Exercising regularly can seem like a monumental task. There is always a reason why we can't exercise. Finding time is definitely the number one excuse I hear. Another popular excuse is not being sure what to do when you walk into a gym. Sure, all of the machines and people can be overwhelming or intimidating. But you don't have to be an expert in the equipment at the gym to get a good workout. In fact, exercising every day does not have to be hard. I will share with you 5 easy steps to exercising that you can incorporate into your daily routine.
Before we get into the steps, did you know exercise is much more powerful than helping us just lose weight? There are 40 studies published between 2006 and 2010 that show regular exercise reduces the risk of two dozen health conditions including cancer, heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, stroke, dementia and depression. (Source: Peak Fitness) Another benefit of regular exercise is it improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood. The immune cells are critical to fighting pathogens in your body, such as free radicals, which can cause disease.
You may be thinking that exercising every day is a bit much. This is probably because you have a preconceived notion of what exercising should look like. You do not have to do a heart pounding, sweat drenched session every day. While the goal should be to sweat for 30 minutes at least 4-5 days a week, that doesn't mean the other days you can't get in some light exercise to get your body moving.
Walking is the most unappreciated form of exercise. Taking 30 minutes a day to simply walk, has huge health benefits. Walking can help strengthen your muscles, improve your coordination, help you be in a good mood and prevent disease. (Source: MayoClinic) The weather may not always cooperate if you like to walk outside. There are indoor shopping malls that allow people to walk inside while the stores are closed. If you join a gym, you can simply show up and use the treadmill for 30 minutes. Every time you go to the gym does not mean you have to workout hard. Simply going to the gym to walk is perfectly acceptable.
Now that you have a better understanding of why exercise is important to our overall health, here are 5 easy steps to exercising every day.
#1 SCHEDULE IT
The simple act of writing down the action Walk for 30 minutes or putting it in your calendar or setting reminder on your phone, will help you do it. By scheduling the activity you are making a commitment to yourself. We schedule oil changes, Doctor appointments, hair-cuts and nail appointments. Why aren't we scheduling exercise? Because we haven't been taught that exercise is a priority for our health.
#2 TELL PEOPLE YOUR GOALS
The simple act of telling your family, friends and co-workers will help keep you accountable. In fact, you may find people who are also want to exercise regularly and they may want to go with you. There are plenty of times when the weather is good that people in the office where I work will go for a walk during their lunch break. Having the social support really helps to keep you in the routine of exercising.
#3 LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
When you first start exercising, you are probably going to jump into it and go too hard too fast. This is pretty normal. Instead, I want you to build up to exercising every day. Start with simply walking 3 times a week for 30 minutes. Do not worry about sweating and speed. Instead, simply enjoy the walk. If the weather is not good outside, go to the gym to walk on the treadmill. Bring a book to read while walking or watch TV. You will be sore when you start any type of exercise routine simply because you haven't exercised. As you get stronger, your body will tell you it can do more. That is when you start adding another day to your routine.
#4 FIND AN ACTIVITY YOU LIKE
Part of sticking to an exercise routine is finding an activity you really like to do. Something you look forward to doing. There are so many classes you can try. Spin class, kick-boxing, an all around workout class that does aerobic and weight lifting and even yoga. You may simply like using an elliptical machine at the gym to have some time to yourself. Whatever motivates you is the exercise you should focus on getting really good at it. Over time, as you become more advanced, you'll want to start experimenting with either different exercises or making it more challenging like adding weights. If walking is what you love to do, eventually carry 2 lb weights for a portion of the walk. Making this simple addition will give you great health benefits.
#5 DON'T EXPECT FAST RESULTS
One of the main reason people stop exercising routinely is because they don't see results instantaneously. I get it. We live in a society where we expect results in seconds. But exercise that has meaningful results takes time. We can't expect to lose 10 lbs in one month. That is just not healthy nor will the weight stay off. A slow and steady progression is the only way you will create a routine that benefits your body and is something you can stick with. Don't get discouraged. Remember, the reason you are starting this journey is to have a healthier life. Your life is long and will be longer when you exercise. This is a marathon not a sprint.
I hope you found this information inspiring and helpful to start exercising every day. As always, when you start any exercise routine, make sure you tell your doctor. This will help you stay healthy with what ever activity you decide to start.
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