Discover a New Side of You on Vacation (while still staying relaxed)

Bold Pink Lipstick & Sunglasses

Going away on a sunny holiday to a resort? This is the only “free” time you’ll have for a while? Here are some easy ways to discover new parts of you without trying too hard that you can bring back to “regular” life.

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Building the Exercise Habit Part 4: Create a Simple Cardio/Weight Training Routine

Two years after turning 35 I realized that if I wanted to prolong my life, have mood stability, and prevent steady weigh gain – I have to start exercising regularly. I realized my days of cutting out carbs and going for walks to shed a few holiday pounds are gone. I needed to start regular cardiovascular exercise with strength/resistance training – and I have to do it regularly. Otherwise my risk of heart disease, diabetes, being unhappy and feeling less confident in my body go up, way up. As a skeptic of the diet and fitness industry, this was a hard truth to accept. Currently, I am about 40 days into building a lifelong exercise habit that will (hopefully) carry into my 40s, and I will write about what I learned in this series.

For a long, long time I was in denial that strength training was a crucial component of fitness. It never looked or felt particularly delightful – not like a step class or a brisk walk. I set out to prove that strength and/or resistance training was not necessary. But when everything I read indicated muscle loss with age is a real thing, I had no choice. So I built my routine, something super simple, repeatable that I can easily execute without much thought, day after day with both cardio and strength built into it.

Continue reading “Building the Exercise Habit Part 4: Create a Simple Cardio/Weight Training Routine”

Building the Exercise Habit Part 3: Identify & Remove Barriers

Two years after turning 35 I realized that if I wanted to prolong my life, have mood stability, and prevent steady weigh gain – I have to start exercising regularly. I realized my days of cutting out carbs and going for walks to shed a few holiday pounds are gone. I needed to start regular cardiovascular exercise with strength/resistance training – and I have to do it regularly. Otherwise my risk of heart disease, diabetes, being unhappy and feeling less confident in my body go up, way up. As a skeptic of the diet and fitness industry, this was a hard truth to accept. Currently, I am about 40 days into building a lifelong exercise habit that will (hopefully) carry into my 40s, and I will write about what I learned in this series.

I am not sure why as a society we focus on motivation as the key barrier to exercising. Lack of motivation is one minor roadblock to regular exercise. There are SO many more impediments to building an exercise habit that are brushed aside as excuses. Here is my list below:

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Building the Exercise Habit Part 2: Prepare for a Six Month Commitment

Two years after turning 35 I realized that if I wanted to prolong my life, have mood stability, and prevent steady weigh gain – I have to start exercising regularly. I realized my days of cutting out carbs and going for walks to shed a few holiday pounds are gone. I needed to start regular cardiovascular exercise with strength/resistance training – and I have to do it regularly. Otherwise my risk of heart disease, diabetes, being unhappy and feeling less confident in my body go up, way up. As a skeptic of the diet and fitness industry, this was a hard truth to accept. Currently, I am about 40 days into building a lifelong exercise habit that will (hopefully) carry into my 40s, and I will write about what I learned in this series.

The mental preparation required for a six month+ commitment is completely different than a short term one. In order to make the exercise habit stick, it became a matter of weathering uncertainty and motivating myself 180 days in a row. I am still hoping that after six months, the habit will form and it will be much easier to just do my thing without having to motivate myself or be mindful of it on a daily basis.

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Building the Exercise Habit Part 1: Understanding Habits

Two years after turning 35 I realized that if I wanted to prolong my life, have mood stability, and prevent steady weigh gain – I have to start exercising regularly. I realized my days of cutting out carbs and going for walks to shed a few holiday pounds are gone. I needed to start regular cardiovascular exercise with strength/resistance training – and I have to do it regularly. Otherwise my risk of heart disease, diabetes, being unhappy and feeling less confident in my body go up, way up. As a skeptic of the diet and fitness industry, this was a hard truth to accept. Currently, I am about 40 days into building a lifelong exercise habit that will (hopefully) carry into my 40s, and I will write about what I learned in this series.

I am not competitive by nature – I personally think competition is a waste of energy as ultimately no one can win at EVERYTHING (also is it “winning” if no one gives a shit, more on that some other day). I do not play sports – I never had much opportunity growing up in Bangladesh but also not much talent either. So how do I make sure I exercise regularly? Even when I had endless time, I was not able to stick to an exercise routine long-term. Like many people, I joined a gym or a class. Then went 3 times a week for about 2-3 weeks, then dropped down to 1 time for another 2 weeks, then stopped altogether until next cycle, usually a month (or more) later.

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Midlife Pivot

If our lives were a three act play… mid-life that is 40s, 50s and 60s – is the pivotal second act.

Life’s first is often shaped by “forces” beyond our control. Random things like our birthplace, our families, our communities and built in social pressure drive so much of who we are in early life.

Even in our 20s we choose patterns of behaviour we are exposed to. We get a job that pays well. We look into buying property. We find a partner to settle down to start a family. All these are driven partially by societal expectations and by biology – surely there is choice but choice is restricted by factors beyond our understanding.

Yet as we approach our second act, with decades of wisdom and experience, and a much clearer understanding of what we want, we have the opportunity to pivot. To shape our second act according to our own vision. Take the reigns of our paths and destinies more than ever before and put all these hard earned lessons to work.

If you’re a Gen X-er or an older Millennial or just someone curious about how to shift and pivot and find the optimal you – join me on the midlife pivot.