5 Ways to Get Back Into Exercise
If you are trying to find your way back into a regular exercise regimen after you’ve been away from it for a while, knowing how to stay safe and motivated are two of the challenges you will no doubt face. Once an exercise routine has been broken, getting started again can be difficult. It is all too easy to set your goal to begin again “tomorrow.”
To help you regain your willpower and safely ease back into daily exercise, we’ve pulled together a few suggestions.
Talk with Your Physician: If you’ve been sedentary for any length of time, it is best to talk with your physician before you begin a new exercise program. Share your goals and what type of workout you are considering. He or she may give you their approval or make a recommendation for a program they feel is better suited for your level of fitness.
Start Small: When you are first getting started, be realistic in setting your goals. If you start small, such as walking fifteen minutes each day, you may be more inclined to stick with it. As you find yourself becoming more dedicated to your physical fitness program again, you can expand your routine. It might be by walking further, taking up Chair Yoga or by adding strength training exercises three days a week.
Schedule Fitness Time: Block out a time to workout each day on your calendar and write your goal in ink. Having a specific time committed to exercise is a much better motivator than telling yourself you will walk “in the morning sometime.”
Measure Progress: Recording your progress is another good way to help you stay on track. Don’t make weight loss the only change you measure. It can also help to record any improvements you are feeling such as more energy and better sleep. Both are benefits of regular exercise.
Reward Yourself: It might also help to reward your progress. That new pair of shoes that you’ve been wanting but feel guilty about spending the money on might be a good reward for meeting your 60- or 90-day fitness goal.
If you need ideas for senior-friendly fitness activities, you might find Go4Life to be helpful. It is an exercise and physical activity program developed by the experts at the Institute on Aging. Resources range from a free exercise DVD to daily motivational tips.