Exercising can seem like a massive chore on your unending to-do list. However, by making a few changes you can effortlessly fit a realistic workout into your daily schedule.
Build up your activity level slowly. Running a mile or taking a 2-hour aerobic dance class on your first day won’t improve your fitness. If such excesses don’t injure you, they will make you tired, sore, and likely to drop out.
Make exercise convenient. If you can walk briskly half an hour to get to work, you don’t have to make time during the day for an aerobic workout. Think twice before joining a health club that is miles out of your way. If your program is centered on outdoor activities, have indoor alternatives for when the weather is bad.
Give exercise priority in your schedule. “Not having time” to exercise is an evasion. A survey shows that exercisers and non-exercisers have the same amount of leisure time – about 24 hours a week. During busy periods, save time by increasing the intensity of workouts instead of skipping them.
Maintain what you achieve. You can’t store the benefits of exercise for very long. Missing a day or two won’t hurt, but skipping too many successive workouts will put you back where you started. Even professional athletes lose a portion of their fitness if they don’t exercise for a few weeks.
Find a comfortable fitness level. You don’t need to keep intensifying your program once you have met your fitness goals. Research shows that you can maintain fitness with less activity than it took to become fit. In fact, continuously increasing your workout time raises your risk of hurting yourself.
Accept temporary setbacks. Then pick up your regimen as soon as you can. An illness, an injury, or a personal crisis will inevitably interrupt your exercise program. If you miss a few days of exercise, you can probably start at the level where you left off. With a break of a week or more, you should reevaluate your fitness and work back to your former level very slowly.
Make other healthful changes. Smokers and people who are overweight are the most likely candidates to quit exercising. Let exercise help you give up smoking and unhealthful eating.
Keep a support network. You can benefit from staying in touch with other exercisers. You may be inspired by what you see other people accomplish. Or you may enjoy mentoring a spouse, child, or friend.
Consider competing. Participating in a race, swim meet, golf tournament, or tennis match may give you a focus for your fitness regimen.
Reward yourself. Getting fit and staying fit are achievements. Treat yourself periodically to a special evening out, new clothes, or a trip.