THE DAYS ARE GETTING LONGER AND THE START OF THE YEAR SEEMS LIKE AGES AGO ALREADY. IF, LIKE SO MANY OF US, YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS ARE LONG GONE, IT’S TIME TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT INCLUDING EXERCISE IN YOUR WEEKLY ROUTINE. FINDING BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE AND KEEPING YOURSELF MOVING IS VITAL FOR PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL WELLBEING. DON’T WORRY, THERE ARE PLENTY OF TRICKS TO HELP GET YOU INTO THE HABIT.
1. Start with a plan
Decide what your motivation is – why do you want or need exercise in your life? Set out a weekly schedule of your usual activities and find five spaces to slot 30-40 minutes of exercise into. These need to be times that you can realistically commit to every week without fail.
2. Give it six weeks
Aim to stick with your new plan for at least six weeks. You will start to notice the changes in your body, mood and energy levels which should help to motivate you to keep going.
3. Mix it up
Choose a form of exercise that works for you. In the morning try something that will feel easy to accomplish like a short run or workout DVD. After work, a bicycle ride or spinning class may be the thing to boost your energy levels for the evening. Alternatively, if it’s all about stress relief try a more gentle class like Pilates or Yoga.
4. Enjoy it
Choose forms of exercise that you enjoy. If you look forward to your workouts, you are far more likely to keep doing them.
5. Be prepared
Nobody likes to rush around, so get prepared. Have your exercise kit ready well in advance to save you precious time and to help you avoid the temptation to put off your session.
6. Buddy up
If you think you might be tempted to start skipping some of your sessions, think about hiring a personal trainer, find a friend who can join you or sign up for a group class. Making a regular exercise date will help you stick with it.
7. Have a rest day
Plan at least one day in the week on which you have a total rest and take time to indulge in your favourite activity. It’s important to find a balance with all things, including exercise. Take that time out and love it!
To sum up, start small and grow from there. Enjoy your sessions and keep focussed on the benefits of your physical efforts. Exercise is not just about losing weight or getting fit, it’s about feeling less stressed, more energised, happier, healthier, getting better sleep, and gaining confidence in yourself and the things you can achieve.
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