By: Bryan J. Smelser, CPT
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! We all know the importance of being physically active at all stages of life. But sometimes getting into an exercise routine can seem like a big challenge to take on. We don’t have to start training for the Olympics right away to be healthy and strong. It takes many small lifestyle changes to create healthy habits. Here are some tips to get you moving this May!
– Get people involved: Walking, biking, jogging, playing basketball, all of these things are more fun with a group! So make a call, send an email or text and get a group together for some fun and exercise. You’ll be surprised how many folks will show up. They’re just waiting for you to ask them!
– Make it quality time: Take the dog for a nice, long walk. Take your kids to the park or help them practice soccer or baseball. Go for a hike with your family and enjoy being together in the outdoors. Exercise doesn’t need to be drudgery and you don’t have to put aside your family time to do it!
– Make a commitment: Sign up for a 5k race or fun run or walk. Play in a recreation sports league, or charity game. Having a commitment to an event will help keep you motivated. Write the date on your calendar. Put a reminder in your phone. Hang a flyer on your office door. Do whatever it takes to keep that goal prominent in your mind and be accountable!
– Make the time: Sit down and plan out your daily routine. Putting it on paper will help you visualize your time. See where you can alter your routine to be more active in your day. Is there a walking path where you work? Are you close enough to bike to work? Could you walk to your neighbor’s barbecue rather than drive? Thinking of these easy ways to become more active will help you create healthy habits.
– No excuses: If we think about it we can all find reasons NOT to do something. But what is more important to you than your health? Be an advocate for yourself and make a plan to exercise no matter if you’re traveling on business, on vacation, or just busy at work.
– Don’t take on too much: Don’t feel like you have to get up and run a marathon tomorrow. Start slowly and manage your expectations. If you’ve been sedentary for a while, talk to your physician to make sure you are choosing an exercise program that suits your needs and current health.
Don’t let the process of building new, healthy habits end after May is over. Come up with a new challenge for yourself next month. Skip the fast food burgers for a month or try to order water and a salad with dinner. Let others know what you’re striving for and get them involved. The more you talk and think about it the more accountable you’ll be to yourself. Let each month that passes be an opportunity to improve your lifestyle and be healthy and strong! Good luck!
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