A great first step is to create a schedule for yourself specifying when, where, and what type of exercise you plan on engaging in. Be sure to include activities that you enjoy and can be completed in various environments to ensure you can participate regardless of your location or environmental circumstances!
InspireHealth offers a variety of online classes that can be done in the comfort of your home and are modifiable for all fitness levels; consider adding classes into your day planner as an appointment and setting yourself a reminder so you don’t forget!
Set yourself up for success by being realistic with your goals and expectations.
Be careful not to over commit yourself to a routine you can’t keep up with. Developing a consistent habit and gradually increasing your activity over time is often a better approach compared to over committing to an overly ambitious routine that you cannot realistically follow.
It is important to remember that even as little as 15 minutes of exercise can benefit your physical and mental health, so don’t give up just because you can’t commit to full 45-minute-long workout!
Also consider setting “process” goals, which focus on activity rather than outcome. For example, walking 30 minutes a day or finishing the CIBC run for the cure. Process goals have been shown to lead to better results compared to “outcome” based goals (e.g. losing 20 pounds)
Staying on track:
Keep yourself accountable by committing to exercise with a friend or family member. Telling others about your fitness goals can also help keep you motivated and accountable.
Remind yourself by using your environment. For example, leaving your running or walking shoes next to your front door, posting your exercise schedule on the fridge, or laying out your workout clothes on the couch.
Track your activity with an exercise log! Recording your activities where you can review can make it easier to monitor your progress.
Make it fun:
Staying active doesn’t have to be boring or difficult! Dancing, snowshoeing, hiking, ice skating, and even gardening are all great ways to work extra activity into your daily routine.
Sticking to a new routine is not easy. Even small successes should be acknowledged and celebrated. Creating mini goals for yourself (e.g. exercising for three days a week), and rewarding yourself for accomplishing them can help boost your confidence and keep you motivated.