Daily exercise is essential for good health as it keeps your body in good condition, reduces the risk of heart disease and helps control your weight. It’s never too late to start! Here are 8 ways to get motivated.
It starts with the right mindset
- Start exercising slowly. Then build up gradually. For example, don’t attempt a 5 kilometre (3 mile) sprint if you’re new to running. Your body won’t be ready for it and disappointment is guaranteed if your expectations are too high.
- Go at your own pace. Don’t worry if you seem to be progressing more slowly than you would like. Your body will tell you when it’s time to notch things up a gear.
- Find something you like doing. Choose a moderate (not strenuous) activity that gets your heart pumping a bit harder while you’re having some fun. If you find that going to the gym isn’t your thing, choose something you think you’ll enjoy.
- Be proactive. If you have a swimming pool, consider setting up an aqua-aerobics group with friends and neighbours. Share the cost of hiring a personal trainer to run the classes.
- Don’t give up. Stick with your chosen activity, even if you find it hard at first. The key to long-term fitness is simply exercising on a regular basis.
- Choose what interests you. Avoid the boredom that can accompany routine by playing a favourite sport, such as tennis or golf, on a regular basis. This will also give you more time outdoors in the sunshine getting your vitamin D, which increases calcium absorption and can help prevent breast cancer.
- Seek support. Ask a friend to exercise with you, if you need encouragement. Making an arrangement to meet someone for an exercise session will make it more difficult to avoid working out when you don’t feel like it.
- Set goals. However, bear in mind that they need to be achievable, not impossible, so don’t expect instant results. Also, make sure you celebrate your successes.
Exercising doesn’t mean you have to take out an expensive gym membership – you can start in your living room or a local park. What’s most important is to make it a regular part of your life!