One of the easiest, safest and most effective ways to improve physical and mental health is through exercise. Including regular exercise in your daily routine has tremendous benefits. There are many ways to enjoy physical activity regardless of your age, fitness level or health condition. You do not have to spend hours pumping iron in the gym, moderate regular exercise can improve your life in big way by:
- Lifting your spirits and your mood leaving you feeling great
- Easing anxiety and stress, and promoting a sense of well being
- Boosting your energy by increasing your heart rate
- Stimulating growth of brain cells which sharpens your brainpower
- Improving your self-esteem and fostering a sense of power and self worth
You do not have devote hours from your busy schedule to reap the benefits of exercise. Half an hour of exercise in a day can be very beneficial. You can even start slow by including fifteen minutes of physical activity in your day, and slowly increasing the time. As you continue to exercise, you will have more energy and you will be able to increase the time and intensity of your exercise routine.
Following are some easy steps to turn exercise into a habit.
1. Move in your daily activities
If you do not have a regular time slot that you can dedicate to exercise, you can add physical activity in everything you do in the day. Make physical activity a lifestyle rather than a task that can be included in the daily routine. Activities around the home like cleaning the house and sweeping the sidewalk can be a form of exercise. Look for opportunities to walk or cycle to your destination, rather than driving. Use stairs instead of elevators and take a walk during your lunch or coffee break.
2. Start slowly
When you begin to exercise, you should start slowly and build up as you go along. Some people rush into joining a gym or investing in costly exercise equipment but they end up losing steam. If you are starting out, do not try to commit yourself to doing too much. If you set unrealistic goals, you are bound to fail after a few sessions. When you start slow and increase gradually, the exercise becomes a habit rather than a duty. Focus on short term goals, which are easier to achieve and then move up.
3. Have fun
The best way to ensure that you keep up with exercising is by making it fun. You are more likely to keep up with exercise when you do something fun and convenient. Do not feel like you have to take up aerobics to get exercise. You can join a dance class instead, or take part in a group activity that you enjoy.
4. Remain motivated
In order to reap the benefits of exercise, you have to stay with it for a long time. Making behavior or lifestyle changes can be difficult and requires regular motivation. You may suffer setbacks along the way but you have to keep remembering your goals. If you find that you are losing interest in a particular activity, you can try something new.