When you’re out of the habit, finding the motivation to get up and get moving can be difficult. If you’re feeling out of shape and don’t know how to get started, just the thought of starting to exercise can be paralyzing. So what should you do?
You can get past whatever hurdles are in front of you. There is a way to find motivation and joy in moving your body. Follow these tips, be mindful, break through whatever is stopping you, and start moving today. Your body and your mind will thank you. Here’s how to get started.
1. Eliminate Excuses
It’s easy to find excuses not to exercise, but excuses are just that. You can make time if exercise is a priority in your life. Those 15 minutes you spend perusing social media could be 15 minutes moving your body. Scheduling those 15 minutes in your calendar can remind you it’s time to get moving.
2. Change Your Commute
Why not take advantage of your commute and change it into an opportunity? Consider biking to work instead of driving, or try taking public transportation instead. You’ll increase your daily steps and the walk to and from the bus stop or train station can make a real difference. Even if you just take the stairs each day instead of the elevator, that increase in activity can change how you feel inside and out.
3. Mix It Up
One of the reasons people don’t exercise is they don’t actually enjoy the exercise itself. If that’s how you feel, it’s time to “move outside the box” and get creative. Find a style of exercise that you do enjoy.
It might be something you’ve never tried before so be open to experimenting with something new. From yoga, to tai chi, to a group fitness class, to hiking, there are so many forms of exercise to choose from. Mix it up, and you might just discover something you really enjoy.
4. Use Your Breaks to Move
During the workday, it’s tempting to use your break to zone out or get a snack, but moving your body instead is beneficial all around. Head outside and take a walk, or stow weights under your desk to work your arms when you get tired.
Even if it’s just for 10 minutes a couple times a day, keeping your blood and body moving has huge benefits. You’ll feel better, sleep better at night, and find that you’re more focused and productive at work.
5. Make It Mindful
Work on being aware of how your body feels throughout the day so you can connect with yourself and how you feel. Remind yourself to cultivate awareness. If you’re focused on holistic health and wellness, you’ll pay attention to what your body, and your mind, truly need.
Think about how your body feels each day. Does your back ache or do your legs feel tight? What movement would feel good today? If you tune inward and listen to your body, it can give you a great insight on how to move.
6. Don’t Sweat It
Waiting for the right chunk of time to exercise in the way you think you should might keep you from doing it at all. Don’t get in your own way and be mindful of what you can do. Find little ways to move more—take the stairs, walk instead of drive, stand instead of sit—and you’ll be making a difference. While aerobic exercise is necessary, it’s not always convenient.
You don’t need to get sweaty and breathe heavily every time you move. Just move! The more you integrate movement in your life, the more you’ll find you crave it.
Believe it or not, stretching is just as important as building muscle. Maintaining your flexibility is essential to avoiding injury, and keeping your joints and muscles limber helps you move more efficiently and maintain range of motion. But it also helps you feel better. Think about that sensation of relaxation after a great stretch.
Even when you’re not in the mood to go for a hike or do some lunges, stretching is a great way to unwind, decrease stress, and move your body. When all else fails, practice stretching to keep your body moving and flexible.
8. Find a Partner
If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, a partner can help keep you moving. Pair up with a friend, significant other, child, or wellness coach. Make a date with friends to go hiking or walk along the lake. Enjoy quality time with a family member while playing mini-golf or taking a yoga class. Go and play with your kids at the park!
If you need extra motivation and health advice, a wellness coach might be the right choice for you. No matter who helps you stay motivated and mindful of moving your body more, you don’t have to do it alone.
You Can Do This
Staying motivated to move your body doesn’t have to be as complex as you might think. Don’t let your fears or excuses stop you. Use those small chunks of time throughout your day and stay mindful about how you can move around in whatever way works for your life.
Whether you’re walking to work, stretching under your desk, or playing soccer at the park with your kids, moving more every day has profound benefits for your physical health, mental health, and emotional health alike.