You might think that exercise is hard. You might be confused about the right type of exercise for you. Which is the best for losing weight? How many calories do different exercises burn off? What time of day is best for working out? Which type will boost my metabolism the most?
If all of these questions (and probably more) are putting you off even getting started with exercising, there may be a better way. And it’s far easier than you think.
Do what feels easiest to you
You might find that just going for a walk in the afternoon with your spouse does the trick. It could be yoga, or swimming, or dancing in your living room. It really doesn’t matter too much which type of exercise you choose when you are first getting started.
As long as you are engaging in moderate intensity exercise, you are getting healthier. How do you know if your exercise intensity is at the right level? You should be just a little bit out of breath, to the point where if someone asked you a question you could answer them, but if they asked you to sing you’re a little too puffed to do so!
Do more of what you already do
Incidental exercise, or activities of daily living, are the types of movements that you do just as part of living your daily life. Things like pushing a shopping cart when grocery shopping, mopping your floors, gardening, taking out rubbish, raking leaves, wiping windows, walking up and down stairs etc.
These, believe it or not, all count as physical activity. So to build your fitness, you can start to look for more ways to increase your incidental exercise. Maybe instead of using the downstairs bathroom, you make a trip upstairs each time so that over the course of the day you’ll have fit in a stair climb multiple times. You might sweep your floors twice a week, or even daily, instead of once a week. You might spend 15 more minutes a day cleaning than usual. You might park 5 mins from work and walk in.
Whatever small choices you make to build up your general activity levels through the day can make a big impact to your fitness levels and health overall.
Do something every day
Instead of wondering which days to workout, or how long to do it for, many people find that if they make the choice that they will exercise every day they are more successful long term. That’s because it’s so simple to talk yourself out of a workout if you know you have 6 more days in the week to make up for it (but often you never do).
So choose shorter spurts of physical activity, and decide that you will commit to this every day. In no time at all you’ll be so used to it, it will just become a part of your usual routine and won’t require the effort it used to. Small choices to be healthy every day add up to so much more than the occasional day where you workout for a full hour.
So what are the ways that you like to stay active and keep it simple?