Often the biggest obstacle to physical fitness is taking the first step, so start with a small one. Even the smallest amount of physical activity can put you on the right path—decreasing your risk for disease, improving sleep patterns and increasing energy levels.
The best workout programs combine a variety of activity types, incorporating strength training, aerobic exercise and flexibility. Strength training increases strength and endurance through weight-lifting;aerobic fitness improves your body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently; and flexibility increases the range of motion of joints and prevents injury. If you combine all three in one work out or include all three at some point in your week, you are on your way.
Ready to get moving? Here are some tips on how to start a fitness routine and stick with it:
1. Set attainable goals.
It’s impossible to overhaul your body overnight. Improving physical fitness requires patience and realistic benchmarks. Set small goals and let the momentum of meeting those drive you forward.
2. Exercise with a friend.
Anything is better with a friend, even exercise. Ask a friend to be your running buddy or take a class together at the gym. You can encourage each other to keep it up and work harder.
3. Make physical activity a part of your daily life.
Don’t limit your activity to a set time and place. Go to the gym but incorporate more day-to-day physical activity as well. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get up from your desk and go for a short walk in the middle of the day. The more active you are on a regular basis, the easier those trips to the gym will become.
4. Reward yourself.
If you meet a goal, celebrate it in a healthy way. Take a new class at the gym that you’ve always wanted to try but didn’t think you could do. Buy yourself something new in your new size. Celebrating small successes will only help you achieve even more.