We all know how important it is to maintain regular exercise. Not only is it good for keeping you in shape, but it also aids concentration, mental health, and keeps your general happiness levels up. We also know that life can easily get in the way of regular exercise and our enthusiasm levels can dwindle very quickly.
So what do you do in this situation?
Here's a really steady method of getting some morning exercise into your week, without too much effort and hopefully the gradual engagement means that morning walks/jogs become a regular part of your routine and not a chore.
The most important thing to continue to have exercise in your life is:
Wake up earlier.
Yes, it's been said before. Get your exercise out of the way in the morning so that you can get on with your day. But what do you do if, like me, you're not a morning person?
I have found that it's all about gradually easing into a change in your life you're hoping to make permanent. Schedule time in your calendar, say three mornings a week, to go for a walk/jog before work. Here's how to achieve this:
Set your alarm clock to 30 minutes earlier than the time you normally wake up. Get your fitness gear ready the night before. I lay out my gym gear, socks and a jacket so that I can roll out of bed without thoughts of "Why am I up so early?" I start by dressing myself into my sportswear. By the time your brain has worked out you're about to exercise, you're out the door.
Use the extra minutes to walk around the block or a local park. Only do a 15-20 minute walk that first week for 3 days. That's a good start and not much effort at all!
Set your alarm clock 45 minutes earlier. Walk around for 30 minutes. You'll start enjoying your walks. Maybe listen to some good music on your phone as you're walking. (Continue for 1 week)
Set your alarm to 1 hour earlier. Try jogging a bit at the beginning of your walk. At this stage, don't push yourself to run the whole way. Jog half way and walk the rest. Your heart rate will increase gradually and you can even walk at a faster pace on your way home. (Continue for 1 week)
By this stage your body should be used to waking up early and you're getting into your weekly routine. Start off doing this three times a week in the morning for now. While it's really tempting to start upping the routine to four or even five days, remember to start slow and work your way up. You can also try doing yoga or a pilates class on one of the alternative days. That should also help stretch out your muscles from those jogs.
Once you’re up for it, download an exercise app to track your steps and your pace. You'll see even in the first week, the difference a 15 minute walk can do to your step count. Aim for 10,000 steps per day and drink plenty of water. Most apps can remind you whether you're drinking enough glasses of water during the day.
Remember, give yourself a break!
We all have days when we're too tired, too sore or too busy to exercise. Do your best, but don't be too harsh on yourself for skipping a day or two. As long as you are back on track slowly and steadily, there is no need to beat yourself up for missing a day or two. Life can already be frustrating enough, without us putting extra pressure on ourselves. If you fall behind in your routine, just start again from Week 1.
Enjoy your mornings and this rare 'you' time and you'll start to look forward to the three times a week you allocated to exercising!
Lifestyle and travel blogger Julia enjoys writing in and exploring the digital space. A Digital Marketing Professional with a passion for all things health, beauty, lifestyle and travel, Julia is on a mission to battle stress, live a healthy, happy life and lend a helping hand. An animal lover and avid globe trotter.
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