Integration

Exercise Routine

I exercise every morning for about an hour, and sometimes again in the evening for another half an hour. Weekends I do more, may be three or four hours on one of the days.  What ever the weather, this is my exercise routine, its easy, I rarely miss a day and its nearly always enjoyable.

My exercise is walking my dogs, possibly not the most aerobic exercise, however with a big hill to walk up at a brisk pace and supplemented by a bigger walk at the weekends, it suffices.  What’s most significant about this is that it is what I do,  I get up, get dressed and take the dogs out for an hour.  This is what integration means for me, that we make a change that becomes an integral part of our lives.

Making Successful Changes

I have found that the way to making successful changes in my life style to be more healthy or peaceful is to integrate those changes into my existing routines. Whether it’s exercise, diet, relaxation  or some other form of personal or emotional development.  My personal experience of all of these is that if it’s something I have to make a special effort to do, like packing up a bag of kit to go to the gym three times a week, I may begin with enthusiasm but before long that wanes and I’m back in the old routine.  Unless I can integrate the change it probably will not happen. So, here’s my top five tips for integration of a healthy lifestyle.

Top Five Tips

1) Whatever the change – enjoy it!  For example, if it’s exercise choose something that you enjoy  and which gives you pleasure.

2) Fit into your lifestyle.  Something  that is not congruent with how you live your life may not last, perhaps you could you cycle or walk to work a few days a week, or rather than sitting in your office at lunch can you go for a swim.

3) Be happy with small changes.  Little acorns and all that!  Sometimes when we decide to make a personal change we set ourselves unrealistic goals – be realistic in your goals and what you are asking of yourself.

4) Enlist support.  Talk to your friends, family  and supporters.  Get them involved.   It may be that you want to be able to call them to celebrate a success.

5) Allow time for integration to happen.  We begin by having to bring what we want to do differently into conscious awareness, it takes time for us to shift from being conscious of doing something differently to doing it automatically – without thinking. Making something part of your life will take time.

I’d like to hear about some of the changes you may have made that are now integrated into you life. How did you make this happen?

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