There’s that dreaded word again: exercise. We should all do it, and yet many people don’t. In fact, only around 20% of people get the recommended amount of exercise they’re supposed to be getting. Going for a run once a week isn’t enough if you’re sitting on a desk chair the rest of the time. Going to a class with friends a couple of times per week where you mostly talk isn’t enough. You can kid yourself, but if you’re being honest, do you exercise enough?
The good news is, you don’t have to go to a class every day, run miles, or even train like an athlete to make sure you’re getting enough exercise. You can take the steps to make exercise a part of your daily life – something that you actually enjoy and look forward to. Here are some pointers you can use to help you on your way to becoming a healthier, happier, more confident version of yourself:
Walk As Much As You Can
Walking is one of the best exercises we can do, which is why it’s recommended we get at least 8,000-10,000 steps per day. This can be tough to achieve if you have a desk job, so make sure you’re making a conscious effort to walk more. For example, get up once per hour and make a drink or do a lap of the office. You can also take the stairs rather than the elevator, and ensure you’re parking further away from your destination so you can take more steps. It might not seem like much, but it all adds up.
Invest In A Fitness Tracker
A fitness tracker can give you a more accurate idea of how active you are and how you can improve on what you’re currently doing. Maybe you’re getting half the amount of steps you thought you were getting, or your exercise isn’t actually as intense as you believed before. A fitness tracker can help you to set and reach goals and help you to improve on what you’re doing currently.
Make Sure You’re Nourishing Your Body To Support Movement
You’re not going to want to get active at all if you’re not nourishing your body. This means eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. Eating the right foods will give you energy and ensure you have better workouts. You’ll also get better results from your workouts when you eat right.
Try Various Types Of Exercise
You’re not going to want to do the same thing day in, day out. Try various types of exercise to see what you like doing, keep things interesting, and make your routine fun to stick to. Now, this isn’t to say you should do something different every single day of the week. Staying in a routine when it comes to weight training, for an example, is important for a little while so you can monitor your performance and how much stronger you’re getting. Just don’t be afraid to incorporate different types of exercise, such as swimming and maybe even pilates on top of your more intense exercise regime. These exercises are low impact and still have many benefits, including stress reduction, which is a big factor in health! You can learn more here about exercises like pilates and why they’re good for you. Ultimately, you need to find the exercises that you enjoy doing, because only then will you stick to them.
Have More Than One Reason To Exercise
What’s the number one most people start to exercise? To look better. That’s what everybody wants, right? Some variant of ‘to look good in a bikini’. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough of a reason to exercise as much as we need to, and it’s the reason many people don’t stick to an exercise regime. You need to have multiple reasons to get up and exercise. Here are some that could help you to get going:
- To live longer
- To fight off disease
- To feel happier
- To feel more confident
- To feel stronger
- To set a good example for your kids
The above are just a few examples of reasons you can have to exercise. Choose the reasons that are more meaningful to you.
Do Things That Make You Forget You’re Exercising
Maybe you want to exercise without even realizing that that’s what you’re doing. This is totally possible, too. Start doing things that make you forget you’re exercising. For example, playing with your kids or having a game of tennis with your partner can both make you forget you’re exercising and help you to lose track of time. Do these things often!
Start Putting Yourself First
You might think that you don’t have the time to exercise when really, you’re just not prioritizing it. You need to start putting yourself first, and that means prioritizing your health and the need to exercise. You can’t pour from an empty cup. How will you care for your kids if you’re sick? What sort of an example are you setting?
Make It A Social Occasion
How about roping in some friends to come on a hike with you, or trying out a new class together? Making exercise a social occasion can be a lot of fun, providing you actually work out and don’t spend the whole time talking.
Focus On How You Want To Feel
Make sure you focus on how you want to feel each session. Accomplished? Strong? Empowered? And work towards that as you work out. Focusing on the way you feel is far more effective than focusing on the way you look.
If you don’t exercise at all, you’re hardly going to start exercising 5 times a week straight away. Be realistic. Aim for twice a week. After a couple of weeks, aim for three. Then after a month, aim for four. See if you can keep that up for as long as possible. Depending on your goals, you could then consider adding in another session, but don’t forget that you need rest, too!
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