I think most people can agree that exercise is important. So how do we fit activity into our daily schedules? Most people should aim to get at least 150 minutes per week, that is 30 minutes 5 days of moderate intensity exercise. Moderate intense exercises may include walking briskly or riding a bike. This falls in line with the recommendations while on the 5 & 1 Plan. Exercise is important and encouraged, but it is recommended to limited vigorous activity to no more than 45 minutes per day.
Here are my 5 tips for approaching an exercise program.
- Know your why.
First ask yourself if exercise is important to you. If it is, then why? Do you want to get fit to live a longer life for your family? Do you want to feel better? So, take a minute to think about why exercise is important to you and write it down as a reminder! As you continue your exercise journey revisit your why, especially when you are feeling complacent.
- Explore your passion.
What types of physical activities do you actually like? There are so many activities you can incorporate, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a structured exercise regimen. Some ideas are, walking, yoga, cross fit, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), running, swimming, dancing….. the list goes on and on. Do you like individual or team activities? The choice is yours. Remember, any type of purposeful movement counts!
- Make the time.
This is where many people struggle. Our lives are so busy, people are working longer hours and involved in more extracurricular activities than ever. Can you fit in a 10 minute walk a few times per day. Stand rather than sit or take the stairs, not the elevator. Start out slow.
- Grab a buddy.
The importance of having a workout partner or buddy can be overlooked. A partner can help you with that extra motivation to either show up for a workout or push you to do more than you would on your own. Maybe you and your health coach can start a walking club! Invite others and get healthy together.
- Have fun.
I saved the best for last! Have fun! If you are moving your body and doing something that is fun, it will not feel like work or exercise. It will just be FUN!
I hope you have found these suggestions helpful and motivating in putting your exercise routine into action.
Jennifer Christman, RDN, LDN