Step One – make a list of activities that you like to do or would consider trying. Think of activities you did when you were younger, such as walking, dancing, gardening or washing the car by hand. Write down as many fun activities as you can think of because hiking, roller skating, and swimming do count as exercise! Many people stop exercising out of boredom, so refer to this list when you start to stagnate.
Step Two – join a fitness class. Chances are you are not the only one who wants to learn something new. Call your local fitness center and get information on current group classes. Many times fitness centers will allow you to attend the first class or pay a one-time drop in fee to see if you like the class before committing to an 8-week session.
Step Three – set a realistic goal to exercise 3 times a week. Medical professionals recommend that adults exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. This may seem daunting when you are just starting out, so don’t get hung up on the numbers of days. Write “exercise” on your calendar and just do it. Schedule exercise over your lunch hour, before work or after supper so that you don’t let the time slip away.
Step Four – enlist the troops. Ask friends or family to help you and keep you motivated. Share your goals with your spouse or a close friend and let them know you need positive encouragement to help you reach your goals. Ask a friend to watch your kids while you exercise and return the favor. Go on a family bike ride or a hike.
Step Five – review your goals often and reward yourself with something when you meet them such as a new pair of tennis shoes or a pedometer to help you keep track of your growing step counts. Good luck and get going!