How to Become More Active
Struggling to find ways to get up and moving again? Here are a few strategic tips to help gain focus and build momentum in the fight to be more active again.
Life is busy, and no one knows that better than you do. Whether it’s countless hours spent at work, endless family functions to attend, or even the simple fact that you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in months, it’s easy to let working out fall to the bottom of your to-do list.
But just because you lack motivation and time doesn’t mean you can’t still get moving in other ways, and today, we’re here to prove it to you. If you find it’s a struggle to get off the couch once you’re done with the daily grind, here are a few suggestions for simple, easy ways to work a bit more activity into your day-to-day routine.
Stock Up On Gear
If you’re serious about learning how to get moving more, the first thing you should do is make sure you’ve got the goods to go the distance—literally. If you don’t have the right things to wear, you could find that you’re uncomfortable or even in pain—and neither of these things are exactly motivating.
However, if you take the time to invest in some top-notch workout clothes, you’re likely to feel more invested. Because if you’re anything like us, nothing’s more motivating than a shopping spree. Make sure you have a few good sports bras and consider investing in a new pair of yoga pants. Check out your electronics situation while you’re at it. Do you have an iPod or phone with room for music? What about a sweat-proof case or earphones? Make sure your gear is ready to go before you are.
Take It Slow
When it comes to getting back into an active lifestyle, pacing yourself is the name of the game. If you dive into the challenge with massive goals in place, you’re likely to find yourself feeling down and discouraged by the end of the first day.
This is why it’s important to make sure to take things slowly right from the get-go. If you have a chance to take a walk or tackle a lengthy flight of stairs, start there rather than jumping into a 5K. Start small and slowly increase the distance over time. The last thing you want to do is take on an intense workout today and then give up tomorrow.
Go for Walks
People tend to think that running is an essential part of getting fit, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, running can actually have quite a few negative benefits.
For starters, walkers impact the ground with half the force of a runner. They also sweat less and typically suffer fewer injuries than their quicker counterparts—and that’s all while still getting exercise and burning fat. If you’ve got the drive to move but running just isn’t an option, don’t give up. Walk.
Set realistic goals, slip into those cute new workout clothes of yours, plan out a route, and start pounding the pavement. Walk the dog before school, walk to work, or go for a stroll during your lunch break. While you work to increase your cardio, be sure to stay hydrated before, during, and after your walks—becoming dehydrated is a quick way to feel tired and unmotivated.
Ask a Friend
Never underestimate the power of accountability. If you know a friend who’s willing to get in on the action with you, recruit them as your accountability partner. If they’re already a health nut, even better. That can be a great way to get some insider advice. Pick their brain, observe their habits, and learn from their routines, but be sure to set expectations beforehand. Remember, we’re taking things slow here.
On the flip side, if you know someone who’s in the same boat as yourself and is struggling to get motivated, join forces and try to keep each other focused with your eyes on the prize.
Stretch It Out
You may be tempted to dive head-first into every gym sesh and studio class, but it’s absolutely critical that you take the time to stretch on a daily basis. This is a super important step to take before you subject your body to the strain and vigor of physical exercise.
Nothing can derail your progress like a pulled muscle. It doesn’t matter if you’re going on a hike, riding a bike, or walking to your weekly brunch with your BFFs, make sure to take a moment to stretch beforehand.
Try New Things
Don’t be afraid to switch things up every once and awhile. We haven’t brought up a ton of specific activities here because the goal isn’t to dictate your new exercise regimen—it’s to equip you with the skills, tools, and motivation to create your own, and part of that comes through trying new things. Take a pilates class, go rock climbing, or walk those ten flights up to your apartment or office. In other words, don’t be afraid to try new things in search of the activities that reward you the most. Those are the exercises you’ll be able to keep up for the long haul.
Moving more is definitely easier said than done, but if if you take the time to get your gear in order, recruit that accountability partner, and slowly ease into some new exercise-focused activities, you’ll be well on your way to a total lifestyle change. Just remember to stretch first!
Opening image: pixabay.com
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