Even if you have done no activity in the past, beginning some form of activity can set you on the road to improved health.
Below are some secrets to help you incorporate physical activity into your everyday routine:
- If you want to stay healthy and make weight loss permanent you just can't do without some form of exercise. Make physical activity a priority, rather than doing it only if you have time. You'll create more time in your day by the increased energy level that results from exercising, thereby allowing you to get things done more efficiently! Failing to plan is a plan to fail!
- Health authorities recommend that everyone should have at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, on all or most days of the week. This activity can be accumulated in bouts of 10 minutes or more if it's more convenient.
- Try exercising with a friend to add an enjoyable social element to your program. This will also help you keep to your fitness commitment as you will be letting the other parties down if you cancel.
- The key to sticking with an exercise program is choosing activities you enjoy, and there are many to choose from. Think back to a time when you were doing an activity that you thoroughly enjoyed, that you didn't really think of as "exercise". Or perhaps there's something that you've always wanted to try but have been too scared, "not slim enough" or too busy. Now's the time to take that chance. Make a list and try one to begin with.
- Set your self achievable and realistic fitness goals. There is no point saying that you are going to run 5kms tomorrow when you are just starting out. You will either fail or be so sore the next day that it will put you off going again. However if you start with small changes and work your way up, you will have more chance of succeeding long term.
- If you keep track of something, you're more likely to be responsible about it. Keep an exercise log close by (possibly on the fridge), so that you can check off your workouts. That way if you miss a scheduled day, you can make it up at another time.
- Look for opportunities to move. Add workouts to your shopping sessions by parking your car as far from the store as possible, or even better walk to some of the shops. Try walking up the escalator instead of just standing on it.
- Walk an extra 100 steps at work. Adding even a little extra exercise to your daily routine can boost your weight loss and increase your energy levels. Today take the stairs instead of the lift. Turn stairs into your secret weapon, or if walking has become too easy, increase your effort by finding hills.
- Spend time with your family doing fun physical activities either after school or on the weekends; swimming, flying a kite, playing ball sports, hide and seek... the list is endless. Just have some fun!
- Vary your program to prevent boredom.