We’ve often heard that exercise should be part of our daily routine. The value of maintaining an exercise program can impact our physical well-being, mental health and improve our heart functioning. However, studies show that only about 23% of Americans meet the weekly recommendations for physical activity. This reveals that it’s pretty difficult for most people to find and stick with an exercise routine. Here are four tips to help you identify the right activity plan and stay on course throughout the different phases of life:
- Identify your exercise style. Take a moment to determine if you enjoy exercise in a group or on your own. Perhaps, you like a bit of both. Based on your budget and time constraints, consider signing up for an exercise class that meets a few days a week. Group classes help diversify your routine while also helping to hold you accountable.
- Set a goal. Writing out a personal fitness goal gives purpose and meaning to your routine. Consider a fitness journal to track progress particularly if you are starting a new plan. Make the goal measurable and time bound, like walking three times a week for 30 minutes.
- Be realistic. Unrealistic expectations can set you up for frustration and eventual failure. You want to help yourself fall in love with physical activity. That’s when you find joy in the way it makes you feel physically and mentally. Shifting from little to no activity to a daily workout routine is not what usually happens. So be honest about your starting point and build up to more rigorous activity as you find and identify the exercise you enjoy.
- Make it fit. Find the best time to workout, even if that is a different time each day. It’s wise to put your activity schedule into a calendar and block out the time like you would a meeting. Also find ways to have fun recreational activity like Saturday morning bike rides and evening leisure walks. This helps to keep your mindset around exercise positive and encouraging.
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