By André Gianfrancesco (guest post)
Summer is nearly here. Being outdoors in the sunshine is much easier this time of year. What a great time to start and active living habit! Living an active lifestyle is more important than being active.
An active lifestyle is not about running six miles, going to the gym, or dieting until you get the results you want. Living an active lifestyle is about action and consistency. If you spend an hour at the gym, working hard and busting your butt for results, but spend the other 23 hours of the day sitting around like a couch cushion, then that one hour at the gym is almost null and void.
Positive results come from small changes in daily routine. Humans are not short-burst creatures; we thrive on endurance and habit. Remember all the small advice we hear: “take the stairs”, “walk to the store”, “go outside more often”. It can be easy to dismiss such insignificant changes, but these are the habits that improve our quality of life, regardless of fitness results.
Lifestyle is determined by habits, and habits are determined by consistency.
Think about the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It was not formed by a raging tsunami flowing through it every once-in-a-while, but rather a simple river that flowed through the sandstone every day. Day after day, year after year.
Now, the river changed with the seasons, and we are no different. During the summer months when the Rocky Mountain snowmelt is flowing off the peaks, the Colorado River is raging through the canyon, but come December the river calms down. Like the river, during the summer, we have more opportunities to go outside and be active, but around the same time that Grand Canyon is calming down, we have the holiday season that seems like Hoover Dam on our health.
The river might stumble and falter during the winter, but it still flows.
You might not be able to ride a bike to work year-round, but nothing is stopping you from stepping out your front door and walking around the block.
I have seen the results of an active lifestyle first hand. For four years I worked at an outdoor education center, a free-pass to an active lifestyle. I would see co-workers come into a season and at the end of nine weeks, they would have their belt cinched two notches tighter. That seems like a given when you’re hiking through the mountains and playing with kids for twelve hours a day.
The truly impressive thing was not the weight loss, the improved sleep, the aerobic and respiratory improvement. The most impressive change that came with living such a physically demanding lifestyle was how people naturally changed what they ate.
I surprised myself one morning at breakfast.
Instead of going for the conventional cereal and milk, I made myself a bowl of yogurt and fruit. I wasn’t consciously thinking about my health. I was thinking about the hike I was going on. Would I have enough energy to last all day teaching students about forest ecology? A bowl of grain-based carbs was not going to cut it.
Working outside all day is a drastic example, but it is these drastic examples from which we pull lessons. You might live in the city. You might work at a desk all day. You might be raising a family. That does not mean an active lifestyle is out of your reach.
And most importantly, doing it consistently. The beautiful Grand Canyon was formed by a slow trickle of never-ending water, so too is your beautiful body shaped by your daily habits.
What will be your small, active habit that you can start today?
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I hope you enjoyed this post. Keep an eye out for my next Sugar Detox starting in July…yes, it will be after the 4th 🙂 https://mynaturalbodywisdom.com/nutrition-health-coaching/group-coaching/
If you’d like to set up a time to talk to see if the Sugar Detox is right for you, book some time with me here.
Now go out. Be awesome. And enjoy the sunshine.