10 in 10 Healthy Challenge: Making Exercise a Priority
A common New Year’s goal is to exercise more often. I am a huge believer in exercise. The benefits are endless-prevents chronic diseases, reduces stress, promotes better sleep, helps with weight management…the list could go on and on.
I personally love working out. I enjoy running outside when the weather is nice. I also enjoy using my elliptical machine to get a good cardio workout in. My new favorite workouts are the Les Mills classes-Body Pump and Body Combat are my favorite. I also enjoy yoga, Pilates, hiking, swimming, spinning, walking, tennis, etc. I try to incorporate cardio, strength training, and stretching/flexibility into my weekly workout routine. They are all important.
Choosing the right exercise program is one of the first steps toward sticking with your exercise goals. If you hate running, don’t run. There are LOTS of other exercises you can do. Find one that you enjoy and will actually do.
Try these suggestions to make exercise a priority in your daily routine:
- Plan to exercise at a certain time every day, so it becomes part of your schedule. I workout in the mornings to make sure nothing gets in the way. It is my top priority. **A little tip-sleep in your workout clothes or set them out the night before. It makes the early mornings easier.**
- Mark your calendar with a daily appointment for exercise.
- Write up an exercise plan. Reevaluate every week.
- Keep a diary of all of your exercises or use an online fitness tracker. Log everything you do, and your progress.
- Try joining a gym or recreation center. Paying a membership fee may prompt you to get your money’s worth and go more frequently. Josh and I both have gym memberships. It is worth the money for us because we go all of the time. With that said, a gym membership is not necessary; there are lots of exercises you can do for free. Do what works for you.
- Try fitness videos at home. I like the 30 Day Shred. There are 3 levels-each level is 20 minutes long. If you are short on time, this is a great option.
- Find a workout buddy-a friend, spouse, or family member. It is easier to stick to an exercise plan when you are accountable to someone and have added support. I love going to exercise classes for the motivation and social aspect.
- If you are tired and don’t feel like exercising, put your shoes on and do 10 minutes. Chances are you will keep going.
- Listen to good tunes or watch your favorite TV show/movie while working out. The time will fly by. I have a few workout playlists on my iPod that keep me moving.
- Fit in exercise-take the stairs, walk on your work breaks, park farther away from the store, etc. Every little bit counts. I keep a pair of tennis shoes at work so I can walk on my breaks. My walks are a great stress reliever and they give me an energy boost during the day.
- Remember how you feel after your workouts. They are ALWAYS worth it!
How do you make exercise a priority? Feel free to share your tips.
If you are doing the 10 in 10 challenge? How did the first week go? I am doing pretty well, still working on bumping up my calories, fat, and protein. The #10in10 Twitter group has been VERY helpful. Thanks everyone for your motivation and support.