Starting to exercise can seem intimidating at first, but it doesn’t have to be. With just a few simple changes made to your daily schedule, you can make time for exercise and reap its rewards – the benefits of healthy habits included!
Begin with easy exercises so you can become accustomed to the change and remain motivated.
Make Exercise a Habit
If you’ve ever tried to incorporate exercise more frequently into your life and found yourself stuck in a cycle of resolution-breaking, you know how difficult it can be to make it an ongoing habit. That is why experts advise taking steps to guarantee that your exercise routine becomes permanent.
According to Toril Hinchman, director of fitness and wellness at Thomas Jefferson University in Pennsylvania, the first step to successful weight loss is making exercise something you look forward to. This will motivate you to stick with it and build momentum over time.
Start by determining how much time you have each day to fit in some kind of activity. That could range from a quick jog in the morning to an hour-long class at the gym or dance workouts at your local studio.
When exercising, it’s essential to do so at a moderate intensity. Extending your cardiovascular endurance or developing superhuman strength are both fantastic goals to strive for; however, if the workout leaves you feeling like an exhausted zombie, maintaining an exercise habit may prove challenging.
Make walking a habit by setting up “cues,” or triggers that will motivate you no matter where you are or what else is going on, says Fagan. That could include physical reminders like having exercise clothes next to your bed or setting an alarm for walking at a certain time each week.
If you’re trying to incorporate exercise into your weekly schedule, start small. That way, you won’t feel overwhelmed or like a failure when faced with this new challenge.
Liz Josefsberg, CPT a health coach and expert, recommends starting small by finding an activity you enjoy doing. This could include dancing classes, kickboxing or ballet-inspired barre workouts, long bike rides, rock climbing, or walking with friends – anything that brings joy into your life on a regular basis.
Another effective strategy for starting small is selecting a goal that’s achievable. Setting smaller objectives that you can reach quickly and easily is much more beneficial than making an ambitious one, which may ultimately fail and leave you feeling inadequate about yourself and giving up on exercising altogether.
As a general guideline, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week. Over time, increase your time as you become more familiar with the program and feel stronger overall.
It’s also wise to create triggers for yourself that will make it easier to stay on track with your routine. This could include setting an alarm that goes off at a specific time every day or making sure you hit the gym before dinner on most evenings, for instance.
Set a Goal
Establishing an achievable goal can motivate you to incorporate exercise into your weekly schedule. Furthermore, having a target in sight keeps you motivated to keep working toward it.
Setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant (SMART) is the best approach. Doing this will enable you to set achievable objectives that will motivate you toward success while keeping you on track.
As a great starting point, pick an activity you enjoy doing like running or dancing. Studies have demonstrated that people who find enjoyment in what they do tend to stick with it more and feel committed to their workout regimen.
It’s also beneficial to try different exercises. For instance, if running isn’t your thing, start by walking or swimming instead.
Team sports can also be more enjoyable than solo activities and provide opportunities to socialize while exercising. Team sports provide an opportunity to meet people and have some friendly competition while keeping you fit at the same time!
Another tip is to break up your workouts into smaller, daily sessions. Shorter but more frequent workouts offer the same aerobic benefits as longer ones and can easily fit into your schedule.
Once your goal is established, strive to keep it at the forefront of your mind as often as possible. You can do this by writing it down or setting reminders on your phone.
Have the Right Mindset
Establishing the correct mindset is paramount when beginning an exercise regimen. Doing so will enable you to stay committed to your objectives, no matter how challenging they may seem at first glance.
A growth mindset can help you avoid feeling defeated or discouraged if your motivation wanes. With this belief, it becomes easier to stay committed to an exercise routine and see progress in both fitness and health over time.
This mindset will enable you to focus on the process of working out rather than the results. Additionally, remember that your body is a temple that can only be improved through regular activity; thus, treat it with reverence.
Exercising not only reduces stress and increases energy levels, but it can also make you feel better about yourself and give you a more optimistic outlook on life.
Another great idea is to compile a list of activities you enjoy doing and incorporate them into your workout regimen. For instance, you could watch TV while riding a stationary bike or read a book while taking a leisurely walk in the park.
By adding these activities into your daily routine, you’ll get more exercise without feeling like you’re doing it “for the sake of it.” If you have any questions or would like to learn more about physical and mental fitness, sign up for Krista’s Movement + Mindset Mastery newsletter; you’ll receive weekly fitness content plus a complimentary eBook.
Change Your Sleep Cycle
Sleep cycles consist of four stages, including non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM). Each lasts around 90 minutes and causes physiological changes such as decreased heart rate and blood pressure. The REM stage is where dreaming occurs.
Modern lifestyles, busy schedules, and distractions make it harder to get enough rest at night, causing the circadian rhythm to get out of sync. This can lead to sleepiness and irritability as well as health issues like depression, fatigue, low energy levels, diabetes, obesity, and insomnia.
Fortunately, it’s possible to restore your sleep cycle by gradually adopting a new one, according to David Pelayo, Ph.D. and psychologist at Columbia University. How long it takes for adjustment depends on what caused the disruption in your sleeping pattern.
Start by including exercise in your weekly schedule to help regulate your circadian rhythm and improve sleep quality.
Furthermore, exposure to natural sunlight is an excellent way to adjust your sleep schedule and make it match up with your body clock. This is because sunlight helps suppress melatonin production – a hormone that signals your body when to wake up.
When beginning your exercise regimen, set an early wake-up time that gives you enough time for your workout. Additionally, gradually reduce your bedtime in 15-minute increments over several days to accommodate for increased activity levels.
Even with a hectic weekly schedule, finding time for exercise can be challenging. Yet exercise is essential for your health and fitness – not only does it boost energy levels, but it also reduces stress. Getting regular workouts into your regimen should not be overlooked!
If you want to incorporate exercise into your weekly schedule, the first step is removing excuses and creating room in your calendar for it. After that, pick a time that works with your daily routine and dedicate some dedicated exercise time.
When starting an exercise regimen, it’s essential to start small and be kind to yourself. Doing this will help ensure that you stick with it and don’t give up too soon.
Once you’ve determined a schedule and the best times for exercise, record your workouts and track your progress. Doing this will give you an incentive and keep you motivated to continue exercising.
Start by working out in the morning, after your first shift, and on days off too. This can be an effective way to wake up your body and prepare it for what lies ahead of you during the day.
You can also incorporate low-impact forms of exercise into your routine, such as swimming or biking. Doing this keeps the body from becoming complacent with one type of workout, making it less likely that you’ll give up before seeing results.