When it comes to making the most of the time you can’t spend on a lot of the activity in your normal daily life due to the ongoing pandemic, one of the biggest things you can do is take advantage of the lack of distractions and form some positive habits.
If you’re working to eat more healthily- easier if you’re eating out less and making your own meals out of raw ingredients more- you’re already off to an amazing start. This is the part that holds many people back from seeing the improved health they’d like in spite of huge effort.
But if you’re giving your body good fuel now, it’s a good opportunity to press your advantage and make the machine start doing some of the things it’s capable of, thus raising that ceiling at the same time. It’s not just something the nation’s elite soldiers can or should do!
Alden Mills is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and former Navy Seal who sees fitness in these times as a controllable element akin to those that intensive Seal training is all about mastering. Like a soldier in an unpredictable and chaotic combat situation, you control little to nothing outside yourself- but fortunately that’s the most critical thing you can control in order to weather everything else!
Mills observes that many activities you’re already doing that are not strictly considered exercise nonetheless have its effects, such as stressful speeches given to one’s work team that raise the pulse as surely as a jog around the neighborhood. So you may unwittingly already have gotten your start there. And if you see yourself as having already started, you may find it easier to see it through to the finish.
Once you have committed to adding physical exercise to the heart-pumping mental activity already on the agenda, Mills calls the most important next commitment that of frequency. It’s more important that you exercise your body at a steady rate than that you attempt to work out like The Rock- an overly difficult initial workload will easily become discouraging enough to make you stop, or may result in injuries that have the same effect.
Mills recommends that you choose exercises you enjoy. Walking, biking and swimming are pleasurable activities that fit right into the general idea. And if you get them in early in the day, you reduce the risk of events unfolding in such a way as to crowd out your intended workout. Plus, the exercise has the effect of improving your metabolism all day.
The key is to plan it out so that you can maintain it for three weeks, the amount of time Mills has found is critical in forming a habit. If you’re doing things you like, at a manageable level, you’ll find you skate right through to the point at which you find it’s harder to make yourself not do it than to keep it up.
Throw on some music, challenge yourself to outdo your previous bests, and shake things up if it gets stale. Remember that what you’re trying to do releases endorphins, the very stuff of happiness, and trust that it’ll be there if you just open the door and walk through. And you know it’s a leap of faith you can trust in, because a Navy Seal trusts in you to take it.