Everyone knows that exercise is vitally important to overall health. Unfortunately, many of us can’t seem to find the time or the motivation to actually do it. That’s a problem because regular exercise can substantially lengthen our lifespans. If you’re someone who just can’t seem to find the motivation to become more active, here are some tips that can help you fall in love with fitness.
First, you should know just how much exercise you need and what type of exercise you should be getting. Doctors typically recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. A common, simple exercise that meets this requirement is a brisk walk. You don’t have to run wind sprints or break a major sweat, just walk at a steady pace.
That 150 minutes translates to 30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week. It’s fine if you split that up into 15-minute sessions, 10-minute sessions, or 100-minute sessions. Just make sure that you’re getting at least 150 minutes each week in order to reap the health benefits.
You’re probably imagining how you’re going to fit this fitness regimen into your lifestyle, considering it another burden or chore you have to commit to daily. However, this is the wrong mentality. If you’re struggling to find the motivation, switch up your exercise routine until you find something you like.
Maybe you love walking. If you do, great. If not, try to find something that’s yours. Some people do yoga, some use the elliptical, some swim while others play racquetball or go for a bike ride. There’s no shame in trying out different activities until you find one that really resonates with you and your personal fitness journey.
If you can do this activity with a friend or family member, even better. Studies have shown that people who work out with a partner tend to stick with it longer than those who go at it alone. Try to find someone at your fitness level to help you stay motivated.
Once you and your partner have found your activity, don’t compare yourselves to other people while you’re working out. Some people become intimidated by those who are in shape or feel embarrassed to be huffing and puffing when it seems second nature to others. Don’t worry about it! Most people are actually incredibly encouraging when it comes to motivating those around them who are trying to get back into shape.
Don’t forget that everyone was a beginner once and that if you stick with it, you will see improvement. Before you know it, you’ll be the envy of the beginners just starting out on their fitness journeys.
The next thing you’ll want to do is be realistic about your weight loss goals. The biggest hurdle many people face is that when they don’t see results right away, they simply give up. This is a major mistake. Don’t focus on the number on the scale, just focus on getting your exercise. If you’re eating right and sticking to your fitness routine, you’ll begin to lose weight eventually. Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you’d like.
Finally, focus on the health benefits. Regular exercise lowers your risk for heart attack and stroke, the number one and number five killers of people in the United States. Exercise has also been shown to improve mood and mental acuity. Those who exercise regularly tend to live about seven years longer on average than those who lead sedentary lifestyles, regardless of weight. If you focus on these health benefits, it won’t seem like a chore to incorporate exercise into your chaotic weekly schedule; in fact, you’ll be happy to find time for it.