We see it all over the place, and we know we need to do more than we are currently doing. But it often seems overwhelming, or it just seems that it will take forever to make progress. Let’s face it, we didn’t get to where we are overnight, and any changes we are working toward will take a bit of time. But starting or increasing an active lifestyle isn’t that difficult, as we’ll show you.
Find the time
Time is a common excuse that is used to not start getting active. Do you really not have the time, or are you choosing other things to fill your time so you don’t have to exercise? Finding the time to be active doesn’t involve moving the world, just making a few different choices. Instead of sitting on the couch looking through social media, get out for a walk with your significant other and discuss the things that you’ve seen and heard that day. Or consider getting up a little earlier to get in that exercise out of the way first thing in the morning.
Make it Enjoyable
Perhaps the best way to fit in some activity is to do it in disguise. When you do an activity that you enjoy, it doesn’t really feel like exercise. For example, you know you need to walk your dog, why not ask a friend or two to go with you? You can chat while you walk and check off several things from your list easily. Or maybe there is a sport that you enjoy participating in, such as basketball or tennis. Bring the equipment with you so that you can stop by a local court and get in some exercise working on your backhand after work.
Set Fitness Targets
Exercising to exercise is a good thing, but most people need a bit more motivation to keep with their activity. This is where setting activity targets, both daily and weekly, really help to keep you on track. Maybe you want to get outdoors with some activity five days per week, that’s a great target. A couple of days might be taking a walk with friends or family, one day might be swimming at the beach, and a couple of other days you ride your bike through a nearby park. Targets help to keep you motivated and provide goals to reach that aren’t impossible.
Track your Progress
Along with setting targets for yourself, you should track your progress as well. If you want to exercise five days each week, mark off each day you get that exercise. If you don’t make it one week, don’t beat yourself up about it. Maybe that week, you had some unexpected events that kept you from exercising how you planned. You can then make a plan so that when it happens again, you have a way to still fit in some activity so you can mark off that progress. Soon, your activity will become a habit, and things won’t feel right until you get that exercise in.
Sometimes we like to be alone, either to think through things or to listen to some music or an audiobook. But even if you engage in a solo activity, it’s a good idea to have someone else that you can be accountable to. Maybe it’s that friend at work that you have lunch with that can make sure that you keep up with your targets, or it’s your significant other that helps keep you going by including you in their activities. Having that external person asking you about your progress can make a difference.
Related: Get An Accountability Coach
Use a Fitness Tracker
Smartphones seem to always be with us, and now there are plenty of wearable devices that can also help us track our activity. Fitbits and smartwatches can sync with our smartphones and provide us a way to track our goals and even provide gentle reminders throughout the day to be sure to get that exercise in.
Check your Fuel
While exercise is imperative, don’t forget that what you put into your body affects how you feel throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water is a must, as it helps to keep you hydrated and everything working in peak condition. Work to limit the junk food and try to focus on beefing up the fruits and vegetables that you are eating at each meal. Additionally, consider using a smaller plate, but filling it full. Visually your mind will think you have a load of food, but you don’t have any more than if you used a larger plate and put the same amount on it.
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Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Daily Walk
It seems like such a little thing, but going for a daily walk has several benefits for you. Of course, it helps to ensure that you get some activity each day, but if you are able to take your walks outside, you benefit from being outdoors. And if you can get a friend to come along, you can have a nice conversation as well. Winning all around!
When we talk about exercise, how much is needed? The experts are currently saying that adults should get 150 minutes of exercise weekly. That averages 30 minutes a day over five days. And even if you split that up to two 15-minute sessions each day, it all adds up.
Cardio exercises provide all sorts of benefits, and it can come in a variety of different activities. Sure, a daily walk is good cardio, but so is swimming, biking, hiking, jogging, jumping rope, and many other activities. The goal is to get your heart rate up and to maintain that elevated rate for a period of time, usually at least 20 minutes. With regular cardio activity, you will strengthen your heart, have more recuperative sleep, help to reduce or manage diabetes, high blood pressure, and other ailments, and release endorphins which provide you with a positive mood.
The other major activity you can participate in is strength training. This can be with the use of weights, resistance bands, or even your own body weight. You’ll perform various exercises for between 8 and 12 repetitions. What you’ll gain is muscle mass, which helps in all aspects of life. You will also experience an increase in bone density, which is crucial to help prevent broken bones. Joint flexibility will be improved, weight control will be improved, and balance is also a benefit of strength training.
Look the Part
When you are ready to start getting active, make sure that you have the right clothing to make your activity enjoyable. From shirts and tanks to leggings and sports bras, BFRMD has the active clothing pieces that will help you make a statement.
Related: Join The BFRMD Team
Everyone needs to be active, whether that’s a daily walk around the neighborhood or lifting weights at the local gym. There are a host of benefits to be had from your exercise, including feeling and looking good. Couple your activity with better eating habits, and you’ll be the envy of your neighbors and friends with your energy and positive outlook.
Get the start to your new active life kicked off right. Schedule a coaching session today.