In our last article we began exploring which areas are the most important ones when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. As you probably already knew before reading the post, exercise came up on top of the list. And that’s for a good reason: xercise is not just good for your health, but for your mind and your mood too.
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have time to exercise or you don’t enjoy working out. But that doesn’t mean you can’t stay physically active. In this guide we’ll give you some tips to stay physically active, even if you haven’t exercised before or if you don’t have a lot of free time. We’ll also show you how to make exercising fun and interesting, so you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
It takes time and commitment to create a good exercise habit if you haven’t exercised a lot before. However, when you’re able to create a good routine, it will definitely be worth it.
Ready? Let’s go!
How to be physically active: the ultimate guide
Step 1: Start slow with your fitness activity
One of the first things you must know is that you need to start slow with your fitness activity if you haven’t exercised a lot in the past. In this sense, don’t try to do too much too soon or you might end up getting injured and stopping altogether; or you might feel overwhelmed or too tired, which will get your fitness career to an abrupt end.
Make sure to set realistic goals for yourself and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as you get stronger. For example, you can simple start by walking a short – ish distance every day; although this is the most basic form of physical activity, it can be very good for you all the way around, including your health and fitness goals, not just in terms of burning calories and building muscle mass.
Step 2: Find the Right Kind of Exercise for You
For many, exercise is a nuisance. It’s something you do not because you want to, but because you feel bound to do. However, when you have this mentality regarding fitness, it’s very easy to find an excuse: I can’t find the time, I don’t know how to do this properly, there are no gyms close to where I live…
In order to avoid this common pitfall, we want to help you choose an activity that matches you and helps you improve your health and body without causing you too much stress. A few weeks ago, we wrote this guide that might provide you with a few ideas that could be helpful when you’re looking for a type of exercise that you can actually enjoy!
And remember, not every type exercise is suitable for everyone: if something causes you discomfort, or requires a huge amount of willpower to keep it going, don’t do it! There’s bound to be some form of exercise that you can enjoy.
Step 3: Set a Schedule and Stick to It
The third step to creating good habits is to set a schedule and stick to it. This means you need to be very specific with what you plan to do and when you plan to do it. For example, if you want to go to the gym every day at 6am, then put that in your calendar and make sure you wake up early enough to get there on time.
The more specific you are with your schedule, the easier it will be to stick to it. And the more likely you are to reach your goals. When we commit to something specific, we feel more compelled to actually go through with it.
One quick tip: choose a time of day when you feel most motivated. The morning is generally the best time to start exercising for some people, as you will probably be too tired in the evening to complete the routine you had set your mind to. However, everyone is different, so make sure to listen to your body!
Step 4: Don’t let excuses stop you!
When you’re trying to do something hard (like getting in shape) for the first time, your mind will come up with all kinds of excuses as to why you shouldn’t really do it. Ideas like not being able to find the time, exercise being too hard, or that we’re too tired to do anything are very powerful and can keep you from living a healthy, happy life if you don’t know how to deal with them.
But despite these excuses, there are ways to make exercise more manageable and less daunting. One of the most effective ones is setting realistic goals: don’t try to overhaul your entire lifestyle overnight.
In the end, motivation can only take you so far. If you manage to go slow but steady, you’ll be much more likely to stick with your new exercise routing on the long run!
Step 5: Stop trying to be perfect with your exercise routine
Most people think that in order to see results, they need to put in hours at the gym every day; or they need to be able to bench press a small house after their first training week. When they don’t see the results they want immediately, they become discouraged and tend to leave exercise altogether.
If you want to be healthy, both physically and mentally, you need to take a different approach. Here are some tips on how to kill your inner perfectionist and adopt a fitness routine you can actually stick with in the long run:
1) Start small and gradually increase the amount of time or intensity of your workouts over time. This will help your body get used to the new routine and prevent injury.
2) Listen to your body and give yourself rest days when needed. If you’re feeling especially exhausted or sore, take a break instead of pushing through it. You’ll only end up doing more damage and set yourself back.
3) Don’t be afraid to modify your routine as needed. If an exercise is too difficult or painful, skip it and find an alternative that works better for you.
Conclusion: you can be physically active, too, if you set your mind to it
Staying active doesn’t have to be hard. There are plenty of ways to get moving that don’t require a lot of time, experience, or even money. Just find something you enjoy and stick with it. And of course, we believe the advice in this article can’t hurt, either!
We’ll come back soon with the next installment of this guide on how to be as healthy as possible with the least amount of trouble. Until then, if you ever need some help or ideas, feel free to reach out to us or subscribe to our biweekly newsletter in order to receive our latest news directly in your inbox!