Updated: Sep 17, 2018
Written by Cynthia Sim
Remember that new years resolution you made earlier this year? The one about focusing more on your health. We do too. Living an active lifestyle can be difficult to integrate into our daily routine. Especially in a big city with so many other activities happening. The trick to staying active is to find something you enjoy doing. For some, that means having a friend to exercise with. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going to the gym, walking around the block, dancing along to an aerobics DVD in private, or going out for a quiet bike ride — just get moving.
1. Take your Time to Find your Style
It can be hard to find your workout style. It can help to mix it up every once in a while. You may find that you like trying something new. If you haven’t been active in several years, start out slow. Always talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program, as there may be precautions you should take. In general, you’ll want to start out with sessions of only five or 10 minutes. You can gradually increase the length of your sessions over time.
2. Keep it Simple
Your goal for physical activity should be 30 minutes each day. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, three 10-minute sessions are just as good as one longer session. For example, in one day you could do:
10 minutes of dancing before work
10-minute walk around the parking lot at lunch
10-minute walk around the neighbourhood as soon as you get home
Of course, more exercise is fine! However, take precautions to avoid injuries, such as muscle strain. It’s better to work out a little less one day if it will help you do it again the next.
Other home-friendly workouts that require little or no special equipment include:
walking or jogging
weight training with found objects (bags of beans, a heavy book, a water bottle)
3. Make a Schedule and be Consistent
Consistent physical activity and fitness are the cornerstones for a health life and the well-being of individuals of all ages. Whether you are involved in a vigorous exercise routine or participate in a moderate health-enhancing physical activity, all individuals can experience the value from regular physical activity. Maintaining an active lifestyle is not as daunting as you may think. Simple modifications to your established routine can help you control your weight, increase flexibility, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, all while improving your mental health and making you look and feel your best.
Being active does not require joining a fitness center. According to the American Heart Association, walking should be your first step and it is the easiest to incorporate into your daily routine. It is a safe, simple, and cost-free activity that can be integrated into your work and home life. Being active at home sets a good example for your children on how to be more active in their lives. The American Heart Association recommends the following tips to achieve a more active lifestyle at home:
Begin with 5-10 min walks before breakfast or after dinner and work up to 30 minutes.
Complete housework on your own instead of using hired help.
If watching TV, use a stationary bike to pedal or stretch while viewing.
Walk the dog
Stand up when you talk on the telephone instead of sitting down.
Invest in exercise equipment, as it is a one-time expense that everyone in the family can use.
4. Set Reminders of your Health Goals
There are many reasons we should get active. Being physically active means you:
Have more vitality
Are in better shape
Have better mental health
Can manage stress better
Have more self esteem
Physical activity helps:
Prevent and better control some risk factors for heart disease: blood cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension
Improve muscle and bone health (osteoporosis prevention)
Pick 3 to 5 and remember that it you have bigger fishes to slay besides the exhaustion you feel at the moment.
5. Keep Things Interesting
Many gyms and community centers offer free classes with a monthly membership. Take advantage of those opportunities. You may get to experience some of the newest and hottest fitness trends. You never know what you might fall in love with next. Not up for the gym? Look at your local sports stores for outdoor group activities.
It is never too late to start living healthy and active. It starts from small acts that we consciously take to improve ourselves. If you have other ways to keep yourself motivated, feel free to share them with us over at the comment section.
If you need help setting started, check out our suggestions above that can help you get started.