When people think of having a balanced lifestyle, they think, "move." Movement is the foundation of most healthy lifestyles. However, you want to balance your physically active lifestyle and protect your mind and body as you pursue a healthier you. We were not meant to sit still and live sedentary lives. We were made to move and enjoy our bodies' abilities to perform various activities.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) outlines various benefits to physical activity. The health benefits of being more active are numerous. They include better cognition, lower risk of multiple health conditions, improved balance, less risk for osteoporosis, and overall improved quality of life.
If you are just now starting your journey into physical wellness, you may want to approach the process mindfully and begin by setting goals and intentions. Identify your goals and break them down into small actionable steps.
Andrea Lieberstein (MPH, RDN) developed a goal system called SPRIGS, which helps one mindfully create plans relative to wellness in a way that promotes our mental health. The idea of SPRIGS is based on the concept of sprigs of flowering fruit. She explains that with the growth of each sprig, the bush or tree keeps growing, so as you achieve each small goal, you will keep growing and achieving what is best for you.
The beginning of setting goals requires specificity. If you desire to be physically active, you need to have a specific plan in mind. Setting a goal for weight loss is normal but may lead to frustration if not achieved at your expected pace. The primary purpose of physical activity should be health. Weight stability will happen and should never be a primary focus.
The recommended amount of physical activity for adults, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is 150 to 300 minutes per week. For someone just starting, these numbers may seem overwhelming. Start small and achieve big. Begin with taking walks and be kind to yourself. Do not push yourself beyond your current limits.
You can reach out to a coach at SokyaHealth for help in developing your wellness plan. It is also crucial to reach out to a doctor to ensure your body is ready to achieve your goals before beginning an exercise regimen.
Being specific in your goal setting allows you to measure those goals. However, when making those particular goals, you must be positive. Positively stating goals according to what you will do instead of what you will not do is more likely to help you achieve those specific goals. For example, if you want to exercise three times a week, positively write your goal: “I will exercise three times a week for ___ minutes at the gym or by walking down my street.”
When you frame goals using negative words, you often attach yourself to what you do not want to do. Saying you “won't skip the gym, no matter what” can set you up for failure because the goal is framed negatively and in an absolute. Making a negatively stated goal does not leave room for self-compassion.
When starting a new exercise regimen, you must be realistic about your abilities, time, and finances. Setting a goal of going to the gym three times a week is fantastic. Show up and build yourself up to the recommended 150 to 300 minutes.
However, being realistic is not just about your body's capacity to be physically active. Other considerations include time and money. If you work or have kids, exercising can be challenging to schedule. Keep all of your obligations in mind as you make your goals. You may also need to consider financing. Do not overextend your finances to get physically fit. There are plenty of free options at home.
Does your goal make you want to achieve bigger and better things? Does your goal motivate you toward a better life? If yes, then you are on the right track. If not, then reconsider your plan. You do not want a goal that undermines your sense of purpose. One's purpose for being physically active should always be inspiring and motivating, moving you toward self-compassion.
Is your goal measurable and timely? Measurement relates to one's knowledge of achievement. Can you check in with yourself and discern if you are achieving the goal? When will you know you are ready to move toward a new goal?
Now that you have achieved your first goal, the time has come to tackle a new plan. For example, you may consider adding another form of exercise to your routine or exercising one more day during the week.
Being active is essential to your mental and physical health, but not at the cost of your well-being. Being compassionate and recognizing your limitations will help you have a solid platform to build your active lifestyle.
Being physically active is essential to your health, but you must consider your goals carefully. Starting a new routine or building on your current practice requires self-compassion and mindfulness of your abilities, time, and other resources. You deserve to be happy and healthy. If you are confused or need help managing your physical or emotional health, SokyaHealth offers various services to help you perform at your best, both physically and mentally. We provide medication management for different mental health conditions, coaching, therapy, group therapy options, and various self-care practices. You do not have to face your struggles alone. You can get secure online help for your needs today by reaching out to us at SokyaHealth. With SokyaHealth, you can learn how we can help you become the person you want and deserve to be. Call us today at (877) 840-6956 and learn more about starting your journey to building a better life.