5 Steps to Building an Exercise Routine
Lack of time is one of the most commonly cited reasons for not exercising. The good news is that much of what we already do counts as physical activity, such as mowing the lawn or raking leaves. Additionally, benefiting from physical activity does not require a fancy gym membership or an uninterrupted 1-2 hours per day.
If exercise is not part of your current routine, or if you’re struggling to maintain a consistent schedule, here are some tips:
- Start with 10 Minutes. Find 10 minutes per day to devote to movement. Wake up a little earlier and go for a walk. Spend 10 minutes during your favorite TV show doing simple bodyweight exercises. You may even be able to take a phone call on a walk, rather than remain sitting at your desk.
- Find a Buddy. If you have a workout partner, you’re less likely to skip out. If aligning schedules with a friend is too difficult, ask a friend or family member to check in on your progress. Accountability, whether it’s someone who exercises with you or not, can help you reach your goals.
- Plan Ahead. Everyone is busy, and finding time will be your biggest barrier to taking care of you. By anticipating obstacles and taking action to remove them, you will save time and build habits that support your exercise routine. For example, if you tend to run out of time in the morning, get your workout clothes out and pack your breakfast the night before. Alternatively, if you like to exercise after work but find it hard to do so once you get home, pack a change of clothes so you can exercise before returning home in the evening.
- Enjoy Yourself. Find an activity that you enjoy doing. This will increase the likelihood that you’ll stick to it when you feel busy or tired. Exercise doesn’t have to be going to the gym. It can be participating in a sport, like tennis, or even taking a dance class.
- Be Kind. Show self-compassion. If you miss a day, use it as motivation to not miss the next day.
Regardless of where you are in your exercise journey, these tips can help you begin or maintain an exercise routine. Check out our recent blog post to learn more about the benefits of exercise and how much you should aim to get.
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