I’ve heard every excuse in the book about not exercising. You’ve probably heard them too (or….gasp….said them yourself). How about “I don’t have time”, “I’m not good at running/swimming/yoga/whatever else”, “I’m too tired”, “I have young kids”, “Exercise is boring”, “I don’t like to sweat”. Any of these sound familiar? The list could go on and on.
I’m sure you’ve heard the benefits of exercise and maybe you’re even trying to figure out where to start and that’s what led you here. The good news is that all of these excuses can be overcome and you can add regular exercise into your daily routine, regardless of what your day looks like. Remember that doing something is always better than doing nothing. Even little changes can add up and help you live a healthier life.
Here are a few simple tips to help you get started:
- Set one small, measurable, specific goal and write it down. Decide what you want to achieve. Let’s say, for example, that you’d like to start doing yoga. Once you’ve decided on a goal, work out the specifics. How long will you practice yoga each day? When will you do yoga each day? Perhaps find a 10-15 minute video and commit to doing it each morning after your coffee. The important part of this step is making sure it’s realistic but challenging and that you can easily measure your progress. In this case, a calendar would be a great way to track progress each day.
- Log your progress. There are many smart phone apps available that allow you to easily track your workouts. Or there’s always the old-fashioned way that we mentioned above – a paper calendar. Figure out what works best for you but make sure it’s always noticeable to serve as a reminder.
- Recruit a partner. It may not always be possible to have an actual partner to work out with but you can at least recruit an accountability partner that will ask you about your progress. Many of the smart phone apps that you can use to log workouts also have a feature to connect with friends and even challenge them.
- Reward yourself. Stick with your goal for a month and have a predetermined reward at the end of that month after you successfully reach your goal.
- Revise your goals. Once you’ve successfully completed your first goal, up the stakes and create a new, more challenging goal. Maybe increase the time of your workout or try another workout that you find interesting.
After a few weeks of consistently working out, it will become habit and a regular part of your day. Even if you’re limited on time, making time for 10 or 15 minutes a day can help elevate your mood and increase your energy level and focus throughout the day. If you have children to take care of, get them involved and make it fun – laughing and playing together burns calories. And exercise doesn’t have to be boring – find something you love to do and do it! Just get moving and make it a habit!
What is your favorite way to get more movement into your day?