build a fitness habit on belle meets world blog

I never intended this to be a fitness blog, but I guess I never ruled it out either. I’m certainly not a health expert, and I struggle every single day with staying motivated to eat well and move often. One thing I do know, though, is that sharing my health journey with my readers is a great way to keep myself accountable to change and to hopefully show – with full transparency – that it isn’t easy as a woman in her 30s to put her health first. But it’s worth a try, and I’m ready to take us there one week at a time. Here we go!

I’ve heard a million times through numerous conversations with friends, therapists and trainers, as well as magazine articles and other self-help literature, that it takes 3 weeks or 21 days of consistent action to make a habit out of something. I’m 7 days into my re-commitment to putting my health first in 2015, and it’s been a really interesting week. I made the conscious effort to make REALISTIC goals because I have a pattern of launching into massive change too quickly and then not sticking to it. I’m a rebel – even towards my own authority.

In other words, for week one I took it easy and aimed for consistency. I knew I could successfully accomplish the following three things:

Do something (anything) active everyday 

Download a fitness app to track my activity

Make a list of new things I want to try once my habit is established

So what did that actually look like this week? 

This week I walked everyday – that’s it – just walked! And it was wonderful. I find walking so therapeutic and always imagine myself as an urban Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, working out the problems of the world with each step. If I wasn’t able to spend a large chunk of time all at once, I broke it up and did a few short but powerful strolls throughout the day.

I’ve also been reading that building muscle is the best way to elevate your metabolism so that you burn more calories while you’re at rest. While I don’t know the FIRST THING about weight lifting and strength training, I do know how to do push-ups, tricep dips, squats and lunges. So I dropped and gave ’em 20 (okay, 10) whenever I thought about it. 

As for my fitness app of choice, I’ve found one that I love called Argus. You can track your daily steps, water, coffee, yoga, walking, running and sleep on it, and you can also connect with other friends on the app, compete against each other, and cheer each other on. My boyfriend and I are both using it!

And finally, the list of new things I want to try! I think it will be important for me to change up my activity in order to stay interested in fitness, so here is what I aim to explore:

Flywheel – I’ve heard this bananas spinning class will change your life. How on earth is that true? I will report back

Pure Barre low-impact, full-body workout using the ballet barre and small isometric movements. I’m sorry, what?!

AIRaerial fitness class using silks to build core and muscle strength. Will pretend I’m a circus performer.

The 606run/walk along Chicago’s new elevated pedestrian path. Note to self: watch for cyclists while performing the flail I call running.

Starved Rock State Parkhike along trails and see waterfalls, just a 90-mile drive from Chicago. Why have I waited so long to check this out?!

Brooklyn Boulders, ChicagoI’m afraid of heights but I’m also curious about rock climbing. This could be great or terrible. 

My plan is to try one per week or every other week (when possible) and write about it. I am open to and would love additional suggestions and recommendations from readers for classes you love that I should try, too!

Thanks for joining me on this journey – I hope we’ll learn something together!