We are going to assume you would like to become physically active, but are currently struggling with developing the habit. This is a common challenge, particularly for those who have never had a steady routine of exercising. If you have never had an active commitment to physical activity, the transition will be less than smooth.
Why? It is too much of a difference. Exercising on an odd day is no big deal, but making time for exercise several days a week is entirely different for those who have not done it before. While it is often exciting and invigorating, it can also be a mental struggle. Motivation comes and goes. The moment it is lacking, you may find yourself breaking a habit not yet formed.
Presumably, you have a good reason for exercising and becoming physically active. Take a moment to review them…
- is it for weight loss?
- is it to treat a lingering condition like Type 2 diabetes and high blood sugar or atherosclerosis?
Maybe you have just been inspired lately to change your lifestyle, and exercising is part of your commitment to having better health. Whatever your reasons, if you are to pursue your goals and succeed, you must develop the habit. Once you do, you must maintain it.
To increase the odds you will stick with exercise for the long run; you ought to start slow…
- don’t try to exercise on more than three days a week in the beginning.
- don’t exercise for more than half an hour, and
- don’t force yourself into doing an activity you dread.
A good example of the above would be to try running every weekday, despite you hating every minute of the activity. What you should do instead, is start slow – really slow.
If it helps, you can start in the comfort of your own home. Fifteen-minute home workouts on three days a week, you could do some…
- jumping jacks,
- press ups,
- sit-ups, and
a variety of other exercises. You could choose three and alternate between them for fifteen minutes and finish your workout with a good sweat. Do not underestimate the effect this could have on building the habit. Fifteen minutes is not long enough for intense activity, but it is long enough to get you going. More importantly, it gets you into the swing of exercise.
You can only build on from there. After a couple of weeks of this routine, you could start going for walks in the evenings. You could begin swimming, cycling or going to the gym. The opportunities are endless.
Whatever you do, just remember to start slow. Make the transition easier for yourself. You will be glad you did.