only do I love Aikido, I also really enjoy the time I spend with my fellow students. And we have an excellent Sensei. Sunday morning class isn’t something I have to drag myself out of bed for; I’m excited to get there.

4. Set a lofty goal and make a plan for achieving your goal. Your goal could be running an ultramarathon or walking a 5k. It could be mountaineering your way to the top of a 14,000 foot peak in Colorado, or just getting into good enough shape to hike up a 1400 foot hilltop just outside your hometown. Your goal could even be something like taking those dance lessons that you’ve been meaning to get around to for a couple of years, or growing your first garden. When you set a lofty goal, you naturally want to deepen your knowledge and expertise. This keeps your fitness pursuit fresh, new and exciting. For example, as I write this, I am in training for my next half marathon, with an eye toward running another marathon in the near future. As part of my training program, I am reading a great book called Chi Marathon by Danny Dreyer. This book is helping me refine my running form, and my holistic health lifestyle, so that running is more efficient, healthy and enjoyable for me.

5. Get outdoors! (At least sometimes.) Shooting hoops in the park or doing yoga in a meadow is a lot more fun and more relaxing than slapping a treadmill in front of the TV. Studies show that, when people exercise outdoors, they spend more time at it than when they work out indoors.

Have fun and stay committed!

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