It’s not very difficult to start a fitness routine. After all, most of us have done it more than once. If your fitness routine has been less than consistent over the past few months, you’re likely not alone.
Physical activity does not need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life.
The trouble comes with sticking with it. All too often, our initial enthusiasm and energy fade away, we get distracted by other things going on in our lives, or we don’t think we’re seeing results quickly enough — and we throw in the towel.
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity.
You can get active in lots of ways, but walking is one of the easiest! For most people, it’s safe, easy to stick with, and low- or no cost. It doesn’t require any special skills or equipment. For such a simple activity, it has so many benefits.
Here are some easy ways you can add more steps into your day and keep yourself motivated:
1. Do a variety of activities you enjoy
Go out on a stroll with your friends or family. As long as you practice social distancing and wear a mask to prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 virus, physical activity can help you get through these stressful times. Catch up with a friend by walking around while you chat on the phone.
2. Commit to another person or your pet
Grab the leash and take the dog out for a walk. Check with a friend and make sure you motivate each other to get up and get moving.
3. Exercise first thing in the morning or, on your way home from work
This also means being more flexible in incorporating movement throughout the day. Make a schedule based on your daily schedule and make sure you get at least half an hour of exercise every day.
4. Set “SMART” goals:
Your workout goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound so that you continue to feel motivated.
5. Log your activity
Sometimes exercise is the last thing you feel like doing. While it can be hard to find the time to lace up your shoes and walk a km or even around the house, exercise can almost always give your body and mind some serious energy boost, even if you’re not feeling up to it. Logging your activity with step tracking apps such StepSetGo will not only help you keep track of your daily steps and calorie count but also gamifies the entire process and rewards you for being fit.
6. Boost the intensity and make it a habit
Forget about that valet parking. Park a bit farther from the entrance to your workplace, restaurant, school and grocery store etc. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, even if just for one or two floors. (the more the better)
7. Take missed days in stride
If you find yourself skipping your daily walks, don’t give up. Make sure, you remind yourself how good you feel when you include physical activity in your daily routine, and then get back on track.
Once you take your first step, you’re a step closer to an important destination, better health.