Starting an exercise program or getting back into exercise after being away from it for a while, doesn’t always come easily. It takes a conscious effort to begin and maintain a workout that’ll bring results. What’s the key and possibly one of the greatest hurdles to overcome? Getting started. Here’s how.
What does the perfect workout look like to you?
Any attempt to exercise will be more successful if you are able to enjoy it. A perfect workout can be:
- a stroll in the park
- taking a class
- a rigorous hour of tennis
- using the Stairmaster or Elliptical during your favorite TV show
Maybe a perfect workout for you includes focusing on your breath in a yoga class, stretching your muscles with Pilates or running while listening to your favorite songs. Any of these workouts will benefit your body, mind and soul, but only if you consistently participate in the activity.
Sadly, many of us don’t exercise at all. In fact, the only exercise we enjoy participating in is exercising our right... not to exercise! If this sounds like you, it’s time to find your perfect workout.
But what if you haven’t worked out in weeks, months, even years?
Don’t let the fact that you’ve been a couch potato keep you from finding your perfect workout. Getting back into exercise can be as easy as finding something you can enjoy doing at a level that is only slightly more challenging than what you feel capable of. (This way, you don’t scare yourself off from beginning and sticking with a new routine.)
Getting back into exercise can also provide benefits such as:
- greater confidence
- personal empowerment
- inner peace
By setting a goal that’s reasonable and achieving that goal, you gain the confidence to keep trying. It’s empowering to take back the reins and know that your fitness, health and priorities are up to you. As stresses are relieved through activity, so many health benefits are coming your way, too.
Unfortunately, when we’re busy, exercise is one of the first things we’re willing to give up to have more time. This may work for a while, but eventually the results are feeling sluggish, tired, unfit and even unhappy.
So, how do you begin exercising again and find your perfect workout?
You can always start with walking. You know how to do it, you don’t need to be exceptionally coordinated, and all you need is a properly fitting pair of sneakers. Just by getting outside, looking at the changing leaves or noticing the beauty that surrounds you may be enough to keep you motivated to walk. If that’s not enough, listen to your favorite music while you walk, download workouts according to your workout level and needs – even download podcasts of programs you enjoy – or simply use the time as an opportunity to clear your head.
- work outside the home
- work from home
- have a newborn, young children, grandchildren
- care for others
- or simply you’re ready to take better care of yourself…
You can find the time to exercise and get healthy if you truly want to, just as you can justify or make excuses for anything you don’t want to do.
Here are some easy solutions to make an exercise routine easy and successful for almost anyone.
- If you leave early in the morning for work, pack a gym bag the night before and head to the gym before you come home.
- Exercise during your lunch break, take a short walking break every hour during the day.
- Find an exercise buddy to walk with and be accountable on a regular basis.
- Get on your treadmill, use DVDs or just tune into your local exercise channel.
For moms – simply put your baby in an area safely nearby as you workout. Your baby may even get a real kick out of watching Mommy work out.
- If your children are a little older, give them a special activity they only get to do while you are working out.
- Exercise joggers allow you to walk, jog or run outside, with your child safely strapped in.
- Wear your baby in a Baby Bjorn or baby backpack when outside. This adds weighted resistance to your workout while taking away any excuse you may have!
- Join a class for moms and their kids. Many health clubs offer babysitting for a small fee.
- Hire a babysitter or find a friend who is willing to take turns babysitting so you can both make time for much needed self-care.
It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something!
Even if you begin to incorporate exercise back into your life slowly, a little at a time, you will be moving in the right direction. As you begin to feel better about your body and your commitment to take better care of yourself, your body will kindly respond by slowly getting back to being the finely tuned machine it had been long ago... or maybe even better!
What are you doing that makes you feel good about yourself? Share your perfect workout and how it has changed your life.
Photo from here, with thanks.