Imagine you are running a race. It is your first 5k. You have prepared and trained, but at times during the race, running is still a struggle. You try to focus on the finish line to get you through, but you are still fighting to hang on. Have you ever stopped to think that the finish line might not be the right place to look?
No matter what activities you choose when it comes to exercise and physical activity, focus on progress, not perfection. In the scenario above, perfection would be completing the race at your fastest time, feeling great, and perhaps not even having a sore muscle. While crossing the finish line is a great accomplishment, don’t skip over the smaller accomplishments along the way. You showed up. That is a great accomplishment! What about when you finished the first mile? Did you feel proud of yourself? You should have. What about when you finished the second mile? Were you tired? Maybe, but did you stop to think about how awesome it is that you were up and moving around?
Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor can you reach your end goal that quickly. When working towards an exercise or physical activity goal, focus on small accomplishments that build up to a larger goal. If you are trying to get to a more healthy weight, don’t focus solely on the larger number. Instead focus on 5 pounds at a time. When you hit a plateau, don’t let that deter your progress. Pat yourself on the back for the amount of physical activity you’ve achieved that week and the healthy food choices you’ve made.
MyPlate gives recommendations for physical activity based on age. Click here to see what is recommended for you. Once you’ve done that, click the Create An Active Lifestyle link on our homepage for tips and motivation to stay active. If you’re looking for a little more of a push, watch for our Sweatin’ Saturday workouts posted each week on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
To fuel your body for physical activity, try this Jicama Orange Salsa recipe.