The weather’s warming up (some days at least!), the days are getting longer, and spring is around the corner. It’s the perfect time to step up, get out, and move your mind and body. So how do you convert ideas to action? If you plan your meals and snacks, you know that thinking ahead makes it easier to carry through on your intentions. The same goes for activity. Put it in your calendar: what, when, where, even with whom—and you’ll help make it happen.
If you're a fitness newbie or you haven't been active for a while, no worries. One small step at a time. For starters, we just encourage you to become more mindful about moving, so to make the shift a natural one. (If you're new to fitness, or have taken an extended break, be sure to speak with your doctor before you start or resume a fitness plan.)
Along with creating an activity plan (when, where, how long, and with whom you can work out), it can help to set an activity goal—no matter what your fitness level or how small the goal. It might be to walk 10 minutes three times a week. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you like. In your Weekly, you'll find some activity ideas that are really exercise in disguise. The not-so-secret idea here is, of course, that the more you like what you're doing, the more likely you are to keep it up!
To help you make activity a routine that feels anything but, these ideas can help:
Find fitness that fits your life. If you have an irregular work schedule, trying to catch a class during the week can be frustrating. So, choose activities that can be easily slotted into your day, like walking your kids to school or running errands during lunch.
Draw up a weekly timetable. To help you organize your time properly, create a weekly calendar of activities. If you can, schedule at least 10-minute increments for health benefits. Yard work, housecleaning, and snow shoveling count. And if you wear an activity monitor to track everything you do, it's even more rewarding.
Attach exercise to a (non-food) treat. Don't wait until you reach your goal to celebrate. Mini-rewards—like flowers once a week for completing all of your scheduled activity—can help keep you motivated. You can also attach exercise to an enjoyable event, like playing with your kids in the park or catching up with a friend on a walk.
Get your crew on board. Having a workout buddy can help you stay on track. But it can also help your fitness efforts to let your family and friends know about your goals—and about how much you love encouragement (or a kick in the pants, if needed!). And if you need someone to watch the kids while you exercise, arrange it well in advance; don't rely on last-minute favours.
Anticipate dips. Everyone struggles with motivation from time to time; preparing for these feelings can help you quickly bounce back from them. For example, if you sometimes struggle to get to your spinning class, ask a friend to call to make sure you're not still sitting on the sofa.
Buy workout clothing you're excited to wear. Shop for well-designed, flattering, and supportive pieces; you'll be more motivated to exercise.
Grab and go. Leave your gym bag by the door. That way you always know where it is, and it's a gentle reminder to get moving!
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