If you don’t exercise regularly, now is the time to get started! It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, your physical condition, what time of year it is, or how busy you are. You can always come up with an excuse why now is not the right time. If it’s important to you, you’ll find the time in your schedule. You can do it! Your body and mind will thank you!
To remain committed for the long term, make exercise a habit. To do that you’ll need to put practices in place to help you establish and stick to an exercise regimen.
Before you get started be aware of your current state of physical health. If necessary, consult your physician before you begin to exercise. Knowing what you are capable of and your limits will help you set a goal and have realistic expectations.
What are you hoping to accomplish by exercising? Do you want to feel better, have more energy, lose weight, decrease medications, avoid or reverse a disease? Spend time reflecting on why it is important to you. When you face challenges or setbacks and think about quitting refer back to your WHY.
To reach a fitness goal, it is important to develop a routine. Determine the best time of day for you to exercise. Will it be better to get up and do it first thing in the morning? Or would you rather use exercise as a way to unwind towards the end of the day?
Until you have established a fitness habit consider scheduling when you’ll exercise and write it on a calendar or in your daily planner. You may have better luck actually doing it if it’s planned into your day and not done randomly. Performing exercise at the same time each day can be beneficial as well. Develop a plan and stick to it.
Consider enlisting a friend, family member, or coworker as an exercise partner. You can be accountable to one another and keep each other motivated. Or meet with a trainer at the gym. Find someone to hold you accountable to your goals. You’ll be less likely to come up with excuses if someone is depending on you and knows what you are attempting to accomplish.
Track your activity. Keep a journal and write down when you exercise, what you did and for how long. A fitness tracker or downloadable app is another way to do it. A tracker provides a good visual of what you’ve done or haven’t done.
Struggles and challenges are to be expected. When they happen recognize them for what they are, except them, recommit and move forward. Be patient and gentle with yourself throughout the process.
I’ve been exercising at the same time every morning for so long I can’t remember when I started. Until COVID hit I was so regimented it was almost scary.
In a typical week I work out 5 times at 5:30 am except on Saturday. Run on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Swim on Tuesday and Thursday. Sleep in on Friday and Sunday. Because the pool is closed the activities have changed but the routine has stayed the same.
When on vacation or traveling exercise is still part of my routine. It can be a great way to explore new places as well. Again, the type of exercise and time of day may change but it still gets done. I share this to let you know it’s possible. If I can do it so can you!
Getting a good night’s sleep and eating healthy foods can help provide you with the energy you need to exercise. I’ve put together a guide with tips on how to promote a good night’s sleep. Click here to get the guide.
Think more consciously about the decisions you make every day. How do they impact your health? What simple choices can you make to help you lead a more healthy and vibrant life?
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