If morning is the best time for you to exercise but you hit the snooze button every time the alarm goes off, use Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule. When the alarm sounds, count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and get up. That’s the amount of time it takes your brain to change your mind about doing something. Purchase a dawn simulator so it’s light in your room even if the sun hasn’t come up yet. Your body will think it is time to get up because it's bright.
It's recommended that adults get 30 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity 5 times a week or 90 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. If you aren’t physically able to perform the recommended amount of exercise, then start from where you are and build up to it.
Setting exercise goals can be beneficial as well. Make sure they're realistic so you can achieve them. Once you’ve achieved the first one, set larger or harder goals. Reaching a goal will help keep you motivated and you’ll be less likely to give up. You could begin with some alternative activities and move into more traditional forms of exercise as you are able. Little changes made consistently over time will have the greatest impact.
You probably already know why you should exercise but I’ll share some reasons with you anyway. The benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle are:
- Heart health
- Bone health
- Movement and flexibility
- Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight
- Balance emotions like depression and stress
- Aerobic activities to increase your heart rate and burn calories. This is crucial for weight loss. At the same time make sure you are not starving yourself. It’s important to have good nutrition and get the proper amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats to support your body.
- Weight training for strength
- Stretching for flexibility. You can maintain mobility as you age if you keep you muscles loose and long. Practice Essentrics, a form of stretching designed by Miranda Esmond-White. Watch her show, Classical Stretch, on your local PBS TV station or visit her website to find a class in your area or to purchase DVDs.
In addition to traditional forms of exercise there are other ways you can move your body.
- House cleaning
- Yard work
- Park farther away from the store when you go shopping
- Use the stairs any time that you can
- Play with children or pets outdoors and in
- Use the push mower instead of the riding lawnmower
Maintaining an active lifestyle is key. If you don’t have time to get a workout in, try to be active in other ways during the day. Get your heart rate up so you can still burn calories. If you have a smart watch, keep track of the steps you take and the calories you burn during the day.
Awareness is the first step to creating change. Identify what it will take for you to be successful.
- Join a gym
- Go to a fitness class
- Hire a personal trainer or lifestyle coach
- Find an accountability partner
- Schedule exercise into your calendar
The human body was made to move, not to be sedentary. Get yours up and going. Remember to start slow and be consistent. Build a routine. It takes repetition to create a habit, or to break one. Small steps completed consistently over time will create the most change.