Upward Spiral 2018: Habit Shift – 5 Minutes a Day

Upward Spiral 2018

My word of intention for 2018 is Upward Spiral.

Today, I am officially 1 month into my 5 minutes a day of movement!!!!

Also, before you start… I AM NOT A DOCTOR. Nor a personal trainer, or anyone else who can give you exercise advice. I’m just telling you what has worked for me… so far.

(The first four paragraphs are about what lead me to my word choice. If uninterested, please skip to 5 minutes a day section.)

Oh 2017… you started off all right then you just turned into a downward spiral. It started when I threw my back out and stopped moving (this isn’t entirely true, but let’s start the spiral here shall we). Since I had stopped moving, I became horribly out of shape (not that I was in the best shape to begin with) I then thought I could push myself on vacation, and sprained a calf muscle badly enough I ended up having to get physical therapy. Being in pain and not moving (plus some other things) lead to a pity party, which then lead to poor food choices, which then lead to low energy, which then lead to tired grumpiness, and an overall unpleasant demeanor.

Here’s the thing, if I had just gone to see a chiropractor to begin with, I may never have injured my leg which lead to this downward spiral. BUT I didn’t… because I’m stubborn & don’t like going to anyone remotely Dr. like (but really, who does? NO ONE!). To be honest with all of you out there in internet world… I still haven’t (Shhh! Don’t tell!). It is on my list of things to do this year though!

Then I went for the general blood work check up for insurance, and my blood sugar was high. Not crazy high but definitely bordering on the beginning of bad. I had been reading a diet book at the time, and happened to be on a chapter about blood sugar, what the author thinks is a bad number, and some of the beginning signs of the downward spiral. I had those signs, and my number was higher than her beginning bad number, and I felt like I was starting on that downward spiral.

DEC 10th 2017

That was when I found out my sugar was high (by my standard) and I was on a downward spiral, and that I needed to change something, to start going up. So I decided I would work out for 5 minutes everyday. That’s it. None of this 30 day stuff. 5 minutes a day forever… or until I feel as if I can start skipping days and still come back to the practice. Because that’s what I want to build, a practice, or better yet, a habit.

5 MINUTES A DAY of Movement

Here’s why it’s worked for me. It’s only five minutes a day!!!!!!! If you can’t find five minutes in a day to move, I don’t know what to tell you.

Here are the rules: There aren’t any rules.

Well, not really.

Listen to your body. If you’re sick and not feeling up to crazy extreme HIIT, than do five minutes of restorative yoga, or go for a walk outside.

What counts? Everything that is movement. Turn on YOUR JAM and replay it for five minutes while you wildly dance to it, go for a bike ride, jump rope, do yoga, try a workout app… JUST MOVE.

Why I believe this will work for me and hopefully you too:

Since starting, most of the time I do more than five minutes. I’ve traveled, stayed with family during the holidays, and have been able to do it in a very small space. I’ve fit it in on Christmas day, on travel days, and even when sick with the some flu-ish thing (thank you restorative yoga!). And you know what!?!? I have always felt better after my five minutes.

I also feel like there’s no pressure to it, and hope it will eventually turn into a habit. That working out will just be something I do everyday. Although I often do more than five minutes, I don’t push myself to hard, I try to listen to my body, and if I only do five minutes, that’s fine because that’s all I need to do. Habits take awhile for me to form (and break) and I really need something I will stick to. This is an easy enough, no pressure, do whatever you like way to keep going.

I’ve been using three apps regularly for this:

Fitbit Coach – I don’t own a fit bit, but I like this app. I like the that it gauges your capability after each exercise, and has good explanation of the exercises.

Sworkit – I like that you can set daily reminders with this app, and also that you can set the amount of time you want to work out. Only have five minutes? Great! Set it!

Down Dog – I love this app, and have used it everyday so far. I’ve even considered paying for the upgrade, that’s how much I like it so far.

The above are all free apps with possible in app purchases. I use the free versions of all of them.

I feel like there are other areas I want to work on to continue this upward spiral of health, but this it the first that I’ve started working on so far. I hope this resonates.

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