As you probably already know, exercise is like super-important for our health. It keeps everything moving and circulating throughout the body; it does awesome things like keep our blood sugar at healthy levels and strengthen the heart. It can also do wonders for mental health. It releases feel-good chemicals, and helps treat conditions such as anxiety and depression—in some people this works even better than medication.
Unfortunately, knowing something is good for us is often not enough to actually do it, as evidenced by the rampant increase in diseases resulting from living an unhealthy lifestyle. You know you need to start exercising, but you are having trouble making a regular routine stick. You are not alone. Here are just a few tips to help you out.
Take Things One Day at a Time
When we think of making changes in our life, we tend to project way out into the future. Right now, you are thinking about going from someone who never works out to someone who will be active at least five days a week for the rest of your life. That is a really big change, and you doubt you can do it. But, if you just focus on each day as it comes, and work on making good decisions as they are presented to you, it becomes a whole lot easier.
Just take this one choice at a time. Sometimes you will get lazy and that’s okay—you are a work in progress. Even if one day you just take a 10-minute walk around your block, you are on the right track.
Experiment with Different Activities
Exercising is a lot more than hitting the treadmill at the gym or jogging in your local park or around the neighborhood. There are so many different ways you can get in shape, and there is something for everyone. So, be willing to experiment with different activities to find something that really resonates with you, that feels fun and makes you feel accomplished.
Martial arts have always been a great way to get in shape, and classes seem to be growing in popularity. You can find karate, judo, taekwando and muay thai in Portland , New York, Los Angeles and other major urban centers, as well as many suburban areas as well.
If you like dancing, take a Zumba class at your local gym, or sign up for a dance class. Recreational sports leagues are another great way to get in shape, and make some new friends.
So, if you start to get bored with your daily walks around the neighborhood or feel a bit self-conscious working out at the gym, branch out, don’t just give up.
Find Your Motivators
It is important to define your motivators down to the deepest level. Surface, general reasons are not good enough. Sure, you are exercising because you want to be healthier or you want to look better. But, you have to dig some more. Why do you want these things? Why do you want those things, and then those things? Keep asking this question until you feel you have really hit your core drivers. Once you figure these out, you will set a strong foundation for changing your lifestyle.