Almost everybody knows that exercise is good for the body, but not everyone likes to run, dance, lift weights or simply to walk the extra mile.
Although the health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore, many of us may have even tried changing our routine but kept sliding back to old behaviors eventually.
Exercise doesn’t need to be such an all or nothing commitment, as it can be a fun time to socialize with friends and working out with others can help keep you motivated.
If you haven’t exercised before or you’ve tried an exercise program in the past and was unable to stick with it, it’s important not to set unrealistic goals.
Committing to exercise for an hour a day in a gym may be too challenging at first, as compared to committing to 10 minutes just three or four times a week which is more manageable.
Once these short windows of activity become a habit and you start experiencing the benefits, it’s easier to progress to the next level.
Find an exercise that you enjoy doing which could be as simple as a walk, or as unique as washing the clothes while mopping the floor.
If you don’t already have an exercise hobby yet, there are a variety to choose from that are both fun and healthy.
Remember that if you hate what you are doing, you are far less likely to stay engaged.
Look at your daily routine and consider ways to sneak in a physical activity here and there.
Bear in mind that even very small activities can add-up over the course of a day.
In and around your homes, you can clean the house, wash the clothes, tend to the yard and garden, mow the lawn with a push mower, sweep up the sidewalk or patio with a broom.
At work and on the go, you can look for ways to walk or cycle more.
For example, walk to an appointment or use the stairs, briskly walk to the bus stop then get off one stop early, park at the back of the lot and walk into the store or office. Take a vigorous walk during your coffee break or walk while you’re talking on your cell phone.
With friends or family, you can walk or jog around an open field or park with your husband, kids or friends, make a neighborhood bike ride part of weekend routine. Play tug-of-war with your children in the yard, play exercise video games or walk the dog together as a family.
While watching TV, you can gently stretch while watching your favorite show, do push-ups, sit-ups or lift light weights during the commercial breaks. You’ll be amazed at how many repetitions you can fit in during the commercials of a half-hour show.
On weekends that you cannot watch your favorite telenovela, turn off the TV and take a walk outside the house.
Making lifestyle and behavior changes is not easy.
But over time, as you continue to exercise, you’ll start to reap the physical and mental health benefits and improve your performance.
Soon enough, you’ll be able to exercise longer and harder and have the confidence to try new activities.