I think the very first thing that you need to determine is “what
is your motivation to become more active?” Is it for health, weight loss, stress relief, or are you like me and use exercise to help calm you?
Once you have figured out your motivation, here are 10 things to keep in mind so activity can become a part of your life for years to come, and not just the next 2 weeks . . .
1. Choose activities you like or love to do . . . why get a treadmill if dancing is what you love to do . . . if you find you desire a large variety of equipment to use as well as access to
classes, the gym might be the perfect place for you (give gyms a trial run before signing a contract, make sure the hours, kid care, and equipment fits what you are looking for)
. . . if you need someone to tell you what to do and when, boot camp might be right up your alley.
2. Take time to plan . . .figure out what days you are going to commit to being active, what time of day is going to be best for your (if your aren’t a morning person don’t choose a 6a class at the gym), and plan a couple of different activities that you can rotate through (this helps to prevent boredom).
3. Start slowly and don’t overdo it . . . there is nothing worse than starting day one with a super intense work out only to wake up the next morning unable to move you are soooo sore, I know you have all done this once or twice before ;) , take your time and ease into exercising.
4. Listen to your body . . . if your body is telling you to stop or rest, stop or rest . . . if you are having a great workout and you feel really good, ramp it up a little . . . if you are tired go a little lighter on the activity as opposed to skipping it altogether.
5. Set a goal & reward yourself . . . you need to have something to motivate you or something to work towards . . . your goal could be something like “after 30 days of walking 30
minutes a day I will treat myself to __________” or “when I reach ____ total minutes of activity I will _________”. The iPhone app that I am using rewards you at set accumulative minute intervals with a new workout to try.
6. Stay hydrated . . . 60-70% of the human body is made up of water, when you exercise you lose water through sweat, so make sure that you are drinking lots of water to stay hydrated. It is a good idea to drink water before, during and especially after exercise.
7. Ask a pro . . . not sure how to do an activity properly or even how to start? Ask someone whose job it is to
know. Working with a personal trainer will keep you focused, motivated and challenged along with showing you how to do activities with proper form so you don’t get hurt.
8. Find an accomplice . . . find a friend who you can meet for activity, someone who is counting on you to show up, will keep you motivated, and push you to keep moving when you want to quit. (More often than not you will go further or exercise harder as you are too busy talking.)
9. Vary your workout pace . . . do more some days, less others . . . If you do the same activity every time, at the same intensity, your body will become accustomed to it and you won’t get the same benefit.
10. Keep a good supply of Epsom salts on hand . . . an Epsom salt bath after activity (especially strenuous activity) will help to prevent that sore stiff feeling the next day.
Click here to learn how to properly do an Epsom salt bath.
Being active doesn’t have to be torture, the trick is figuring out what you love to do and what your motivation is for becoming active. Keep in mind that the current recommendation for activity is 30 minutes of medium intensity activity 5 days a week or 20 minutes of high intensity activity 3 days a week.
Have fun, start slowly and embrace activity as a key component to a healthy lifestyle.
Stay tuned, this is the first of many monthly exercise / activity blogs . . .
~ photos are by Me ;) ~