Tips for staying physically active

Black woman at the gym
The physical component of wellness involves the ability to carry out daily tasks, develop cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness, maintain adequate nutrition and a healthy body fat level, and avoid abusing alcohol and other drugs or using tobacco products. In general physical health is an investment in positive lifestyle habits.

Medical experts have advised regular exercise to improve fitness and health, to prevent disease and disability, even to lengthen life. Unfortunately, most people starting an exercise program drop out, usually within the first six months. However, some succeed in making exercise a regular part of their lives.

How do they do it? What are they doing right? What are the basic principles of their success stories? Here are some tips from leading exercise experts who practice what they preach.

Get a jump on the day.

Many people are more consistent in their exercise routines when they exercise early. One expert once said: “You can’t plan how your day is going to end, but you can plan how it will start.

Team up.

People who exercise regularly often team up with at least one other person. It might be a roommate, spouse, neighbor, or friend. It might be a workout at the fitness club with half-dozen friends; it might be a midday break to shoot baskets; it might be an early morning walk with a member of the family.

Break up your workout.

Exercise recommendations call for thirty minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. But it doesn't have to be in one shot. Short bursts scattered throughout the day count, too. Look for opportunities to add exercise to your daily regimen. For example, use the stairs instead of the elevator, if you’re waiting for someone, walk while you wait.

Use exercise as a pick-me-up.

Tired from the demands of work, many people resist expending energy on exercise. However, many experts do the opposite by turning to exercise as a source of energy. For them, exercise is a tranquilizer; it makes them more productive at work and home, it refreshes and relaxes them, it helps them sleep.

Revel in your success.

The more you make exercise feel like an accomplishment rather than a chore, the more you’ll look forward to each session. One lifelong jogger logs his mileage because it boosts his lifetime record. A walker wears a pedometer so he can monitor his progress as he attempts to walk at least 10,000 steps each day.

Seek variety.

Engage in a variety of activities. If you work inside all day, you might exercise outside. Try seasonal activities. Catch the evening news while working out on a treadmill. 

Remember, if you enjoy your workout, you are more likely to continue working out.
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