Ways to Finally Create an Exercise Habit That Lasts

Our New Year’s Resolutions — we say them with the best of intentions. We may even begin delving into them, trying to better our lives. Then it happens. Somewhere around February or March, everything peters out, and you realize you’ve yet again fumbled your resolutions. So before your resolution to prioritize your health gets put on the back burner again, let’s talk about some ways to make your resolution to exercise more stick this year!

You need a ritual. It is said it takes three weeks to make or break a habit. So for the next three weeks, create a routine that is ritualistic around that exercise. Do it at the same time every single day. For example, maybe every day after you eat lunch, take a 10-minute walk around your office building. You can build from there but creating that good exercise habit is what’s going to make it stick. Also, who doesn’t want to get away from their desk for 10 minutes, right?

Start simple. If you focus on something smaller, chances are you’ll be more willing to take more significant steps toward your goal. So say you decide you’ll do 2 minutes of squats at your desk while you’re on hold. Guess what? You’ll be more likely to exceed 2 minutes. And you’ll be even more likely to keep doing it every day. Keep coming back. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, and objects in motion tend to stay in motion. This is the law of kinetic energy. By this logic, if you keep yourself moving and driving yourself to stay active without missing your exercise, you will keep doing it.

Build your exercise habit. Once you make it as necessary in your mind as those other habits you have, you’ll find that you can’t miss it. Developing a lasting exercise habit is so vital for our health and well-being. If you take the time to nurture this ritual each day, you’ll find that you won’t want to miss your exercise.

What’s your favorite type of exercise? I love to run, walk, ride my bicycle, and do yoga.

Start Your Day Right This Fall

There’s just something magical about the autumn breeze that ignites a desire to enjoy life a little deeper — do you agree? It’s a perfect time to make some changes you’ve meant to make, and I want to share with you a few of my favorite morning habits to implement as fall begins — ones that I may have been a bit lackluster with during the summer months.

Starting off the day with movement. A morning jog or walk in the cool air is a fantastic way to wake yourself up and fill up your energy reserves for the day. There’s a short window of time to enjoy this before the weather gets too cold, so don’t miss out! You can work-out indoors if it’s too cold already, but doing so outdoors has quite a magical tone this time of year.

A warm breakfast. When you come back in from your morning run or walk, nothing is more soothing that preparing yourself a hot, healthy breakfast to enjoy. This can warm you back up from being outside and allows yourself a healthy breakfast to keep you satisfied until lunch.

Sleep in just a little longer. Hopefully, you’re getting enough sleep at night already, which is incredibly important for your well-being. But as the temperature drops and the sun rises a little later in the mornings, get a few extra minutes of sleep as well, if possible.

Drink your water. Begin your day with a big glass of warm water and some lemon to give your metabolism a boost and feel energized instantly. Doing so also starts the habit of drinking water, so you’ll continue to drink throughout the day.

What are your current morning habits, if any? I start my day feeding and walking my Boxers, then I read a few devotionals.  I really love the First 5 app.  A few days a week I go for a run with a friend.  I also like doing Yoga at home in the morning – Christine Felstead’s Yoga for Runners: The Essentials is my favorite.  I cannot wait for the temperatures to get a bit cooler and enjoy more time time outside in the morning. Florida summers are brutal.

Give your morning routine a refresh this fall, and kick-start your new healthy habits to gear you up for an incredible rest of your year. Being intentional with your time is an incredibly rewarding feeling.

Get a Metabolic Makeover

Daniel Plan Essentials Series Fitness Week 3

daniel plan essentials cover fitness

4 factors that influence metabolismThe topic for session 3 is Get a Metabolic Makeover.  Metabolism is how your body turns what you eat and drink into energy.  There are 4 factors that influence metabolism :

  • Basal metabolic rate
  • Lifestyle
  • Exercise
  • Specific dynamic effect (how much food you eat)

Your basal metabolic rate is basically how many calories you burn carrying out basic life functions.  It is made up of several factors including your size, how muscular you are, your sex, and your age.  Increasing muscle increases your basal metabolic rate.

Lifestyle refers to how active you are.  Do you sit all day at work?  Can you take stretch breaks every hour or so or maybe a short walk?  Even a minute or 2 of standing every hour or 2 will help burn more calories.  I like to walk during my breaks at work and try to get up and stretch every hour or so.

