We’ve all heard it before. Working out regularly is good for you and can help you lose weight. But if you’re like most Americans, you’re busy, you have a job that doesn’t require much movement, or you simply don’t have time to work out. Trying to get the recommended amount of exercise for your age is important, but if you can only fit in a little bit of exercise a day, you can still benefit.
It’s important to add some exercise into your life each day. If you need motivation, see if a neighbor, family, or friend would like to join you. Challenge yourself with rewards when you’ve worked out so many days in a row or when you work out for a certain amount of time. The key is to get up and start moving. Once you do, it will slowly become a habit.
Starting is the hard part. How do you fit fitness time into an already busy schedule? The answer is to start small and to make exercise fun. Have a dance-off with your kids, play interactive games on your gaming system, or listen to music while you walk. If you choose activities you enjoy, you’re most likely to stick with them.
Many people thrive when they’re competing, even if they’re competing against themselves. If you wear a fitness tracker, strive to add to your steps each day. If you danced to three songs yesterday, increase that to five by the end of the week. The challenge is up to you. Look for little moments in each day to be more active. Instead of pushing your grocery cart to the car, can you carry the few bags you have? Are there stairs at work you can take rather than the elevator?
There are a variety of apps that encourage exercising. You can set alerts throughout the day to remind you to work. Some of them provide mini workouts in just five minutes. You can choose from yoga to cardio bursts to anything in between. Don’t discount them simply because they’re short amounts of time. Doing a few minutes several times throughout the day can add up.
Once you start exercising, you will see benefits that motivate you to continue. Exercise strengthens your heart, increases your blood flow, and provides your body with more oxygen. Increased health may make it less likely that you will suffer from heart disease or high blood pressure. Not to mention that you may lose weight.
Other benefits you can see once you increase your exercise are improvements in your mood and energy. Most of us don’t exercise because we are too tired, only to find out that once we start, our energy increases. Regular exercise can also increase your focus and concentration, giving your brain a workout, too, especially if your exercise of choice works on your hand-eye coordination. And speaking of coordination, working out increases your stability too, which is an excellent perk as you get older.
As you can see, there are many ways exercise can increase your overall health and well-being. Start small, give yourself a break, and have fun. You are worth it.