Before starting or ramping up your exercise program, it’s important to remember: Don’t get a case of the terrible “too’s”! Doing too much too fast. If a little bit of exercise feels good like a mile of running today, don’t do two miles tomorrow. Do it in baby steps like a fourth or a half-mile more.
1 ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
Some of us grew up in the age of Jane Fonda who said go for the burn. Or no pain no gain. That’s really changed. Especially as we age. Actually, your body is a wonderful well-tuned machine that provides ongoing feedback. When you wake up in the morning before you get out of bed and then as you step on the floor, do a full-body check-in and be aware of what hurts. Hopefully nothing. But it does take time to analyze if that occasional or recurring pain is from overuse or delayed onset muscle soreness. DOMS as it’s called is a normally occurring experience that happens 24-72 hours after intense exercise. My experience in running marathons and half marathons with other vegans is that because a vegan diet is naturally anti-inflammatory, our recovery is much easier and faster than meat-eaters. In fact, non-vegan women who used to beat me at races 10-20 years ago like crazy aren’t even running any longer due to arthritis and joint failures. See: Meet The Bikini Competitor Helping Women Over 40 Stay Fit
2 SET A ROADMAP WITH REALISTIC GOALS.
Some people ask if it’s OK to do a marathon when they have never done a 5K, 10K, or half marathon. Generally speaking, anybody can walk a marathon if you’re in reasonable shape. But if you want to run it, you have to do the other races first over enough time to allow for appropriate training and recovery.
3 SET A TIME FRAME FOR AN EVENT YOU’RE TRAINING FOR, OR A MILESTONE, LIKE A BIRTHDAY.
Back time like a TV producer on how many months, weeks, days, and minutes. If you miss a day, tomorrow’s another, and don’t beat yourself up for it. Life happens.
4 FIND MOTIVATION.
This can be a running/walking/fitness club. A partner who is your speed or a little faster to vegan egg you on. I often joke I’m a Millennial trapped in a boomer’s body. I was an early adopter of a tech starting in my Wallstreet days and am continuing to stay state-of-the-art in my current real estate career. Metrics are what measure success and the integration of so many apps into computers, monitors, and watches, not to mention the music, podcasts, and other motivating audio accompaniments that keep you accountable, even if you don’t have a workout partner. Even personal trainers… there’s an app… actually, many apps for that. Don’t let tech scare you though. If writing it down the old school is your fly, go for it. Just do it. See: How To Develop Mindset Fitness
5 CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES.
Yeah, yeah, food is not supposed to be a reward for good behavior. However, a recovery snack of protein and carbs within an hour of intense exercise helps with normal microfiber muscle tear repairs. So if your fav restaurant has a special quinoa bowl or wrap, go there after that 5K and let it be a tradition for missions accomplished.
YOUR BODY IS A WONDERFUL WELL-TUNED MACHINE THAT PROVIDES ONGOING FEEDBACK