Sunday, July 25, 2010

Let's Play Truth or Dare

When we have formed the habit of not considering our health above all else, it is very difficult to build our desire to do what is necessary to stay healthy, even after we have changed our mindset towards our bodies. Sometimes, we know what we do wrong, but we deny that we can change. But every day we go on without change makes it just a little bit harder to pick up our cross and get our bodies right. Conversely, every day we take one step towards better health and a better body image is one more step that makes the lifestyle changes a whole lot easier. You would be surprised to know the changes we can make in our day to day lives that could make a big difference in our health. Counter each realization you face about your limitations with something you could take on this month to push yourself. Let’s play truth or dare.

Truth: You are too busy to work out.
Dare: Incorporate fifteen minutes of exercise in the morning, and fifteen minutes at night. When you have so little free time, the best ways to exercise are to get an exercise DVD, subscribe to a fitness magazine, or just do short sprints. The exercise DVD allows you to feel like you are in a fitness class, but allows you the freedom to push play whenever you want. Fitness magazines usually have sections dedicated to new workout routines or new poses that you can do at home with little or no equipment required. However, sprinting does require that you have running shoes, and enough endurance to run at a fast pace.

Truth: You fall back into your regular routine because you get bored.
Dare: Switch it up! We are human, and so just like any relationship, our relationship with our health can also dwindle when the original excitement goes away. However, you can prevent the death of this relationship by keeping things interesting and exciting. Going to a new fitness class, running with a new running buddy, or riding a bicycle are just some ideas you can add to spice up your workout. But whatever you do, always try something new before you get bored with your old routine.

Truth: You cannot stand the pain that comes with working out.
Dare: Sometimes, pain is like a badge of honour. At the beginning of your workout program, you will feel pain. The intensity of the pain sometimes depends on the intensity of your workout. So if you do some low intensity workouts like walking or dancing for starters, gradually increase the vigour of your exercise, and always stretch after your warm-up and after you’re done working out, you may reduce the level of pain you feel. But I also say fight through the pain if you can, because the rewards later on are so worth it.

Truth: You looooove food too much.
Dare: Don’t we all? For lovers of food, make it a task to apply portion control. Change your relationship with food. Apply the “there is always tomorrow” principle to reduce bingeing on food today. If you like to eat at home, it would actually be easier for you to stay fit. Stock your fridge and cabinets with ingredients you know are healthier so that when you do reach for the pan, you only have the options in front of you.

Truth: You have no information about what food to eat.
Dare: For one month, Google every food you know. Yes, it will be difficult, but you can do it if you plan ahead. If you know the ingredients that go into any food, I guarantee you can find the nutritional content of that ingredient online. Are you thinking of garri? One cup of ground cassava contains about 330 calories. Are you thinking of chicken? One grilled chicken thigh with skin contains about 200 calories. Although these are just estimates, they go a long way to give you an awareness of everything you put into your body. If in doubt, you can always email me, and I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.

Truth: You don’t enjoy exercise.
Dare: Find something you enjoy and stick to that. Take a dance class or just set aside time to dance at home. Gather your friends together and have competitive exercise sessions. The key is to keep your body active, and so I am certain that there is some physical activity that you will have fun doing.

Truth: You have already made bad decisions, and so you believe it is too late to make a positive change.
Dare: Never is it too late. Did you know a smoker can reduce his/her risk of lung cancer by simply giving up smoking and taking up exercise? So you can do the same as well. Eat a healthy breakfast and start your day right. Talk a brisk walk around your neighborhood. Do some sort of physical activity and stick to it. When you start to notice the difference in your body, you would be excited to do more.

Truth: You are on a budget, and so you cannot afford the gym, and fast food is all you can afford.
Dare: If you have access to the internet, try to view some exercise poses you can do at home. I even have some in my summer series blog posts from June (Abs Like Whoa, See My Muscles, Tone Your Behind). There are so many varieties of push-ups, crunches, and aerobic exercises you can do at home. But the cheapest option by far is running. The good thing about running is that the road is free, so as long as you can find a quiet place, you are good to go. As for fast food, if you are on a budget, cooking at home might be the best way to stay healthy. This helps you know exactly what is going into your food, and you can make healthy substitutions wherever possible.

I believe that every limitation we have set on our bodies can be countered with something we can do to take a step in the healthy direction. Take on a dare today.

Cheers ‘Eights’ and ‘Weights’!



  1. Great thoughts... indeed you have a passion for healthy living. While I am passionate about my body shape (not really about looking hot but looking fit), I am not the sort that's passionate about what I eat... Perhaps from now on, your blog would help on that.

    - LDP

  2. I used to enjoy doing short sprints at home when I had a workout buddy; she moved out, and I stopped, giving the motivation excuse. Then I started running outdoors, but got tired of being gawked at. Finally, I'm getting a mini stepper, to up my cardio. So, I'm about to run out of excuses. Yay! (sigh). I really want to do the work though, so that should help.

    I am an avid food lover, but I got into portion control a while ago, and it's helped a lot. In fact, I think my stomach's gotten smaller.

    Do you have any tips for exercises that can help me tone my arms without making me muscular?

  3. Thanks for visiting isha and LDP!
    @isha, I would really love for you to read the post 'See my Muscles' from June. I do those to tone too and not grow big. In addition to those, you can still lift dumbbells but simply lift less (so like 5 pounds is fine) and you won't grow big.
    I hope that helped :)


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