Starting — and sticking to — a healthy plan for exerciseposted by Brent Brown on March 12, 2019
Did you know? All State of Indiana employees have access to Anthem’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which greatly expanded at the beginning of this year. Some services available through EAP include help with health and well-being, emotional support, financial advice, and much more. Watch this blog for even more EAP tips, and learn about the service — and what’s new in 2019 — here. Below are several tips on how to commit to exercising — and how to eliminate those excuses that keep you from staying on track with a fitness routine.
Flowers are blooming, the weather is breaking — yes, springtime is the season for fresh starts.
It’s also a great time to work toward a healthier you, with a new plan to start exercising and keep it going.
So, how do you start?
Step 1: Get rid of your roadblocks
You know all the reasons why you should start exercising, but it’s easy to come up with just as many reasons, if not more, why you can’t. Here’s how to get past some of the most common reasons that stop people from exercising regularly.
Roadblock: I don’t have time.
Solution: Break your exercise routine down into 10-minute chunks. Take a quick, brisk walk. Spend 10 minutes doing jumping jacks. Or, spend 10 minutes standing in front of your desk instead of sitting.
Roadblock: I don’t belong to a gym.
Solution: You don’t need one. Do you have stairs in your home or your office? Go up and down them a few times. Is there a public library nearby? Ask if they lend out exercise videos or simply try an online fitness video or download your favorite fitness app. When it comes to getting moving, all you need is motivation.
Roadblock: I’m too self-conscious.
Solution: Remember, nobody’s really watching. People have more to think about than how you look when you’re working out. And if they do care, they’re not really worth worrying about.
Roadblock: I don’t think I’m healthy enough to exercise.
Solution: Start very small. If you’re worried about making it on a long hike, go around the block a few times so if you start to feel winded or get tired, you can stop at home to recharge. Talk to your doctor or a professional trainer, who can give you exercise advice based on any health condition you may have.
Step 2: Stick to it!
Once you’re in a routine, it’s easy to get a little bored.
Here are a few tips to stay motivated:
- Use online tools. For example, check out the NIH Body Weight Planner. This planner can guide you through creating personalized calorie and physical activity plans to reach specific goals.
- Start using a wearable. Devices you can wear, such as pedometers and fitness trackers, can help you count steps calories and minutes of physical activity.
- Keep an activity journal. Writing down what you’ve done can make you feel more accountable.
- Set goals. As you track your activity, try to set specific short and long-term goals. For example, instead of “I will be more active,” set a goal such as “I will take a walk after lunch at least two days a week.”
- Get support. Ask a family member or friend to be active with you. Your workout buddy can help make your activities more fun.
- Give yourself non-food rewards.
- Did you lose that first five pounds or make it up three flights of steps without getting winded? Treat yourself to a manicure or a movie.
- Tell yourself that not exercising is a non-option. You’re the boss of your own health. It’s up to you to keep yourself in check.
Sources: U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Staying active at any
size (July 2016) https://www.niddk.nih.gov/