If you are not inherently athletically inclined or didn’t grow up in a family that played sports for fun, or went on hikes every other weekend, it can be tough to think of activity as something for everyone.
“I think people get overwhelmed with the entire thought process,” says Kaylee Swiergosz, a Level 3 GoodLife Personal Trainer based in Toronto.
She adds, people often think they need to make a drastic lifestyle change and drop everything right away, which isn’t true.
“Small adjustments over time are what make lasting habits. Tackle one thing at a time and when that becomes easy, make another minor adjustment,” she says.
Swiergosz, who is also a Level 1 Certified Nutritionist with Precision Nutrition, a Certified Bootcamp Trainer, and a Fascial Stretch Mobility Therapist, notes that media pressure can also intimidate and even discourage people from starting to get active.
So how do we rethink activity, and make it a part of our lives in a manageable way?
“Get support!” Swiergosz says. Whether it be a friend, co-worker, personal trainer, neighbourhood walking or jogging group, or, even a community soccer team if you feel like giving a sport a try after all.
“Open up, have someone hold you accountable on hard days, join you in classes, and offer advice in areas you may not know the most in,” she says. “Change isn’t easy in the beginning, but once it becomes a habit, you’ll have rethought activity.”
Swiergosz notes it’s important to involve the people around you who are positive, and who will help encourage you in your efforts.
Taking a little time once a week to schedule your workouts – whether it’s a dance class or dancing around your living room – will also help set you up for success.
How to plan activity into your week
- Use a calendar – be aware of your schedule and upcoming events and make a realistic plan.
- Schedule your workouts – they are important meetings with yourself.
- Set time aside every Sunday (or another day that works for you) to plan out your week and prep a few healthy meals. This will help you to save time and squeeze in some extra activity.
You can also incorporate activity into your life in little ways that you almost won’t even notice – but your body will. Check out our article 10 Sneaky Ways to Move More for tips.
“Activity can be added in so many simple, easy ways,” Swiergosz explains. “Park farther away at the supermarket, walk the stairs between floors at the office or condo instead of using the elevator. Swap out an evening TV program for a stroll around the neighbourhood or try a different home exercise during commercials while watching TV. Get up and play with the kids, take them to the park,” says Swiergosz. “Everyone deserves to feel great and be pain-free. Exercising helps to fight off illnesses, reduces stress, boosts your metabolism, can help with sleep and can make you feel empowered and strong amongst a long list of other great things.”