Exercise is one of the most potent and effective natural health tonics. Proven to boost physical and mental well-being, regular exercise reduces the risk of several life-threatening conditions while also nourishing the body and mind. If you don’t do much exercise, and you’re keen to embrace a more active lifestyle, here are some simple tips that will make an incredible difference.
Understand where you’re starting from
Setting targets can be hugely beneficial when embarking upon a fitness regime or starting an exercise program, but you have to be aware of where you’re starting from. Using an activity tracker is a brilliant way to establish how active you are and identify realistic goals.
Analyze your step count and active minutes tally based on a normal day or week. Once you have a reading, set yourself a new target. If you’re starting at 2,000 steps per day, try to get to 3,000 and then 5,000.
If you’re only active for 5 minutes per day, increase this to 10 minutes then 20 minutes then 30 minutes. Health experts recommend doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
Make exercise fun
One of the main reasons why people get bored of exercise and give up on training programs is repetition. Even the most determined and driven people can lose interest if they do the same thing day in, day out. Try to have fun with exercise.
We tend to focus on going running or doing a workout at the gym when talking about getting fit. These are popular activities, but there are so many other sports and activities that can help you to boost activity levels and improve your health.
Explore different settings and environments, try new activities or learn to play a sport you’ve always enjoyed watching. From hiking, cycling or swimming in the great outdoors and playing tennis, golf, football or netball to going to circuit training, yoga, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) or spin classes, the options are endless.
Dress with confidence
Have you ever noticed that you feel better when you think you look good? Getting dressed for a workout can impact your confidence, motivation and energy levels. Dress with confidence and make sure you feel comfortable. There are some fantastic sports clothes available today, including everything from trendy yoga pants and matching tops and warm jackets for outdoor activities to stylish gym wear and swimming costumes. Try different styles, dress for the specific activity and the conditions and choose outfits that make you feel confident.
Make time for exercise
A lack of time is the most common excuse for missing activity targets. If you have a busy schedule, you may feel like you don’t have time for physical activity. In reality, there are ways to make time for exercise. Get up 20 or 30 minutes earlier and work out in the morning, cycle or walk to work, or schedule a 30-minute break at lunch to go for a stroll or do an exercise class.
Try home workouts to save time on driving to the gym and make exercise fit in with your schedule and look for high-intensity activities that burn calories fast. Examples include short bursts of boxing, spinning and HIIT and high-energy dance classes. Use your evenings and weekends to enjoy activities like family bike rides, playing games in the park, going for walks or playing sports with friends.
Get others involved
It’s much easier to achieve goals with the help and support of others. If you’re trying to be more active, get other people involved. Go to exercise classes with friends, sign up for a charity fun run with colleagues or start a new hobby like playing golf, cycling, Latin dancing or jogging with your partner.
Go on bike rides with family members or meet friends for a game of tennis instead of a coffee. Working out with friends and relatives is more fun than being on your own, but it can also motivate you to push harder. Most of us respond positively to a bit of healthy competition.
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, or you’d like to be more active, it can be difficult to get into exercise and maintain high levels of motivation. If you tend to lose interest, or you struggle to find the time or the energy to exercise, follow these steps.
Set targets and goals based on where you’re starting from, have fun with exercise and dress with confidence. Try to make time for exercise every day, embrace active hobbies and get your partner and friends and family members involved.