“You need to exercise!” I heard it loudly and clearly from my normally friendly doctor.
So what do I do now? I have become somewhat sedentary in my daily routine since retirement. My focus has been on relaxation and catching up on reading. Exercising was not part of my plan.
For me, joining a gym was unappealing. I have done this in the past without much success. After some thought, I chose walking. Although it isn’t something I’ve done much in my life, as far as exercise, I created a realistic plan to make this new regimen more manageable:
Schedule the Time: One way to effectively begin a new exercise program is to schedule it into your life. My plan was to start on a Monday so that I would have the weekend to enjoy myself exercise-free.
Set a Goal: I found that setting an attainable goal gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. I decided 2 miles was a good measure to start and I would build from there. Research shows it takes 21 days to form a habit so I included this in my goal setting.
Create a Reward: After I achieve my daily walking goal, I go to Dunkin Donuts for a cup of coffee. That’s my reward and it helps keep me focused and motivated.
Buy the Right Equipment: I found buying the best walking sneakers and exercise clothes made me actually want to exercise. I also bought an Apple Watch to monitor progress and celebrate success. Tip: Apple watches are great but pricey. For an alternative, here are some good, less expensive options.
Choose the Best Route: I am fortunate to live by the ocean so I am able to walk along the beach and enjoy the activity. Choosing a beautiful exercise route will help inspire you and make the activity fun.
I am now beginning my 4th month of walking and have not missed a day! I look forward to putting on my sneakers (I’m on my 2nd pair!) and starting my Apple Watch to track my time. I can now complete two miles in 17 to 18 minutes and even added on another mile or two to my daily goal. I am still enjoying my coffee reward and I am actually looking forward to my doctor’s visit next month! I have lost several pounds and decreased my blood pressure. Who knew exercise could be so rewarding during retirement?
What do you enjoy for exercise? Please share in the comments below!