Regular exercise is one of those things which we feel we should do. At some level, everybody knows it’s good for them, but the fact remains that many of us don’t do enough of it. As with eating well, many decision and policy makers feel the problem is one of education; that people need to be educated on the benefits of regular physical activity. Personally, I feel that’s a small part of it, that you’d be hard pressed to find someone that didn’t know exercise was good for them; I think we know it at a deep level. I think the problem is one of lifestyle; our lifestyles often don’t support regular physical activity.
It could be a variety of things: our daily responsibilities, work, family commitments, energy levels, priorities and many other factors. It’s all a balancing act, and one that isn’t easy to pull off in the least; it takes effort and planning. But every little helps as they say, so here are three simple ideas for effectively making time for regular exercise:
For you to really reap the huge benefits of exercise it needs to be done regularly and the best way for this to happen is to establish a routine. A routine draws you in and becomes part of your lifestyle, eliminating the need for forcing yourself to exercise every once in a while. To create a routine, you need to plan when you’re going to exercise. In the same way you catch the same train to work every day or take the kids to school at the same time, it’s best to have some rhythm in when you exercise.
One way to do this is to pick a time to exercise and stick to it. Select a timeslot for your exercise and block that time out like you would an appointment. Treat it like you would a meeting at work, or a social engagement. The point is, you wouldn’t simply decide last minute that you weren’t going to a meeting or lunch with a friend; imagine if you took that approach to exercise. Great things would start to happen.
In planning when you’re going to exercise, it’s important to be realistic. If you’re not a morning person and can’t envisage exercising in the morning, don’t do it. If you’re usually wiped out after a day at work, don’t slot in an evening session. Play to your strengths and set yourself up for success. You’ll create positive momentum, get results and feel great about yourself as a result.
The key component of regular exercise is that it has to be regular, you have to be consistent. It’s the consistent effort that gets results. It’s not the 1st swing of the axe that fells the tree, nor is it the last; it’s a combination of them all. All your exercise sessions come together to give you results, so all you need to do is be consistent. There’s a quote that states ‘ordinary things done consistently and well, produce extra ordinary results’. I love that quote! It’s a reassuring reminder that you don’t need to be a superhero to achieve the great things you envision for yourself, you just have to be consistent.
I hope these ideas, despite their simplicity, go some way towards helping you establish the healthy habit of exercising regularly. I appreciate it’s hard sometimes and that life happens, but I’m confident that when you’re regularly active, you will be that bit more effective at everything you do. The juice is worth the squeeze and wish you all the best.
Spot on Tim, the tiny steps make the journey and if your mood is low just getting out into the fresh air is the first step. I created my own morning habit to combat the lows and SAD. It’s now as easy as breathing, it’s what I do. So let’s make a little more movement for mind, body and soul more of a priority. Remember… Everything starts with a happy head!