It’s seems as though it’s been snowing straight for a week.
Chicago is silently, stealthily getting buried under feet of snow. Tomorrow…the big chill comes with temperatures “the big windy” hasn’t seen in 20 years. They say the daytime high will be something close to -6 with a windchill of -13. Brrrr. People are heeding the weather advisories by sheltering in place – with netflix binge-ing and crocks of comfort food. Yay! We can stay in our pajamas all day long. There is no better excuse.
But what about the walking? What about the habit?
Some of us… have one of these…
and this Saint Bernard will beg, snuggle, sit on me, whatever it takes..with a look of “let’s go Mom, we really need to get out for a walk.” She absolutely loves the winter and totally transfers that joy to me. There is no way I can deny her a walk, and when I think about it, I realize she gets me going and out the door. Even when it means I may spend a half hour putting on boots, scarves, mittens and snow pants over my “lounging around the house clothes”, I do it. Isn’t it funny…dogs train us to their habits. They just think “walk”. There is no interference thinking like “it’s too cold, it’s too snowy, what will I wear? I’m too tired right now etc.”
While my dog helps me on most days, there are some days I really need more motivation to keep up my habit.
Recently, I came across an interesting blog – What happens to our brains when we exercise and why it makes us happier. The science to support what is chemically happening within our brains and why it is so important to try and create a pattern of exercise can be incentive enough for me. Within the post were some very good tips about how to get into a consistent exercise habit. I found these tips prompted me to make a plan so that I would look forward to walking. Staying in a positive mindset meant I didn’t have to spend extra time and energy doing battle with negative thoughts.
Laying out my workout clothes the night before, logging my progress (which is what I do on dailymile), and starting out small – very small, has helped me move through these past few months. I would also add (because I’m a former teacher, of course) it helps to have a goal in mind. To get going on this, I found an awesome link to a template for making a habit. (oops! teacher in me – again.) Since I am a visual learner, there is no doubt visuals help keep me focused, plus, it doesn’t hurt when the template is humorous and good for a laugh.
So, with all of this in mind, I’m out for a walk – on this frigid, snowy, blowy Chicago day.