Research suggests that inactivity can pose a threat to your mental and physical health. If your daily exercise routine consists of walking to the office from the parking lot, or you struggle to even think about going for a jog, let alone hitting the gym, don’t panic. You don’t have to be a gym bunny to reap the rewards of being active, and there are some really simple ways to move more and feel great.
Introduce small changes to your daily routine
We often think about getting fit as embarking upon a rigorous training regime or signing up for every class going. The truth is that making minor changes can have an instant impact. Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, walk up the stairs. Rather than jumping in the car every time you need to pop to the store or visit a friend in the neighborhood, take a walk instead. Use your lunch breaks or evenings to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. Wearing an activity tracking device can also help to motivate you to hit a target and gradually increase activity levels.
Find the right exercise for you
There is a vast range of activities and sports you can try to boost your fitness and start enjoying the psychological and physical benefits of exercise. Some people love working out at the gym, but if this doesn’t take your fancy, there are myriad alternatives to explore. Before you choose a class or take up a new hobby, think about what you want to achieve and your fitness levels and health status. If you have an old injury, you have an underlying condition, or you’re prone to aches and pains, some forms of exercise may be more suitable than others. It may be advisable to try Tai Chi for arthritis, swimming for back pain or Pilates for restricted mobility, for example. It’s also an excellent idea to vary your workouts and to find activities that are fun. If you enjoy yourself and you don’t really feel like you’re working out, you’ll be more inclined to exercise frequently.
Be more active in your spare time
If you tend to devote your evenings to watching TV, or weekends are for brunching or going to the movies, try and find some time for active pursuits. You could go for a walk, organize a family bike ride or try activities like climbing, fishing, kayaking, tennis or golf. Alternatively, you could hang out at the park or the beach, set up some games and enjoy a fun day out with family and friends.
It’s common to start a new year with aspirations to move more. Getting into exercise provides incredible health benefits, and it’s proven to make you feel great. If you’re not a fan of the gym, or you’re new to fitness and training, there’s no need to feel anxious or worried. There are hundreds of activities you can try, and making small changes to your routine both at work and in your spare time will make all the difference.