“I could never do that.”
“I don’t have time.”
“I keep skipping workouts, so I might as well quit.”
Before I started exercising regularly, I said all of these things and repeatedly talked myself out of taking those first steps. I felt overwhelmed when my doctor told me I needed to lower my blood pressure, lower my “bad” cholesterol, and increase my “good” cholesterol. I already knew I needed to lose weight. And I knew — in spite of myself — that diet and exercise are important factors in all of these health concerns.
What I did not know at that time was the positive effect of small victories. It is important to set long-term weight-loss and exercise goals, but your health can improve even before you reach those goals. For example, a long-term weight loss goal may be 50 or more pounds. But did you know that losing just 5 to 10 pounds or adding 30 minutes of exercise three times a week can make a positive difference? These changes can help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, raise HDL or “good” cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Do What You Can — It Still Counts!
It’s easy to feel discouraged when a goal is still a long way off. But I know that even the worthiest goals can make me want to give up before I start. When I started exercising, I could only manage five minutes on the elliptical machine. But those beginning five minutes led to 30-minute workouts.
Ask your doctor about the right exercise program for you. Start where you are, and know that those first steps are already making a difference!