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  • Writer's pictureChristina Hunt

Renewing Your New Year's Promise. 7 Ways to Stay Motivated on Improving Your Health and Wellness

7 ways to stay motivated on improving your health and wellness when you have a lung condition

It’s mid-February and I will be the first to say that it has been a struggle the last couple of weeks to keep my momentum going to exercise regularly. In the beginning of the year, I blogged about 7 things people with lung conditions should try to improve in the New Year. (See New Year’s Blog) I challenged my readers to make a promise (not a resolution) to themselves to improve on areas of their health and wellness that were slacking or needed more attention in 2019. Whether the goal was to exercise more, eat better, or stay on top of annual doctor’s visits, there’s no doubt that many of you (just like myself) may be losing steam on your motivation and focus. I hear ya! It is so hard to stay with it. I know many days as a busy wife and mom of 3, I can find a million other things that I “need” to be doing and that I feel I should put first. However, my resolve to being the best version of me is strong and I want nothing more for my readers than to believe they are getting stronger, feeling healthier and more confident to live a happier life.

I wanted this week to share with you 7 Ways to Help You Stay Motivated and Excited About Your New Year's Promise to Improve Your Health and Wellness.

1. Prioritize by making a list

We all have a million and one things to do every day that need our attention, so it is hard to put our own needs above all the other things on our To Do list. Whether it be watching grandkids, running errands for our spouse, keeping the house clean, or committing our time to our church, we tend to put time for exercise at the bottom. I had this conversation with my girlfriends a few weeks back and they suggested that I start making a list of the things I needed to do each day and include exercise on that list. It seemed like such a simple suggestion but not only does this list give me a sense of personal accomplishment as I check each item off daily, but it keeps me focused on what needs to be done and what can wait. Time management has never been my forte’ so making this list has been super helpful to deter me from doing things each day that aren’t a priority. Put exercise on your list on a routine basis. Make it a priority and feel that sense of accomplishment as I do when you get to cross it off your list.

If there are appointments with physicians and / or procedures like mammograms, colonoscopies, and teeth cleaning that you haven’t scheduled yet, start making calls and scheduling them so you can cross those off your list of To Do’s. Prioritizing your health is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

2. Keep a log of your workouts and exercise progression

Some of my favorite programs on television are the ones when you can see the before and after. Whether it is house renovations like Fixer Upper or makeovers…. People love to see progress. It can be discouraging if you are looking at a mirror or scale and not seeing much of a change over several weeks’ time. Try logging your workouts in a notebook or journal to track your progression. You will see over a period of just days that you are getting stronger and that the effort that you have committed to is making a difference in your overall strength and endurance.

3. Get some new gear

Sometimes a new workout shirt or a new pair of wireless earbuds is a fun motivator to keep working out. Graphic t-shirts with quotes and other sayings are so popular right now to express your personality or how you are feeling. Choose a saying that reflects who you are or inspires you. Here are a couple I saw on Amazon that I loved. (Link to confidence t-shirt and inhale t-shirt) I have also included a link to a BreatheLiveFit t-shirt. (sorry… I had to :) )

When it comes to exercising, a good play list can help motivate you to keep moving. Whether you are grooving to Bruno Mars or jammin’ to some old rock and roll... great music will keep you entertained and exercising all at the same time. Keep your playlist updated by downloading new songs from time to time. You can find on Pinterest all kinds of exercise playlist ideas for any music taste. Not a fan of downloading music?...Try streaming your favorite tunes through free music streaming apps like Pandora.

I got tired on my walks of my arm getting caught in the wire of my earbuds. To fix this issue my husband got me these Bluetooth earbuds for mother’s day last year and I love them. I can swing my arms or perform strength training exercises without getting tangled in a cord. They have more expensive models out there (including the ever popular Airbuds) but I have enjoyed this more cost effective model for my purposes. They are available (as are other models) through Amazon.

4. If eating right has been tough… try a healthy recipe book!

Many people need to stay inspired in the kitchen in order to eat the right foods, but eating the right foods can’t come at the inconvenience of spending an excessive amount of time in the kitchen. Try to find a cookbook that encourages you to eat healthy foods without a ton of prep work and cleaning. Whenever I’m in a rut with my diet, finding new recipes is a ton of fun and mixes up multiple nights of chicken meals to something with a little more flavor. I recently bought this Skinny Taste One & Done Cookbook. I have been trying all sorts of new healthy recipes and all the recipes are “one dish wonders.”

5. Join a Support Group

I have been a respiratory therapist for many years and I am almost embarrassed to admit that only in the last year did I realize how many support groups are available to people who have lung conditions. Here in Richmond, VA we have several different lung support groups that aim to provide education to people with lung conditions. They are also a wonderful way to start amazing friendships with people who know just how you are feeling from a day to day basis. (Shout out to my friends at Breath Matters Support Group!) The American Lung Association sponsors Better Breathers Clubs as well. On the ALA website you can find a search feature that will allow you to find a support group in your area that may help motivate and educate you on your lung condition. PF Warriors has done an amazing job of educating the lung community on pulmonary fibrosis. Please feel free to reach out to any of these organizations or others in your area on how you can get involved and attend the meetings.

You don’t have to leave the comfort of your living room to find lung support. There are AWESOME support groups available online and through Facebook as well. Many of these online support groups are diagnosis specific (but not all) and another cool thing about them are that members are tuning in around the clock to ask questions and get in touch. The members of these online and Facebook support groups are often from all over the world. They give great insight on what their physicians are saying from around the globe and it’s fascinating to see lung patients communicating with each other from the US to the UK to New Zealand. I just love how lung support shows no boundaries!

6. Drink More Water -There’s an App for That

I love a good app for my phone and when it comes to drinking water I need all the reminders I can get. There are all kinds of apps available that will not only encourage you to drink water but will help you to monitor your hydration level. After looking through a few of the apps I really liked Water Minder and Daily Water.

More of a “gadget person”? There is also some neat products out there that help you to see your progress with your water intake and remind you to drink more. Ozmo has come out with a watertight rechargeable Bluetooth smart cup. Which has a hydration tracker and connects to your phone through their app. (Now I have seen everything!)

7. Mix It Up

No one likes doing the same exercises all the time. It can get dull and more importantly you need to challenge you muscle groups by doing something different with your exercise from time to time. Try a beginner yoga class, aqua aerobics, or a different piece of equipment at your gym in order to diversify and spark some fun with your workouts. Sometimes it can be enjoyable to add a social element to your workout routine. Try organizing a walking group that meets up at your local shopping mall.

Thanks for Reading! Remember: We are in this TOGETHER!

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:) Christina

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