Many of us struggle to get out of the sedentary rut, despite our best intentions.
Making exercise a habit takes more than having the right mindset and a smart approach.
There are many great reasons to exercise, including improving energy, mood, sleep, and health.
Adding modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your mental and emotional health.
Check your expectations. Expecting too much, too soon only leads to frustration. Try not to be discouraged by what you can’t accomplish.
Exercise is a powerful pick-me-up that reduces fatigue and boosts energy levels. It’s never too late to start building your strength and physical fitness, even if you’re a senior.
One minute of activity will help you lose more weight than no activity at all. You don’t have to be sporty or ultra-coordinated to get fit.
The key thing to remember is that something is always better than nothing. “No pain, no gain” is an outdated way of thinking about exercise.
For most people, aiming for moderate-intensity exercise is sufficient to improve their overall health. Warm-up with dynamic stretches to prepare for exercise.
Drink plenty of water.
If you feel pain or discomfort while working out, stop! Don’t try to power through the pain.
Your body performs best when it’s properly hydrated.
Don’t assume that training for a marathon is better than training for 5K or 10K.
For more on the types of exercise, you should include and how hard you should work out, read Best Exercises for Health and Weight Loss.
Science shows us that there’s a right way to build habits that last.
Triggers are one of the secrets to success when it comes to forming an exercise habit.
Give yourself immediate rewards when you successfully complete a workout or reach a new fitness goal.
Choose activities that make you feel happy and confident if your workout is unpleasant or makes you feel clumsy or inept. It’s important to choose activities that fit your lifestyle, abilities, and taste.
Plan your workouts for the time of day when you’re most awake and energetic.
Ask a friend or family member to check-in on your progress.
There are many exercise alternatives to weight rooms and cardio equipment. Just about everyone can find a physical activity they enjoy, but you may need to think beyond the standard running, swimming, and biking. For many, simply getting outside makes all the difference, even if you hate treadmills and treadmilling.
Exercising can be a fun time to socialize with friends and working out with others. If you have a family, there are many ways to exercise together.
Try paying attention to how your body feels as you exercise to improve your physical condition faster.
Even very small activities can add up over the course of a day, writes Tracey Wexler-Bennett, a registered dietitian and author of “The Mindful Diet and Wellness Dieting for Stress and Trauma” Wexel-Benson:
Pay attention to your body and try to incorporate more movement into your daily life.
Owning a dog for those who like pets can help you meet your daily exercise requirements.
Look for ways to add extra steps to your exercise routine.
Walk while you’re talking on the phone. Pair your workout with a treat.
If you enjoy exercise, you may find out that you eventually lose interest in it, so it’s time to shake things up.
Keep a record of your workouts and fitness progress.
There are numerous online fitness communities you can join.
Read a health and fitness magazine or visit an exercise website and get inspired by photos of people being active.