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How To Beat the Winter Blahs and Start Exercising
Posted By Alejandra Owens On November 21, 2011 @ 9:16 am In Health Talk | No Comments
The following is a guest post by Annie Lynsen, on loan to AARP from Small Act.
If you’re anything like me, it’s nearly impossible to get motivated to exercise in the winter.
In the morning, the mental fight between getting up early to engage in strenuous activity versus getting an additional half hour of sleep is often a losing battle.
In the evening, it’s dark and everything in your soul is telling you to curl up with a blanket, a good book, a mug of hot cocoa and some toast. (Because toast dunked in cocoa is delicious.)
So how can you nudge yourself towards physical activity?
My advice? Tip the scale with a little external motivation. Make it about more than exercising for your own health; exercise to benefit others.
Here’s what I did earlier this year, when I was deep in the “blahs”: First, I set a goal of walking 10,000 steps a day for the next 100 days. I bought a pedometer, and created a thermometer on some poster board that I could color in at the end of each day to track my progress.
Then, I got my friends involved. I asked them if they would donate $10 – sponsor one day of my journey – to help me raise $1,000 for one of my favorite charities.
When the goal became bigger than myself, the motivation kicked in. Suddenly, I wasn’t walking for my benefit anymore. I was walking for other people.
I posted my progress every 10,000 steps and my friends cheered me on. Having that additional encouragement helped a lot.
Ultimately, I raised over $1,600 for charity and walked over 1 million steps sooner than anticipated.
So here’s how you can do the same thing:
Photo credit: Mr. Ducke on Flickr, Annie Lynsen
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