It’s no secret that exercise is a vital and healthy part of life. We hear it from advertisements on television, well-meaning friends and family and, of course, our health care providers. However, making time for exercise and integrating it into your daily routine can be challenging, especially if it is something that you might be taking on for the first time.
There are several ways to make physical activity less of a challenge, and getting started can sometimes be most challenging part of all. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Join the Fun
Chances are very good that there are people in your life who are taking steps to become more physically fit. Perhaps it is the person in your office who walks during lunch or the group that takes a few flights of stairs during a break or your neighbors who make time for a stroll around the block in the evening. Ask if you can join! Exercise is always more fun with company.
If you have children, you’re likely very aware of the amount of energy they have; you can use that to your advantage. When your little ones feel like jumping, wiggling, dancing or skipping, why not join them? You’ll find yourself burning a few calories while having a great time with your kids.
It has been proven time and time again that walking is one of the best ways to begin a physical fitness routine. After all, the human body was made for it. While driving is often the easiest way to get around, it doesn’t always mean it’s the best.
Consider walking to the supermarket, post office or other places in your neighborhood. Ask some friends or family members to join you. You’ll be surprised how great it feels to walk and chat with people you care about.
Try Something New
Any activity at all can contribute to physical health. Why not consider an activity that you’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t?
Dance classes are very popular and can be found almost anywhere. Try a hip hop or belly dancing class, or grab a partner and register for ballroom dance. While you’re learning the steps, you’re also guaranteed to break a sweat.
Many local recreation clubs like the YMCA offer free or low-cost classes in swimming, tennis, basketball and more. Additionally, you can investigate less-familiar sports like archery, SCUBA diving or horseback riding. Challenge yourself!
Check your local area to see what activities are offered.
Volunteer opportunities exist in every city and town around the country. There are always going to be organizations that need a helping hand, and much of the help they need is physical in nature.
Your local food bank may ask for help unloading and storing donations of boxes and cans; the animal shelter has many dogs that would love to get out for a walk; and after school programs for children can always use another adult to join in the fun. Not only will you be getting a daily dose of exercise, you’ll be helping your community in a very important way.
Dispel the Myths
Unfortunately, many of the reasons we use to argue against exercise are mere myths. Take a moment to learn about these myths and the real truths behind them.
- I’m too tired. While you may feel that you’re too tired, regular exercise actually increases your energy levels. By not exercising you’re contributing to your lack of energy.
- I don’t have time. Studies have shown that even 30 minutes of daily exercise can have a great impact on your health. This can even be broken into smaller intervals if you wish. Any activity for any amount of time is good for you.
I’m not healthy enough. There are few diseases or ailments that prevent exercise outright. In fact, exercise often improves many health conditions. Check with your physician to determine the type of activity that’s right for you.
In whatever you way you choose to incorporate more activity into your life, you’ll reap the benefits in many ways. You can look forward to increased energy, better physical health, and a reduction in stress and anxiety.
So get out and get moving!