ac-count-abil-i-ty • noun: the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions
For many years, Clancy, and then Bella served as my fitness copilots. Their soulful brown eyes kept me on track—even when I didn’t feel like exercising. In fact, these two amazing German Shepherds knew how to train me. They would sit at the sliding glass door and catch my eye as I walked by. Then, they would look at me, and point to the door handle with their muzzles.
No matter how many degrees below zero the thermometer might read, I couldn’t resist their silent pleas. I would trudge to the closet and dress for a walk each evening after a long day of work. Morning and evening they would repeat this routine. They also trained me to throw sticks for them as I walked or ran. Now that the girls have passed on, the habit remains. My day doesn’t feel complete without exercising twice a day. I still get the urge to throw any stick I happen to see on my path.
If you don’t have a dog for a copilot, (or even if you do), you may want to consider some of these accountability partners. The one(s) you choose will depend on your personality and your pocketbook.
As an introvert, I prefer to do most of my exercising alone—but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy encouragement! Over the years, I have tried exercising with friends, and for short seasons it has worked. Long term, I find that an electronic gadget works the best for me. Having a non-weight loss goal in mind also works wonders.
Bare Bones Accountability
Spark People—a weight loss and diet app that allows you to interact with community and track your food intake and manually enter your exercise.
C25K—Couch Potato to 5 K exercise app takes you through an eight-week program that starts you out walking with short stints of running. Over the course of the training, you’ll gradually increase your pace until you can run 3.1 miles (5K) without stopping.
Running for Weight Loss—this app combines a variety of training programs (walking for weight loss, different race lengths, running for weight loss) to get you motivated an on track. It also has a place to record food and water intake (which is useful if you really want to lose weight). I used this app when I started running again after a four-month break. It would tell me to, ‘walk now,’ and ‘start running.’ Kind of like having a nice coach in my ear buds.
Nike + Run Club and Nike Training—I used these apps to train for my first marathon last spring. You can select the distance you want to train for, and the program will guide you through. The training app includes aerobics (non-running) programs for stretching, weight loss, muscle-building, and conditioning.
Pedometers—you can find low-cost pedometers just about anywhere. Look for a digital one with a large read out (if reading tiny numbers bothers your eyes). If it has a tether of some sort, that will prevent pedometer loss (I had a clip-on kind that I routinely lost every six months or so).Low- to no-cost #accountability tools for your journey to physical wholeness. Click To Tweet
Nurture Yourself Takeaway #22—sometimes we need an accountability tool to keep us on track.
Tomorrow we’ll talk techy—I’ll share gadgets and groups that have helped me reach my goals.