We all know how important physical fitness is to our overall health. But the truth is that too many of us are leading inactive lives. With so many personal and professional obligations to juggle, it can be difficult to establish and maintain an exercise routine. However, getting started may be a bit simpler than you’d think. Here are five ways for the busiest among us to stay active this season.
If you can increase your activity level gradually (around 20% per week), you’ll be well on your way to prioritizing your health this year. Here are five ways to accomplish that goal:
Fit In a Few: You don’t necessarily have to have an hour or two to spare to get a good workout. Fitting in just a few minutes of exercise every day is better than nothing. If you have only a small amount of time to work out, you may benefit from doing some more intense, shorter routines that come with a higher payoff. You might be surprised by just how those few extra minutes of exercise can pay off!
Become a Micro-Workout Master: If you’re too busy to even get to the gym, develop a repertoire of micro-workouts that you can do just about anywhere! That way, if you’re stuck working late at the office or are running around doing errands all day, you can still burn off some calories and stretch some muscles.
Switch It Up: If you don’t feel motivated to make time for a workout, monotony could be to blame. If you’re bored with your exercise routine, you aren’t going to make it a priority. But increasing variety in your workouts will keep your mind occupied and alleviate that dreaded “plateau” effect.
Pay It Forward: You might be more inclined to find time for a workout if you incentivize it. Even if you have a busy schedule, you might not use that an excuse if you have money riding on your physical fitness regime. Paying in advance for a gym membership or classes (or even using apps made for this purpose) can keep you from flaking on your health.
Make It a Habit: The easiest way to ensure you get your exercise? Do it until it feels natural. If you start small and slowly build fitness habits into your regular routine, it’ll get to the point where you’ll crave those sessions at the gym. As long as you’re realistic about what you can commit to in the long term, you’ll create a schedule that’s manageable and puts your health at the forefront.
At a time when we tend to equate our worth to how busy we are, it’s easy to get caught up in those obligations. But if you don’t prioritize your health now, you’ll have a tough time later on. Making a commitment to fitting in exercise whenever and wherever you can will make a big difference in how you feel. And when you feel more energized and confident, you’ll probably be more productive and happier in every other area of your life.