Many experts agree that having a balanced diet, getting plenty of rest and exercising 3 to 5 times a week for at least twenty minutes helps boost immunity, mood and overall well-being. Since the invention of the fit bit, which conveniently syncs with our smart phones, many Americans are turning their lives around by becoming more active. But let’s be honest, not everyone enjoys working out (even though they should).
It seems like every week there is some new routine or exercise regime that promises amazing results in no time at all. I have watched many people try and fail at many of the fads that come out. Sure, they may be gung-ho for a little while, but eventually they fall off the wagon.
Why is it Difficult for People to Stick to an Exercise Routine?
One of the main reasons why people can’t stick to an exercise routine is because, while it may be fun and empowering to start, it becomes work and drudgery after a little while. What once was a step towards achieving your goals becomes a routine that is no longer fun and exciting.
Tip #1: don’t be afraid to change it up!
Exercising doesn’t mean that you have to do the same thing day in and day out. Maybe one day you decide to go for a walk or jog outside in nature, and the next day calls for a little yoga. Weights are great for building muscle and increasing your metabolism over time, but perhaps a little cardio kick-boxing the day after keeps your routine fresh and new.
As someone who has worked with many people, and who has tried many different methods of exercising, I can say one thing: the best exercise routine is one that you actually do! Everyone is different, and finding some sort of physical activity that you enjoy is better than making yourself do something you don’t like day after day!
That being said, I have worked with people who also cannot stand working out. In fact, some reject the very thought of it! The good news is that there are even exercise routines for people who don’t like to exercise!
Tip #2: Engage in physical activities instead of an exercise routine.
I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but if we replace “exercise routine” with “physical activity,” people feel a lot less resistant to the idea. Below are some ideas for physical activities, or as I like to call it, non-exercise exercise routines.
Non-exercise Exercise Routines
- Window Shopping
There is nothing like a little window shopping to relieve the stress of the day (the key here would be to leave your wallet at home so as not to create an imbalance in your finances). When a person enjoys looking at beautiful things or checking out new shops in their local community, it can be easy to pass the time while simultaneously burning calories. The best part is that your mind is not focusing on how boring walking around is, and is instead focused on this awesome little boutique furniture shop in the mall.
- Badminton, Squash, Playing Catch or Simply Kicking a Soccer Ball Around
You know how your kids bug you all the time to hang out with them? I actually really enjoy spending time with little ones, even if it is just kicking a soccer ball back and forth or playing Frisbee at the park. An hour of outdoor play doesn’t feel like a boring workout routine.
- Cleaning the House
OK, so this particular example doesn’t feel like fun, but many a calorie has been burned via use of a vacuum cleaner or by cleaning the windows. Instead of cleaning the house once a week, spend 20 minutes a day either scrubbing, dusting, sweeping or mopping. Aside from burning calories, it is easy to spend 20 minutes a day during the week cleaning. This means you get your Saturdays and Sundays back!
- Join a Weekly Martial Arts or Dance Class
Again, when you are having fun and doing something you love, it is easy to get caught up in the moment while moving your lymphatic system around. Drudgery and boredom with exercise routines become a thing of the past and, before you know it, you’ve dropped a pant size or two.
In summary, the two exercise tips from this blog are this:
- Don’t be afraid to change up your routine if it begins feeling a little monotonous.
- If exercise is NOT your best friend, choose to engage in some sort of physical activity or non-exercise exercise routine. Having fun may be your saving grace to finding a sustainable and long-lasting exercise routine for you and your family!
- Always look for a new challenge. I commend Sunlighten owner, Aaron Zack, who is gearing up for his Iron Man challenge later this year. The race to the finish line keeps him motivated every day!
Wishing you all the best!