How to fit exercise into your day
* said no one ever… Ok, maybe professional athletes, but for the rest of us, we need motivation. Here’s how to motivate yourself…
To get the most out of exercise and physical activity, you have to make it a regular part of your day. When it’s a part of your every day routine, you won’t have to think about exercise because it will become a habit. As much a habit as making your bed every morning.
Good habits are formed when you set a goal and work towards that goal. The best part is that it makes you feel good when you are willing to work at something and are successful. Exercise is no different, but I won’t lie to you, you’ll have to continue to motivate yourself to exercise because relaxing is much easier, but we do love the great results.
Here are some tips to help you put physical activity at the top of your “to do” list every day.
1. Make it a priority.
Remember that being active is one of the most important things you can do each day to maintain and improve your health. Try being active first thing in the morning before you get too busy.
Experts say to do 2½ hours of moderate activity a week. Moderate activity means things like brisk walking, brisk cycling, or shooting baskets. But any activities that raise your heart rate and make you breathe harder-including daily chores-can be included…
Here’s some good news: It doesn’t have to be a certain amount each day. It’s fine to do blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.¹
Day-to-day activities count too. Gardening, cleaning the house, washing the car and washing windows. These all count and you’ll be happy when your home looks great.
Playing with the children or reading the paper on your exercise bike all count to your 3 sets of 10 minutes.
When you are at work, be sure to take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk when possible – the furthest conference room, or the next departments coffee. Park further away. These all add up for your 10 minute intervals. Try a no-sweat Office Workout or a few Exercises.
2. Make it easy.
You are more likely to exercise if it’s a convenient part of your day.
- Walk the entire mall or every aisle of the grocery store when you go shopping.
- Join a gym that’s close to your home and easy to get to.
- Take one or more flights of stairs up and two down.
3. Make it social.
- Many people agree that an “exercise buddy” keeps them going.
- Take a walk during lunch with coworkers.
- Try a dance class – salsa, tango, square dancing – make it fun!
- Become part of a team. Sign up for a softball, soccer or volleyball team through your local parks and recreation department. Making a commitment to a team is a great motivator.²
4. Make it fun.
- Do things you enjoy, but pick up the pace a bit. If you love the outdoors, try biking or hiking. Listen to music while you garden or wash the car.
5. Make it happen.
- Choose to be active in many places and many ways.
- Get off the bus one or two stops early and walk the rest of the way.
- Do toe-stands or wall push-ups while you’re waiting for your spouse to get ready to go out.
- Put it on the calendar. Schedule physical activity as you would any other appointment during the day. Don’t change your exercise plans for every interruption that comes along.²
Here are some helpful tips from Chris Freytag’s article: 12 Steps to Make Exercise a Lasting Part of Your Life ³ that we think you might find useful:
1. Develop a “move more” mindset.
2. Commit to regular activity.
3. Find your favorite exercise.
4. Focus on health and strength and what it means to you, and not on the numbers on a scale.
5. Add strength training to your weekly routine.
6. Put yourself first.
7. Exercise with a group.
8. Think of how exercise boosts your sense of well-being.
9. Look to the future.
10. Avoid stop and start and stop again syndrome.
11. Remind yourself daily of your why.
12. Stretch after each workout.
Can you think of any other tips?
Thank you for spending part of your day with us. We hope you find this article motivational – and be sure to check out our exercise pages.
1. WebMD. Quick Tips: Fitting Physical Activity Into Your Day – Get started. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com
2. Mayo Clinic Staff. Fitting in fitness: Finding time for physical activity. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org
3. Freytag, Chris (2013). 12 Steps to Make Exercise a Lasting Part of Your Life. Retrieved from https://fitness.mercola.com