I have been feeling really stuck in lots of ways lately. In many of these different areas, I know what’s holding me back, and for now it’s just a matter of moving through it all one tiny step at a time. One of these areas is in getting back into my daily exercise habit. Each week I come up with a plan to start but it never gets off the ground. I think many people can relate to difficulties with this same thing. Today I am writing about some strategies we can all use when feeling unable to commit to daily exercise. This post is as much for me as for you today!!
In all my years of studying health and nutrition, not once have I heard of a study that says getting a set amount of moderate exercise each week is not good for you. Staying active and getting exercise adds so much benefit to our lives. It improves our sleep. Moving more helps us age more gently both mentally and physically. Cardio exercise is good for our heart. It is good for our mental health. It may help us lose some weight or maintain our weight as we age. Exercise can be a form of stress relief. I feel like the list just goes on and on because there are so many ways it benefits us.
For some people, making space in their schedule for exercise is very easy because they really love it. I am not that person. It is not to say that I don’t enjoy exercise and activities that get me moving because I do, but it’s the getting started piece that I often struggle with the most. Once I’ve been at it a week or so, I can already feel and see the results and that keeps me motivated to continue. These are the tips that I have found work well for me in the past and I guarantee I will be using one or more of them this week to get my butt moving.
Find a workout buddy
This tip is probably one of my favorites because it makes the workout a social activity and adds a bit of accountability as well. I know when someone is expecting me to meet them I have a lot harder time making up an excuse to bail out on the exercise date.
Sign up for a walk or run in your area so that you have a goal to work towards
Of course, you must like to walk or run to use this tip. But I think it works well to have any type of a goal that may provide you with a reward even if the reward is simply completing a race or the being successful with reaching your goal. It’s a mental trick that’s for certain.
Break up the amount of time into smaller segments and spread them throughout the day.
I think this tip works well for anyone who maybe doesn’t have a full 30-60 minutes to set aside in one complete chunk. It could be going outside to walk for 15 minutes in the morning and again later in the day. I have contemplated using this one in the recent past. More so not because I don’t have the time, but because I am currently working from home so moving throughout the day is sometimes nonexistent which isn’t good as well.
Pick an exercise you really love or at least kind of like
If you hate going to the gym, then don’t get a membership. The activity needs to be something that you can really look forward to and something that you enjoy. In the past, I have taken dance classes and I loved it. It didn’t feel like exercise at all but I can tell you that I definitely was moving my muscles as I felt it the next day.
Make a good music playlist
I love music, and nothing makes the time fly for me than to have a great list of tunes to plug into while I am getting my exercise on. Plus if you choose songs with a faster tempo it can work to help you set your pace if you are running or walking.
Find an audio book or podcast that you really enjoy and only listen to it when working out
Another great way to make the time just melt away. Plus, with a podcast it is usually a set amount of time, so you can pick something that will keep time for you as well. This activity probably best works when you are walking or on a bike. I am not sure I could really concentrate if I was doing a strenuous type of exercise.
Use your work breaks to sneak in a few minutes of activity
These activities could be some simple yoga stretches you can do at your desk or you can even leave the office and go outside for a quick walk. A great way to keep moving during the day especially if you do a lot of sitting at your job.
Schedule your workout time
Not having time is likely to be my most common excuse in the past, but it doesn’t work for me now because I have tons of time at my fingertips to fit in just 30 minutes a day. The truth is that we all have the time, it’s more about making it a priority so that we set the time aside. Putting it on our schedule is a statement to ourselves saying this time and activity is important to me.
Dig deep and push through
I put this one last because sometimes it’s all we have left. But to just do it, even if we feel exhausted, lazy, uninterested or any other negative emotion or thought that is getting in the way.
Wishing everyone a great and active week. Hope that we are all successful in moving a bit more this week. If you try any of these out this week and they work for you, please let me know. You can leave a comment here on the blog or send me a message as well.