Little things add up to bigger results as you choose movement over stillness. Try these simple tips.
One of the best pieces of advice from a doctor is to "find your active self." It's simple. It's intentional. It's focused on you. Being more active doesn't need to include trying all sorts of new activities and exercise classes; though, it does compel you to find what works for you. Maybe you were an athlete in school, or maybe there's something you've always wanted to try. You can enjoy the creative process of finding and doing what your active self loves to do. Try these tips to be less sedentary and more active.
Capture What You're Doing
Whether you're a photographer or enjoy journaling, find a way to express your progress and emotions. This can also be done by just sharing with a friend. You'll find it satisfying to look back to your beginnings and celebrate your progress.
Check In With an Expert
A healthcare professional will roll out the red carpet for you and encourage you as you're wanting to be more active. This would be a good time to get a check-up and to discuss any limitations you may need to consider as you become more active. The health expert will also give you information about what is needed (like a pair of good shoes), what is realistic, and what is possible.
Creatively Look at Your Hobbies
Hobbies are part of what makes you, well ... you. Capitalize on this and take a creative look at what you enjoy. If shopping is your bag (HA, get it?), choose to park at the other end of the mall in order for you to walk more. Are you an avid board gamer? Consider raising the table height to a standing position as you play. Smaller changes here and there add up to bigger results.
Consider your own "bucket list." Are there items listed that seem a little far-fetched at the moment? Completing a 5K or hiking your state's highest peak both begin with one single step. Take a look at your calendar and set a date when you'll complete the feat. Backwards plan the incremental milestones needed to accomplish this big goal, starting with today.
Exercise With a Buddy
Reaching goals is so much more enjoyable with friends! Ask a friend if he or she is interested in moving more throughout the week. Help each other set goals and keep each other accountable as you try new things.
Find Even More Buddies and Join a Class
Combine the importance of a scheduled class with the associated cost, and you have a recipe for follow-through! Studies show that people stick to goals more often when there's a specific meeting time and financial cost. Explore aerobics, stationary biking, Zumba, weight training, and other classes at your local recreation center.
As you're finding more ways to move, limit your default pastimes that keep you sedentary. Keep binge-watching a series to just one or two evenings a week (on specific days). On the other days, find something more active to do. If you typically meet a friend for coffee, consider meeting that friend for a walk at a nearby park.
Move for a Cause
Take your commitment to the next level by joining a charitable cause or community event that will help you move. Raise money as you walk, run for awareness, or bike to find cures are all ways of feeling good and doing good at the same time.
Play With Your Pets
You might even be grinning as you read this one. Pets bring us such joy, and we can be more active together. Play fetch, walk a different way, or play a game of tug of war. Get your heart pumping as you interact with your pet.
Set an Alarm
Setting an alarm can be helpful in remembering to move. Some fitness trackers do this automatically. As you set your goals, also set an alarm to get up and move throughout the day. You can also use an alarm for when you're actively moving. As the alarm goes off, you know it's time for a break.
Take a Hike (or a Walk)
Before you sit down for an evening movie or after a meal, take a walk. Enjoy walking around your neighborhood or exploring a new nearby trail. Walking is an activity that has the least amount of stress on your body as you burn calories and increase your heart rate.
Tools at Your Fingertips
Set step and activity goals for yourself, and make it easy with technology. You could invest in a Garmin watch or FitBit fitness tracker. These are great devices to monitor your overall movement. You can also download an app to your Android phone or use the pre-installed Health app on your iPhone.
Yes, Reward Yourself!
Whether it's your first step in the process or accomplishing a major goal, take the time to celebrate with a meaningful reward. Reminding yourself of what you've accomplished can easily include a friend or family member and encourage you to continue.
So how will you move more today? Get up and go, and enjoy the journey!