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Get Motivated - Get Moving

Posted: February 10, 2017

The first step can be the hardest one to take. Here are some tips and information on the Everybody Walk PA program to help get you motivated for exercise.
Philadelphia Skyline 2008 by Ed Yakovich Wikimedia/public

Philadelphia Skyline 2008 by Ed Yakovich Wikimedia/public

 Motivation

“The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way; The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.”  We know and use this word, but we also feel this word. We feel the effect of having a great deal of it or of having it completely depleted. We all have good days and not so good days when it comes to being motivated in our daily tasks, life goals, or getting started down a new path.

When it comes to health and wellness where do you start? For many, this can feel like the hardest part. Any change in life starts with a choice and a commitment to move in that direction. It can be as simple as adding a serving of veggies to a meal or having family time once a week with electronics off.  It all depends on what works for you.  Getting started sometimes means just thinking about changing behaviors. You may spend a few days, weeks, or months “thinking” about making changes without ever taking the first step. And then one day, you do something; take a little action. Ever so small, and maybe a start and stop approach at first, but it’s moving a little bit. And it’s a start.

Now that you’ve gotten started, you need to get smarter. Gaining knowledge is an important aspect of anything you do in life. This is recognized as it relates to school, work, and even hobbies. But it is also true for overall wellness. Not only do you need to build that knowledge base – but also keep that information front and center on a regular basis to help stay motivated and on track.

Most people can list very easily the benefits of increasing their physical activity level, such as reduced stress and fatigue and increased mental alertness. It improves cardiovascular functioning and strengthens bones. Combined with healthy eating, it can help to reduce or maintain body weight and decrease incidence of certain chronic diseases. Some people are very good at making sure they regularly exercise. For most however, their reality falls short of their goal. This is where building in some external motivation and structure can come in handy.

Enter Everybody Walk PA! We will be taking a virtual walk for the fourth year – this time learning about and enjoying the beautiful and exciting cities in Pennsylvania. We’ll learn about their history, how to see them on foot, famous foods, and fun facts. This is a great program for work sites, schools, or community groups. Even your dog can be a member of your team!

So gather your family and friends or co-workers to form a team of up to five. Team members will try to average walking or exercising ten miles per week to meet the goal of Everybody Walk PA. Walk with your team or on your own at a time and place convenient for you – we will virtually visit a different city each week, but you do not have to walk there.

Weekly e-mails will include motivators to keep walking and strategies for eating more fruits and vegetables. All of this will keep everyone moving toward a healthier lifestyle.

The program will run April 3rd through May 28th . It’s free but registration is required by April 1, 2017. Register or learn more about this event or contact Karen Bracey at 570-836-3196 or kbracey@psu.edu.

As you look for “motivation” to help meet your health goals, remember to add the structure and fun activity to help give that extra push!