Given that we own and operate an exercise-based business with our indoor cycling studio, Brigid and I are always on the lookout for the best tips out there to help our clients achieve and maintain healthy habits. Since we're about more than just indoor cycling – we're about training for life – it comes with the territory to check what others are saying.
Today I'd like to point you to two articles I've found and give you my reflections about what they have to say.
The first is Four Ways to Plan a Healthy Lifestyle for Your Family, from Active, a blog for a KinderCare in Sterling Heights. As a mom I love a lot of what this article has to say about the importance of keeping our families moving! Playing together, identifying fun activities that are physically active, sharing the importance of nutrition with our children – these are all great ideas!
But I'd like to offer one caution here. The article suggests talking to our children about things like the importance of exercise and healthy nutrition and encourages setting health and fitness goals. Honestly? This is great in theory, but in my experience as a mom I find that kids respond a lot more to the examples we set than to the words that we say. If we as parents stay active, stock our pantries with healthful food, and make time for fun physical activities with kids, that is going to go a long way.
Now of course, some children are more curious about the nuts and bolts of things. They may love writing down and meeting goals or learning about why Vitamin D, for example, is important. And of course, the techniques that will work best with a four year old are far different than the ones I'd recommend for getting a fifteen-year-old Xbox enthusiast off the couch!
While the Active blog makes some great points, though, I'm more enthusiastic about this article on Zen Habits called “4 Simple Steps to Start the Exercise Habit.” Why? Well, I've loved exercise for years, but I know that not everyone does – and I know from experience how hard it can be to start a new habit!
The great thing about this article is that, in what sounds like typical Zen style, author Leo Babauta starts with very small, stress-free steps. Like building an exercise habit from the beginning and starting with as little as five minutes a day and going from there if that's what a person needs to get going. Babauta also talks about the same principles that Brigid has stressed in her Keys to Success in Health and Fitness articles about setting measurable, achievable goals, and the importance of putting your plan in writing.
What I like most about this article, though, is the laid-back, no-judgment approach. For me, this piece reflects the tone we set for our RydeOn! clients by taking everyone where she or he is at and working from there.
You may or may not be ready yet for a full program of indoor cycling classes. But why wait until you feel “ready” for two-three classes a week? Start with one a week and go from there. And if you're not yet ready for that, try making a weekly indoor cycling class one of your longer term goals and get started with one of the examples in this last article – say, a few pushups a day or five to ten minutes of walking or jogging in place.
Do whatever it takes to get moving and then build one success on top of another. When you're ready, click here to register for your first class – or your second, third, or as many as you'd like!