It is common knowledge that we are supposed to stay physically active in order to stay healthy. We are constantly prompted by our doctors, our spouses and by companies selling fitness products to make the time to get your heart rate up.
The benefits are widely known and supported by concrete evidence; so why is it that obesity continues to rise, and couch potato syndrome seems to be ubiquitous.
You may find yourself failing to make progress towards an acceptable level of fitness. Work and home life take over; time seems to slip by and your activity level remains stagnant. Here are three suggestions to jump-start your progression track towards habitual physical activity and wellness.
The First suggestion is to start your day active.
When you wake up, dedicate 10 minutes to these exercises:
- 25 Jumping Jacks
- 35 Jumping Jacks
- 10 Pushups
- Rest for 1 minute
- Repeat until 10 minutes are up
By exercising your willpower immediately when waking up, the likelihood of allocation of time later in the day to physical activity is significantly higher. Physical activity is work and is often times uncomfortable, but as it is said, “No Pain, No Gain.” It is common knowledge that the most difficult part of any endeavor is the physical act of starting. Practice this habit and beginning physical activities will no longer be an impassable hurdle.
The Second suggestion is to go for a walk before you eat lunch.
No one wants to sweat before finishing the second half of his or her day; taking brisk walks midday is a way to elevate your heart rate without exerting too much energy. The reason that I suggest taking this stroll before eating lunch is because the body naturally metabolizes reserves (fat and stored sugar) when the intestines are empty. By walking before you eat, you take advantage of this natural phenomenon to help burn excess calories instead of the fuel your lunch provides. Not only do you burn calories, but if you also practice the first suggestion, you exercise your willpower and mentally prepare yourself for suggestion three.
The Third suggestion is to select your favorite physical activity (e.g., walking, jogging, bike riding, weight lifting, gardening, kayaking, etc.) and allocate 30 minutes to it, twice per week.
Any day will do, I would suggest once during the workweek and once on the weekend, to start. Be proactive with your scheduling and stick to your decision. You must understand that 1 hour per week is a small commitment, but it is a step in the right direction towards building healthy habits.
This is only the beginning; once you have successfully completed this routine for a few weeks, increase your morning regiment to 15 minutes, then 20. In addition, increase either the time spent or the frequency per week engaging in your favorite physical activity. Habits are built through consistency – practice these activities and you’ll be well on your way to a physically well lifestyle.