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"I want to be in shape but never seem to get there."
I have barriers in the way of becoming fit:
- We have young children at home.
- I have a long commute.
- I dislike physical pain.
- I get nervous around gyms.
- I am just starting my job.
- I have not exercised in 15 years.
What changed for me was recognizing some easy pathways I have instead of all the barriers.
Some of the logistical pathways include:
- There is a world-class recreation center 50 steps from my office.
- My long commute means that I am stuck here for the whole day, including my lunch hour.
- There is a unique, mid-campus stadium with hundreds of steps nearby.
- I get $240 if I do some easy wellness tracking.
I also changed how I mentally and emotionally viewed exercise.
- I recognized that I do not need to exhaust myself. I can start off reasonably, then see how far I want to push it each time.
- I realized that most other people are nervous in the gym too, and that they are not paying any attention to me.
- I made going to the gym part of my daily routine. After a couple weeks, it is harder NOT to do it.
- I saw it as a way to meet new people and connect to my new campus and employer.
What happened along the way is that I started feeling great. I started noticing what I was eating as well. I discovered I was ingesting twice the recommended daily intake of sugar before 8 a.m. every day. So, I gradually changed my diet, one bit at a time. My frequent headaches went away among other benefits.
I realized that if I want my children to be healthy, the best thing I can do is set a good example. I use them as motivation when I want to quit sometimes.
My weekly routine is walking/jogging the stadium steps about twice per week, doing two fitness classes that fit my schedule, and doing the elliptical to fill in the gaps.
The stadium is great because I can see my progress. The first time I barely made it halfway around the horseshoe only walking each step. Now I am almost jogging the entire thing. This gradual progress keeps me interested and coming back. I also blast early-2000s rap music in my ear buds and imagine I’m a college football player getting ready to face a rival when I need an extra boost.
The fitness classes at the recreation center are great because they meet you where you are. I started out doing every other rep with the easiest modification and have gradually caught up with the help of wonderful fitness instructors.
My new FitBit helps also. Getting your actions reported in data is motivating and just plain interesting at times.
In review, I followed this path toward fitness:
- I recognized the opportunities I have instead of the barriers.
- I found motivation in my children.
- I started a routine of going the gym.
- I realized that I do not have to exhaust myself and that many other people are nervous about the gym.
- I made a “Workout” Spotify playlist with the greatest hits of DMX and Lil’ Jon.
Along the way, I became a Wellness Ambassador because working toward fitness started feeling good and I want to share that with other people.
What's your plan?
Make time for wellness -whatever time you can - and you'll start to see the benefits. We all have our barriers, but also all have our motivations. What are yours?
We are so proud to have Nate on our team of Wellness Ambassadors, helping us to build a culture of health on campus! Make sure to say hi to them when you see them around campus!