You should try it fit in 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.  I usually follow a workout DVD and run.  You could walk, swim, bike-anything that gets your heart rate up.  Aerobic activity is a great way to burn fat.  I especially like interval training.  That is the method I follow when I run:  2 minutes of running followed by a minute of walking.  Running is high intensity and walking is lower intensity.  Interval training is also part of some of the other workouts I do like 21 Day Fix & Insanity Max 30.  It can also be something as simple as walking fast for a minute then slowly for a minute.  You could also bike quickly for a minute then slowing down to a normal pace for a minute.  I am using 1 minute intervals for the examples but you could do longer or shorter intervals and do different activities.

Resistance training builds muscle and will lead to a higher metabolism.  Muscle burns energy.  You can lift weights, use resistance tubing, or do body weight exercises.  This is a great 30 minute routine that you can do at home a few days a week with no equipment.

Skipping meals affects your metabolism.  I try to eat every few hours during the day.  That helps keep my body burning calories 🙂

The fitness tip of the week is shadow boxing.  This actually reminded me of some of my workouts in Insanity Max 30.    What a fun way to burn calories!  It can be done almost anywhere.

The food tip of the week is a post workout smoothie made with superfoods.  I have never tried adding coconut water to a smoothie.  I drink coconut water after my long runs and really like it.  I cannot eat Greek yogurt due to my dairy sensitivity and would need to skip that ingredient.  I use vegan Shakeology in my smoothies.  What are some of your favorite fruits to add to smoothies?  I always add a banana and love adding strawberries and blueberries 🙂

Ephesians 5_29

The Bible verse I am memorizing this week is “No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.” – Ephesians 5:29

Have you made any changes to your fitness routine since you started studying the Fitness essential?  I decided to end the year doing 21 Day Fix so I would be well prepared to start The Master’s Hammer and Chisel in January.  I am going to keep running and am signing up for a few more half marathons in 2016.

Health & happiness,



Discover Movement You Enjoy

Daniel Plan Essentials Series Fitness Week 2

daniel plan essentials cover fitness

sittingThe topic for session 2 is Discover Movement You Enjoy.  This is very important because if you don’t like the exercise you are doing then you probably won’t continue to do it.  It should be part of your lifestyle, not just something to do to help you lose weight.   In the past people were more active and didn’t need to schedule exercise.  They moved a lot while working and caring for their families.  Now many are sedentary.  Sitting has become the new smoking.  For those that have sedentary jobs, myself included, we need to get up and move every hour or so.  Setting a reminder on your computer or phone can help you remember to get up and move for a few minutes.  You can stand up & stretch for a minute or 2 then sit back down.  Taking the stairs, not the elevator & parking further away and walking can help lessen the effects of sitting a lot during the day.  These steps will add up!  I also like to use my breaks and lunch do walk some and walk my dogs a few times a day.  That movement is in addition to my regular workout of running or dancing to CIZE in the morning.   I am trying to decide what workout to start in January.  I think I will get back to adding strength training with running–maybe ChaLEAN Extreme or a new program The Master’s Hammer & Chisel.  That program will be available next week…I might be buying an early Christmas gift for myself 🙂

Exercise can be fun!  It should be considered PLAY 🙂  Below is an acronym that was mentioned in the reading and video.

  • Isaiah 40_31Prayerful movements.  Ask for strength during your workout or to start a workout.  You can even reflect on a verse while walking, running, or doing another exercise.
  • Lengthening.  Hold different stretches for 30 seconds.
  • Aerobic Activity.  Do jumping jacks or another movement that raises your heart rate.
  • Youthful Strength Training.  Do a bodyweight exercise.  There are many that can be done in the workplace.  This is one I found on Pinterest that has several options.

Set a goals for yourself this week.  Make sure it is SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound.  We all have different abilities and interests.  What are your goals?

The food tip of the week was to make spa water by adding in fruit and ice to a pitcher of water.  I drink a lot of water plain but this can be helpful when you want something a little different.  What fruits do you add to your water?  Do you have any recipes to share?

The fitness move of the week was to use the stairs to get more fit.  A few examples of workouts included pumping arms while going up the stairs, going up the stairs laterally  and squatting at each step, and lunging up the stairs.  Think about how much stronger your legs will be by adding in a few of these recommendations each day.

The Bible verse I am memorizing this week is “You made my body, Lord; now gPsalm 119_73ive me sense to heed your laws.” – Psalm 119:73

Share the exercises you are doing this week and if you’ve tried anything new.

