Something is Always Better Than Nothing
We live in an “all or nothing” society. You are either an exerciser or you aren’t; you are a healthy eater or you aren’t. The fact of the matter is that the all or nothing attitude is not helping us to be healthier. The judgment associated with all or nothing is “If you can’t do everything, why do anything?” You should absolutely do something because something is always better than nothing. Let me explain.
When we skip our walk/run/bike/Zumba® because we don’t have time to do as much as we wanted to meet our goal, then we do ourselves a disservice. Why? Because we are subscribing to the idea that we can’t achieve our goals if our plans don’t follow a precise, straight line from starting point to goal. The fact is, the road to successful goal achievement is littered with detours, potholes, circular paths, and other barriers to success. Imagine if great inventors had given up if the first draft of their inventions hadn’t worked out perfectly. Here are some ideas about how the all or nothing mentality is making it harder for us to be healthier.
Eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. The truth is, most Americans eat just over 1 serving of fruits and vegetables daily. I know people in my own field who don’t eat enough! For some people, eating 5 a day for good health seems like a steep mountain to climb, so they just don’t bother. If you are currently eating just 1 or 2 servings per day, strive for just one more on most days of the week. Will you be successful every day? Probably not, but this is the beginning of a habit. Once you’ve successfully master 2-3 servings on most days for 21 days (the length of time it takes to establish a habit), re-adjust your goals. Notice I said “most days”. If you aim for every day, the odds of failing to meet the goal become very likely. Make your goal achievable!
150 minutes per week of physical activity. This has been a national public health goal for adults for many years. What if you’re only walking for 10 minutes 5 days a week? That, my friends, is what I call a good start. Perhaps you start by trying to walk longer on those days or adding an additional 10-minute walk at another time of the day. Maybe you play actively with your kids instead of walking. What a great way to get healthier and spend more quality time with your kids.
With the holidays approaching, it will be very easy to skip your workout and pay less attention to what you’re eating. The fact is, you’ll have more energy to deal with the holidays and manage stress if you try to eat well most of the time and move as much as you can.