The benefits of physical exercise are long-established. As well as helping to control weight and reduce the risk of heart disease and other serious illnesses, there are mental health benefits to exercising. Stress, anxiety, and depression are common in modern society, and a run, session at the gym, or some other physical activity are proven ways of managing these problems.
Despite knowing it's good for them, many people fail to take part in any form of exercise regularly. This can be down to lack of time, fear of injury, or not knowing what type of activity to participate in. The following tips will help anyone struggling to keep up with their fitness plans.
1) Be realistic.
Depending on your level of fitness and how regularly you currently exercise, be realistic about how much you can achieve. You'll lose motivation quickly if you can't keep up with something you commit to if it's too much of a challenge. For example, if you enjoy light jogging, it would be a stretch to sign up for a marathon that's just three months away.
2) Find something you enjoy.
Finding the type of exercise you enjoy is one of the keys to ongoing fitness. If you dread trips to the gym or putting on your shoes to go for a run, try something different. Swimming, group exercise classes, or team sports are good alternatives to consider.
3) Build exercise into your weekly plans.
Finding time for fitness training is a challenge for most people. Building it into your daily routine can increase your chances of success. Leaving work half an hour early or committing to exercise during your lunchtime a couple of times a week can make a difference over time.
4) Make exercise a social activity.
Combining physical exercise with catching up with friends can make it more enjoyable. Group sessions or classes are a great way to do this. For example, sign up for some martial arts classes where you will meet new people and train together.
5) Reward yourself.
As you progress with your exercise goals, you should feel the benefit of increased fitness and a sense of well-being. However, it can take time to get there, so reward yourself on the journey. Rewards could include a healthy snack after a session at the gym or taking some time out with a good book after a run.
6) Make exercise fun.
If you associate getting fit with pounding a treadmill for hours, you need to be more creative. Listen to your favorite audiobook or podcast as you exercise, and it'll become something you look forward to. Download one of the fun fitness apps like SHOCK, and enjoy workouts at home or in the gym to help you feel strong and confident.
7) Find a gym buddy.
As well as the social benefits, exercising with a friend will make you more likely to stick with it. If you've committed to meet a friend at the gym or park, you won't want to let them down. If you work out with someone else, you can encourage each other and get fit together.
8) Switch your commute.
Traveling to and from work can take a large chunk of your day. Think about ways you can adapt your commute to include exercise. If you drive, park a few blocks away and walk the final mile. If it's not too far, can you ride a bike to work? Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and you'll get another short workout when you arrive at the office.
9) Start the day with a workout.
Many studies suggest that the morning is the best time of day to exercise, and there is evidence that the body burns fat for hours afterward. A morning workout can leave you feeling energized and ready for the day ahead, and it means you don't have to think about fitting in time to exercise later.
10) Track your progress.
There are lots of apps and wearable technology available to track your fitness progress. The SHOCK app will record your heart rate during each training session and help you get the most from every workout. Take progress pictures, log your journey, and share with friends on social media to add a layer of accountability. Tracking your progress in the SHOCK app is motivating! Compare your progress pictures and see the benefits of your commitment to fitness over time.