Health & happiness,



Decluttering week 5 (or not)

Last week I didn’t do any of the declutter assignments.  There were many reasons, primarily illness and other priorities.  I was able to keep up with most of the progress I’ve made just didn’t work through any more. Sometimes things do come up in life and we must decide what is more important.  For me last week’s focus wasn’t decluttering.

Every day, really every hour and every minute, we must decide what is the best use of our time. It isn’t always easy to make that choice and we must live with the consequences. As I look back maybe I could have taken 15 minutes and work on a kitchen or bathroom cabinet.  I could have ventured into my closet again.  But I didn’t.  It will be okay.  I will live with my decision to do other things and get back to decluttering.

I did start doing ChaLEAN Extreme again and ran a 5k on 3/7.

I started setting up and advertising a new challenge group called Fit and Lean 30 Day Challenge and was busy adding new members to the Daniel Plan group.  I accomplished a lot even if I didn’t stick to my plan.


My word for 2015 is Simplicity.


Last year I read the Simplicity Project by Corie Clark. It is an amazing book and really helped me decide to declutter my life. To help with that I began reading Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer and Essentialism by Greg McKeown.



I am also also trying to read the entire Bible this year, a few chapters most days of the week. I am using the She Reads Truth app. I also read a few devotionals using the YouVersion app and started the Made to Crave Devotional a few weeks ago. I am excited to be starting a bible study using the book Breathe by Priscilla Shirer.  My faith is a big part of my life.




This year I will also be focusing on other items that are important to me and my family. I am setting priories and reorganizing my home. I am continuing to focus on my health. I started Insanity Max 30 and finished the first month on 1/30.


I cannot believe how much stronger I am in just a month and am  excited and scared about month 2.









I’ve taken a lot of steps is year, almost 100 miles since January 1. I walked my dogs, went for a few jogs, and walked during some of my lunch breaks at work. While I didn’t reach my daily goal of 10,000 steps a day, I did very well. I am striving for progress, not perfection.





I am looking forward to an amazing 2015 and hope you are too!

Keep at it!

My couch to 5k progress

Just a few months ago I started a couch to 5k program and have made great strides. When I started the plan I ran for 1-2 minutes then walked some and repeated that several times. Now I can jog for 30 minutes straight. I don’t jog very fast yet but I’m going to keep at it and increase my distance too. I am walking a 5k next weekend – there isn’t a running option- and am looking for one to run in November or December. It hasn’t been easy to work up to this point but I kept at it.


I’ve also been doing ChaLEAN Extreme workouts 3 to 4 days a week and am really enjoying them. For me alternating the workouts is doable; I don’t have time to do both in one day. Find an exercise that you like to do and do it a few days a week. Find the time and add to it over time. Maybe start walking 15 minutes 3 days a week. In a few weeks maybe you could walk 20 or 25 minutes 3 to 4 days a week. Build up slowly and keep at it. Do it for you and your health. You can do it!

Moments matter

I’ve recently changed up my morning routine and feel so much happier about it.  My Boxers wake me up around 5 a.m.  I feed and walk them then if it is a weekday I pack lunches for me and my hubby to take to work. I do a workout DVD or couch to 5k workout, sometimes both.  Then I drink a Shakeology smoothie, read a few devotionals, and write in my journal. A few days ago I started a Bible study called Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System. I have been using the Bible app on my computer but also have it on my iPad and iPhone.   This plan will help me read the entire Bible, something I’ve never done.  I’ve already read 70 chapters 🙂

After my devotionals and journal time, I unload the dishwasher and every few days I start a load of laundry.   I use my morning time as a time to set the tone for the day.  I want to enjoy my days so I make sure I do the things that are important to me.  Life isn’t just about the time we have, it is about what we do with our time.



Getting back on track

For the past few days I’ve gotten back on track with my couch to 5k and PiYo workouts. My distance hasn’t been as far as in previous weeks for my couch to 5k program. I am not sure if it’s due to me still recovering from being sick or something else. I will continue on regardless. I am doing better than I would be if I wasn’t jogging at all. PiYo hasn’t been that hard for me to get back to. I really love the strength intervals workout which I did this morning. Yesterday was buns-I was feeling that for sure!

While it isn’t easy to get back on track after taking some time off, it will make a difference in your health. You might need to take it slower than before but do the best you can. You will improve over time if you continue working on it. I am starting week 4 on my couch to 5k program this week. What are you doing?