50 years ago, if you saw someone running down the street, you took notice. Truth is, chances are they were either late for the bus or being chased! That’s because people didn’t start jogging until the late 1960's. And, hold onto your leg warmers because Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda hadn’t graced us with their workout videos yet either; plus there was no Planet Fitness for a quick spin class. Yet, Americans are now about 18% heavier than we were back then. We know our diet is partially to blame. More sugar, more carbs, more calories.
But the other part of the puzzle is that back in those days, people got their exercise in different ways. They walked more and drove less, for one. They were also more active because there were fewer machines to do everyday tasks so they burned more calories just existing. They weren’t too busy to exercise because living life was exercise.
Fast forward to 2020. Despite all of our machines and conveniences, we’re busy. So so busy. And when we think of exercise, we typically think of spending our time at the gym or running. This, of course, leads to excuses about how we don’t have time to make it to the gym while balancing our other 4 cores.
But I have good news for you. The physical health core is one of the easiest cores to habit stack with other cores. With a little bit of thought and planning, you can build more than one success habit at a time while making exercise more enjoyable and fulfilling.
For example, last week in my blog, I talked about how important giving back is to your emotional health core. What are some ways you can give back while getting exercise? Anyone? Buellllllllller?
You could walk dogs (or jog with them) for your local shelter.
You can mow the lawn or shovel snow for an elderly neighbor.
How about signing up to run or walk a 5k that benefits charity?
Maybe your local YMCA could use a youth soccer coach.
You can also your stack physical health core habits with your financial goals by:
Walking from the train instead of taking a cab.
Washing your own car by hand.
Mowing your own lawn (bonus points for turning off the self-propel feature)
Picking up a side gig of walking dogs.
How can you nurture your mindset while exercising?
When you jog, repeat a daily mantra to yourself that lifts your spirit and sets the tone for your day.
Read an inspirational book while riding your stationary bike (I replaced basketball with this when I had my ACL surgery and couldn’t believe how fast the time passed).
Listen to inspirational/educational podcasts (I’m currently listening to Tim Ferris)Use visualization to picture what you’ll look and feel like when you accomplish the physical health goal you set yourself.
You can even habit stack with your relationship goals by:
Taking a walk on the beach with your partner
Playing a game of tag football with your kids (let’s not tackle the munchkins)
Joining a baseball team with friends
And if I really want to blow your mind, I can triple dog dare you to stack habits for all of your cores by:
Setting a daily step goal with your family or friends to train to do a charity 5k together and getting some of those steps by dog-walking as a side gig while repeating your daily mantra to yourself. Whew! Didn’t think I could do it, did ya? But look at you, killing it in all 5 cores!
My point is that physical fitness goals don’t have to be boring or feel time consuming when you stack successful habits with your other cores. This week, give it a try! Think about the type of physical activity you enjoy and how you can pair it with other success habits across your other cores. The feeling of accomplishment from hitting more than one success habit at a time can't be beat!