As the festive season swings into high gear with gatherings and celebrations, an all-too-common remark I hear from clients is, “I fell off the wagon.”

Whether it be a “diet” or an “exercise program” that someone is trying to stick to, one slip-up or a life-got-in-the-way type of day and they feel like failures. I’ve got news for them — and you:

There is no wagon to fall off.

It seems that the all-or-nothing mindset plays havoc in today’s modern society – especially around the beginning of a new year.

“Quick fix” diets and intensive workout programs do not work in the long run — they are setting you up for failure (and injury). No one is perfect! What if you reframed “failure” and could pick yourself up, shake it off and move on?

What are the ACTUAL guidelines?

The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of “moderate-intensity” movement a week, which equates to 22 minutes a day. What does moderate mean exactly?

Moderate means breathing harder than usual and the ability to still talk, but not out of breath. It’s a lot less than you think. After about 10 minutes, you will be a little sweaty. 

Technology helps too. Have you ever used a heart rate monitor? I highly recommend using one when you play (exercise) if you are curious. Heart rate monitors help you understand how hard your heart is working compared to how you feel. There are so many types and styles now in the market that you can try. They are fantastic tools you can use to get the feedback you need to be productive with your time and health.

In my book The Play Book How To Get In The Habit Of Good Health, there is a section dedicated to helping you determine what’s right for you and your current level of fitness.

Can’t manage to dedicate more time to your day to play?

You’re not alone! Using the WHO guidelines to start, what about:

  • Three 10-minute breaks during the day — take the stairs, play with your dog, vacuum the carpet, walk with a friend?
  • Ten, three-minute breaks — stand up and walk around at the office, dance to a few songs, carry your groceries into the house in multiple trips.

What does work?

Consistently showing up every day to do the best that you can.

All movement matters! It all adds up, takes the pressure off “having to work out,” and ensures that you’ll never fall off the wagon again!