Most of us think of time as the greatest constraint when it comes to working out regularly. The British Heart Foundation states that one third of adults do not typically get 30 minutes of exercise weekly; let alone in a day. The World Health Organisation recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise in a week. This equates to 30 minutes of exercise in a day.
If you work out for an hour, it amounts to just 4% of your day (57.6 minutes). Most of us get 8 hours sleep- if we’re lucky! Which leaves 16 hours for our daily activities. A 30 minute exercise routine only takes up 6% if our day so no more excuses. While most people appreciate that it can be hard to juggle work life, family, relationships and maintaining a healthy lifestyle it is important to prioritize your own health. Therefore, you cannot use time as a regular excuse for missing workouts.
You should also bear in mind that exercise is not just for losing weight, but also helps you maintain a healthy heart, consistent energy levels and boosts your immune system.
Introducing exercise gradually into your daily or weekly routine is the most effective way of making it a long-term habit. Here are some simple tips that will help you start:
- Exercise regularly, but start off slowly.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Park the car a little further away from the shop or your work place.
- Walk around the block after dinner.
As your confidence grows, so will your activity level. It is important to start slowly and adapt this routine according to what works for you.
Remember that what works for your friend may not work for you. Don’t do something you don’t enjoy. For instance, if you don’t like running, join an exercise class; or if you don’t like being in a class, go for a walk instead.
What works for you?
If you love working out on your own, go ahead and enjoy your exercise. But if you love being in a group and feel motivated when you are with like-minded people, you should consider that option. It is basically all about what works for you and how you go about it.
Wear comfortable clothes
If you are not confident or comfortable with the clothes you are wearing, you will not want to go to the gym or go out and jog in public. Pick something that is comfortable and allows you a full range of motion.
Go for exercises that you enjoy
There are various forms of exercise such as cardio, resistance, movement-based etc. While it is good to do a variety of these exercises, research the effects they have on your body, decide your goals and focus on exercise routines that will help you achieve these goals.
Gym or in the open?
Indoors or outdoors? The gym or at home? Going to the gym can be a daunting experience for many people. However, there are many different places you can exercise, so choose a routine and place that makes you feel comfortable when starting out.
Choose a suitable time
It’s not necessary to exercise first thing in the morning when you wake up. If you think that working out at night or during lunch time suits you better, stick to it.
Setting goals for yourself is important. You need to figure out your goals and then research the proper way to achieve them. Stick to your plan, and your hard work will pay off. Try to set SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed as opposed to “get more exercise”.
It is also essential to reward yourself with something after you have achieved a certain goal. This will keep you motivated and happy. You can buy yourself a new pair of shoes or an electronic item that you always wanted. Try not to reward exercise with food as a mini mars bar has the same amount of calories as a 30 minute walk, so it’s very easy to undo all your good work. However, it is important to enjoy yourself every now and again. Try to save indulgent moment to time spent out with friend and family on special occasions so you don’t feel deprived while everyone else is tucking into cake. Reward yourself with anything other than food.
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