Although it’s common knowledge that regular exercise improves health, only a tiny fraction of adults exercise at least three times per week. The truth is, it’s hard to stay motivated. After working all day or tending to children, the last thing you want to do is set aside time to work out. But think back to a time when you did exercise daily, didn’t you feel more motivated, healthier and happier? Of course! If you aren’t working out daily, here are a few reasons to start back up and some ways to stay motivated.
Most common health benefits of regular exercise:
Improves libido, mood, sleep, heart, lungs, circulation, posture, muscle tone, self-esteem.
Reduces stress, anxiety, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, lung disease, cholesterol levels, arthritis, and helps with weight loss.
You don’t have to be a marathon runner, all it takes is moderate, enjoyable exercise three times a week and you can enjoy all of the benefits just mentioned.
How to stay motivated and get the most from your routine:
Find a few routines you enjoy. Whether you enjoy yoga, kickboxing, bicycling, aerobics, dancing, Pilates, walking, weight training, or jogging, the more varied your exercise routines, the less bored you’ll become.
Switch routines. Do cardio one day and weight bearing exercises the following day. This has been shown to be the most effective way to reap all of the health benefits of exercise. Alternating routines allows the muscles you used the day before to repair and become stronger.
Exercise every day. This may seem excessive, but studies have shown that if you make exercising a habit, you’ll be more apt to stick with it. If you give yourself a day or two off each week it’s too easy to slack off another day, and another, and another.
A half-hour is all you need. More isn’t necessarily better when it comes to exercise. Muscles become fatigued and people become bored when exercising too long. Thirty minutes is an ideal time frame to stick to.
Trick yourself into exercising. On days when you feel unmotivated, tell yourself you’ll just do it for five minutes. Chances are, once you start you’ll feel so energized you’ll continue on with your normal routine.
Exercise early. Try to get in your half-hour of exercise as early as possible. It will help you start the day with more energy, better mental focus, a positive mood, and you’ll feel better after getting it out of the way. If you put it off for later in the day you’ll probably never get around to doing it. Many people choose to wake up a half-hour earlier so they can exercise.
A little exercise is better than none at all. Even if you can only set aside five minutes a day to exercise, do it. It may not seem like a lot, but over the course of a year this amounts to over 30 hours!
Exercise is addicting. Science has shown that when you exercise the brain releases “feel-good” chemicals. Participants in studies reported feelings of serenity, exhilaration, joy, peace, and optimism. In fact, many people replace negative addictions such as drinking and smoking with exercise—and the positive sensations last longer!
Imagine the health benefits you can enjoy and the years you can add onto your life by just taking out a few minutes each day to exercise!