Are you stuck in a rut and don’t feel like exercising? I’m right there with you! I love to walk, but this winter I’ve just wanted to hole up in my house and not go anywhere! But I know reading all the advice available on exercising is no substitute for actually exercising.
If you find yourself reluctant to exercise because it seems too hard or not fun or just plain embarrassing, you may want to rethink your exercise strategy. When you find an exercise you love and look forward to, you’ll find yourself exercising more and without having to rely on willpower to do it.
Let’s start with a basic concept first: what does exercise mean? The definition of exercise is bodily exertion; especially for the improvement of health. As long you get moving, and keep moving consistently in a way that improves some aspect of your health, then you’re exercising. Several studies have even said that you don’t have to get your exercise in all at once. Even walking 10 minutes here and then 10 minutes there can make a difference!
Have you ever wanted to learn how to dance but didn’t want to be seen in public trying? Rent a few dance videos from your local library or video store and start practicing in the privacy of your own living room. There are even video games that make the dancing as the way to win the game. Polka, two-step or disco your way to better health!
Like music? Instead of sitting down and listening to it, imagine yourself conducting an orchestra while you stand. Do it vigorously enough and it will raise your heart rate. Walk in place while conducting to add a lower body workout. Prefer rock and roll to Ravel? Then play the (air) drums!
Fond of the water but not a great swimmer? Try walking or jogging while in the pool. It’s a great cardiovascular workout that’s easy on the joints. You can still throw in the occasional doggy paddle just to mix things up!
Would you rather read than do anything else? Try a stationery bicycle or a treadmill. You can read or listen to audio books while you ride or walk.
Is shopping your thing? Then promise yourself to walk a couple of laps around the mall before stopping for the sale at your favorite store. Or walk a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator.
If you would rather spend more time with your TV than with your exercise equipment, simply walk in place during the shows you watch. Take a break during the commercials. Keep at it and you’ll find yourself with more energy, better quality of sleep and an overall improved sense of well-being.
If you keep in mind the goal of exercise is to move consistently in an activity that you like, you’ll find yourself ‘exercising’ more often than you thought possible, and sticking with it longer than you ever imagined.
As for me, I’ve finally given up on being able to walk outside… at least for this month! I’ve bought a couple of “walking” workout DVDs and I’m going to see how those work out for me. (Pardon the pun!)
WHAT EXERCISE DO YOU LOVE OR ARE GOING TO TRY?
This article is a series of health-focused posts as I work my way back to living healthy. Join me in my quest.