Whether to get in shape for the summer or to change a sedentary lifestyle, many people try to be more active in their daily lives.
It is an important step towards having a better and healthier lifestyle. But this can be challenging at first.
First of all, it’s not necessary to immediately start with a lot of heavy exercises in the gym. A minimum amount of daily physical activity, such as taking the stairs instead of using the elevator, is already better than no activity at all.
Playing sports, dancing, or simply taking long walks around the neighbourhood are also simple (and free) practices that can help you to create a more active routine.
Take a look at these tips to create healthier habits.
1. Do Your Research and Create a Plan
Many people start looking for a personal trainer to create an exercise program suited to their body and stamina. It’s a good start, but may be too expensive for some people.
You can skip the personal trainer, but it’s important to know your health conditions before diving into new health regimens. If you are over 45, a medical check-up is mandatory to define your limits. Those who have respiratory problems, for example, need to adopt lighter practices.
Have the discipline to create a realistic exercise plan that you can follow, and that is based on activities that you actually enjoy. Nothing can be more frustrating than being forced into an exercise routine you hate.
2. Stock Your Wardrobe
Choosing the right gear is essential. Running or exercising in the wrong clothes can make your activity routine more difficult and cause you to give up in a few days. Start with your sneakers. They should be comfortable and suitable for the type of activity you’re carrying out. It’s no use trying to run or play sports in inappropriate shoes with slippery soles.
T-shirts and leggings or shorts are also essential to ensure easier sweating. It can be tempting to choose your wardrobe by colours or styles, but pay special attention to materials. Polyester-based materials help your body shed sweat easily, while cotton clothing builds up perspiration.
When doing outdoor activities, don’t forget to also invest in sports sunglasses. They’re essential to protect your eyes from contact with dust during a race or a sports match. The reflective lenses can also help to filter the sun’s UV rays.
3. Workout for a Cause
For many people, the hardest part is starting a physical activity routine—literally taking the first step. If that’s your case too, you should consider joining 5k or a walking group for a cause.
If you don’t find any active groups in your neighbourhood, organise charity walks or marathons yourself, gathering friends and neighbours around important causes. You can run a charity event, seek sponsorship from local businesses, and then donate the money to a charitable organisation. It’s a great motivation to work out.
4. Track Your Steps
Human beings love to surpass themselves and beat their own records. When adopting a walking or jogging routine, try to keep track of your steps and stick to a daily goal (and even surpass it little by little).
You can easily do this by putting a free step-tracking app on your mobile phone or smartwatch. These apps not only count the steps you take but also monitor your daily routine, generating statistics related to your physical activity (for example, your ideal daily step average).
Tracking your steps is another way to motivate you to walk or run a little more. After all, whenever the app shows that you only need 500 or a thousand steps to hit your daily goal, you will likely be motivated to get moving.
5. Listen to Your Body
The key to creating and maintaining an active routine is not to overdo it. If until yesterday you spent 24 hours sitting in front of a computer or TV, it’s no use waking up today thinking about running the Boston Marathon.
Start small and pay attention to your body’s messages. Whenever you are experiencing pain or discomfort, it is because you are exaggerating. Don’t push through the pain and try to figure out the cause of it. Pay attention to the following alerts:
- Persistent Soreness– If your body or part of it becomes sore after an activity, it is because you are pushing it too far.
- Easy Tiredness– If you are already tired before you start exercising, your body may be warning you that you need to adopt a nutritional strategy to make up for an inadequate diet as well.
- Persistent Local Pains– It’s normal for muscles to ache for the first few days, but consult your physician if your knees or feet continue to hurt after a week of daily exercise.
- Dizziness or Chest Pains– Reduce the pressure and talk to a doctor before continuing.
Standing Still is Not an Option
Starting a physical activity routine may seem difficult at first. But if you persist, you’ll be integrating exercise into your daily life without even realising it. The benefits are well-known. In addition to preventing serious illnesses, staying active gives you more energy to face the day, keeps your body healthy, and considerably improves your posture, stamina, and self-esteem.
But learn to understand your body’s signals and respect its limitations. It’s no use trying to make up for years of a sedentary lifestyle with a few hours of daily exercise. Create a routine that you can stick to for the long run.
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