New Year, Same Me… Just A Bit More Active!

Date: 29 March 2023   Author: Energise Me

By challenging herself to walk 15,000 steps each day, Helen has made small life changes to be more physically active. Since, she has seen her mood improve and her confidence grow. This is how she did it.

As the new year is like a distant memory now, it seems odd to be talking about it. But that is where my journey starts. You see, in previous ‘New Years’ I tended to get carried away with the resolutions. Big bold changes were proclaimed and generally, by the second week of January I was back to my old ways. Resolutions long forgotten.

But I did need to find a way to be active that suits who I am now.

Wanting To Move More

Back in the day (way back!), I used to swim competitively, do triathlons, and have no worries about going out with my local running club for a good long run. Somehow, over the last few years, that’s gradually stopped. Before I knew it, I was more inactive than active. And I’m not sure I really noticed it happening.

I was determined that this year would be different. I didn’t want the big bold claims that I just couldn’t stick to, but I did know I wanted to be more active again. What I had to be mindful of was not putting any pressure on myself to do what I used to do a long time ago. Let’s face it, I haven’t given up chocolate this far in my life and I can’t see it stopping this year. To be honest, I don’t want to. But I did need to find a way to be active that suits who I am now.

How I Made It Happen

So that was it. 2023 was all about being more physically active and seeing where that led to. I do like being a bit competitive with myself. I set a target for January of walking 15,000 steps every day. Not worrying about how, or time or in one chunk, just however they happened.

I did it. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. If I hadn’t finished them by the evening, you’d find me marching up and down in front of the TV to finish the last thousand steps. It became a bit of a challenge. What little wins in my day would help me squeeze more steps in?

I started walking to places that before I would have drove to. I parked in spots as far away as I could just to get those extra steps in. Rather than asking the kids to pop upstairs and grab whatever I had forgotten, I would stop being lazy and do it myself! It became a bit of a game. So, come to the end of January and (shock horror) I was enjoying it. I felt good. I had a target that didn’t involve something that I knew I couldn’t or didn’t want to do. Although I had made changes in my life, they didn’t feel overwhelming. To answer your burning question, yes, I was still treating myself to the chocolate.

It’s a bit cheesy, but I really look forward to my walks now. It clears my head and really does help to improve my mood.

Rediscovering Activity

At the start of February, I decided to carry on. And I haven’t missed one day of 15,000 steps since, rain or shine; some days even more, but never less. As the months have gone on, it has really changed how I feel. It’s a bit cheesy, but I really look forward to my walks now. It clears my head and really does help to improve my mood. I’ve also started to appreciate being outside in the fresh air. Actually taking note of what’s in and around my neighbourhood.

With this increased good mood and more motivation, I then started doing Pilates once a week. Again, it felt great – much harder than I thought – but it’s done wonders for my strength and posture. Which is vital when huddled over a laptop most of the day. As time progressed and I felt more confident, I am now trying to do 3 weight sessions a week. This is just following an online video from home, but I’m feeling good!

I love that my kids now see me being more active. I love it even more when they want to join in with me.

My Biggest Support

I love that my kids now see me being more active. I love it even more when they want to join in with me. They are my greatest cheerleaders and will often check that I have reached my step goal. We’re also now trying to pick activities as a family that are more active.

Could this be the return of my physical activity mojo? I’m not sure, but I’m feeling better and certainly am more active than I have been in a while. And so far, I’m sticking to it.

Top Tips

I’m not sure I am the best person to give advice about being active. As I can be (and have proved) very inactive, and love chocolate and cake way too much. But these tips worked for me just to get going. Perhaps they will work for you. Or at least, inspire you to create some of your own top tips.

  1. Start small. Your goal can be as small as you like, you don’t have to commit to running a marathon or climbing a mountain. Actively look for those small wins!
  2. You don’t have to be active for one whole block of time. If you want to break it up over the day, do so.
  3. If you’re starting out just by trying to increase those steps, remember they don’t have to be outside. (Although that’s my fav, just stepping in front of the TV while the kids sleep counts!) Do what works for you.
  4. Pick something you enjoy. Though I’m not sure walking is my favourite, I do like having a simple goal to stick to. What could be yours?
  5. If you are like me and LOVE chocolate and cake… don’t stop eating it, just share it with others!

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