Practical tips to help you start a regular exercise program
Some of us are naturally predisposed to lazing around
Why do it
Are you finding it difficult to stick to any exercise routine for any length of time? Do you shudder at the thought of setting foot into a gym to participate in an hour long aerobics class?
You are not alone.
And yet you know how beneficial exercise is for you.
It can be daunting to dive into an exercise program, with most us being bombarded with the news of needing to exercise at least thirty minutes a day (if not an hour) seven days a week.
Who has that much time to devote to exercise, particularly if you have to work, look after children and run a household.
Perhaps it is the way the message is delivered about the amount of exercise you have to do that many find a turn off before even starting.
Remember you can exercise anywhere
How to start
You may have time constraints, family commitments or a range of other things preventing you from starting the all important exercise program, particularly if you need an hour a day, but do not fear you can start small.
Remember the saying Rome was not built in one day? Treat your exercise program the same way. You do not need to become super fit in one day, or even the next month.
Set your goal to simply increase activity every day. Taking small steps will ultimately increase your chance of sticking with it.
An initial goal of yours maybe to simply set aside aside five minutes a day. From there you can start increasing the amount of time.
It is not too difficult to find five minutes in the morning, during lunch or last thing in the day.
If five minutes is too hard be creative. You could every hour do twenty (maybe ten for the first week) squats at your desk. You simply push your chair back, get up and sit down again. If you can do it ten times every hour. Work up to twenty.
Five minutes of walking in the morning could be done anywhere. You could do laps up and down the driveway, around the back yard or a loop of your streets. As long as you start the walking you will obtain the benefit.
If you are a mum who has to pick up children from school and take them to other activities there are no doubt times when you are sitting and waiting. Note you are sitting. Why not take this as an opportunity to do some walking.
It does not really matter where you are, you can always walk laps, even if they are small laps. Take the playground, there is plenty of space to do laps walking, or even running. This may be your opportunity to do your five, ten or maybe even fifteen minutes of walking. You will be surprised how good you will feel for it.
Other things to get you active
How about a ball? If you have a ball at home put it in the car. Next time you see a basketball hoop, try and get some hoops. It is a fund way of getting yourself moving, all of you that is, not just your legs. Lifting your arms up over your head will help exercising your heart.
What about kicking the soccer ball with your kids, or other adults?
You do not necessarily need to participate in regulated exercise to get the required benefit.
Any type of movement is a step in the right direction.
Keeping motivated by keeping your exercise varied, short and regular will help you in the long run.
Many people pay the gym membership only to stop going after the first few weeks, with excuses from not being able to find the time to not being fit enough yet to go to the gym.
Lets face it the gym is not for everyone. What is important is that whatever activity you do, you enjoy doing it. It may be that riding a bike takes your fancy, but you do not own one. Go and get one. Start of by getting a cheaper one and once you have achieve your first six months of your goals you could reward yourself with a better bike.
Walking a dog, your own or someone elses is another way to start the all important exercise program, not to mention swimming, attending dance classes or learning a whole new sport.
Why not go and kick the ball for some exercise
Making activity part of your daily habit
Not exercising is a habit you have gotten into. Habits can be changed. You can change the habit of not being active on a daily basis.
According to what has been written on the topic of habits you should give yourself three weeks to change a habit. I suggest you start with month to month goals of increasing your activity.
No doubt there are other habits you have managed to change over time. It was not easy, but in the end it was worth it wasn't it?
You will find that becoming more active will have many benefits for your overall well being as well as losing weight (if that is one of the reasons for you wanting to exercise) and increasing your cardiovascular fitness (benefiting your heart).
Your goal for the first month could be to walk five minutes every day. A reward system could be used as an additional motivator. You could put two dollars aside every time you have completed your five minute walk and at the end of month buy yourself a treat.
The next month you could set yourself the goal to increase your walking time, or to do squats three times a day or whatever takes your fancy. Important is for you to increase, even if only a little, the amount of activity you do.
At the end of six months you will be surprised how far you have come in changing your habit and having become more active. And hopefully you will have noticed a significant difference in your overall well being.