Trying to meet recommendations for maintaining health and physical fitness may seem overwhelming at first. Give yourself time to create an exercise routine that suits your schedule and works for you.
An effective exercise routine is one that you can stick with. If you’re struggling to begin a more active lifestyle, try these steps:
- Move more. Beginning an exercise routine can be as easy as taking a few extra steps throughout the day. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away from your destination are two simple ways to build exercise into your usual activities.
- Start small. Set small exercise goals. Try going for a 10-minute walk during your lunch break two or three days a week. Or do three or four strength training exercises one day a week. Your body will get used to the additional movement. As it gets easier and you become stronger, you can set new goals.
- Mix it up. Different types of workouts allow your muscles to recover and keep exercise fun. Try cardiovascular exercise one day and strength training another day. Find a new hiking trail or check out a kickboxing class. Invite a friend to join you.
- Plan ahead. Demands on your time and energy can make it hard to fit in exercise. Having a plan can help you be consistent and keep to your routine. Decide whether you will exercise at the same time of day or on the same days of the week. Even with planning, you might find that you need to be more flexible in setting aside time for exercise in order to adapt to a changing schedule. You might need to adjust your exercise plan to stay on track if illness, bad weather, or other unexpected events come along.
- Track your activity. Download an app or use a fitness tracker to help you keep track of your physical activity goals and progress.