RAIN IN RENO? WEATHER CHALLENGES TO STAYING FIT
Who would have believed it? It was 80 degrees with clear blue skies, stunningly beautiful Indian summer in Reno last week and this week has been uncharacteristic heavy and consistent rains. In a preview of the winter weather to come it stayed gray and cloudy with steady rainfall all day and gave me too much of an excuse to cancel my Sunday run.
In planning for the California International Marathon I was scheduled to get in a good 15 miles or so. Having recently run the 26.2 miles of the Maui Marathon as a training run, I am supposed to be on the home stretch of training for real now with serious weekend runs and some speed work and squeezing in the some runs during the week. Well, let’s face it, most of that is not happening. Then the weather!
Watching the rain through the windows I felt all of my motivation to exercise ebbing away and, like so many people, felt the desire instead to do just the opposite for my fitness and preparation: go eat a big lunch! I got away from the kitchen and did what I always counsel my weight loss patients to do: take the first baby step. So I changed into running shoes and workout clothes to at least put myself in the mode of getting exercise. After stalling for a few minutes and waiting for the guilt to overcome the sense of laziness, I finally found my way downstairs to the treadmill then I did another baby step, turned on the TV and set the treadmill to a very slow walking pace. At least if I’m going to be lazy around the house I might as well take a walk, right?
After a while habit forced me to dial up the pace and soon I was pounding out 8 good miles at 8 minute mile pace. Not a tremendous workout, but it turned the rainy day from a total loss into a reasonable workout so I can stay on track.
Everyone fights the same battles: feeling the powerful pull of yummy foods and treats all the time and especially when work duties, childcare duties and more pressing matters ebb away to give you free time. Everyone faces the challenges of maintaining motivation to exercise. There are no easy ways around this, but some tried and true principals to help in the mental and physical war we must fight to maintain health and fitness and avoid unhealthy weight gain.
- Never give up. Stay committed and stay focused. Never throw in the towel just because the rain comes or you aren’t feeling motivated.
- Take that first baby step toward the goal. That means lace up the running shoes even if you have absolutely no intention of going running. The funny thing is that once those shoes are on your body has a way of wanting to take the next baby step, which might be taking a walk outside or putting on the iPod.
- If you can’t do something big, do something small. Nevermind that your friends cancelled on you, the weather turned gray, the bicycle broke, you twisted your ankle or the dog at it. No excuse should keep you from changing from the big plan for a monster workout and instead doing what you feel you can on that day given what you have to work with. Make it a small workout. Just work on some upper body strength. Even if you just change it to a ten minute exercise routine, at least you did ten minutes.
Take yourself out of the “I’m bored now I must eat” environment. If the original plans fall to the wayside and you find yourself with nothing to do in a house full of food, get out. Grab that list of errands you have been meaning to do and go run them. Get started on another project and do not give into the strong temptation to allow food preparation and consumption to fill up the boredom.