Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health.
However, working it into your routine and sticking with it can take some determination and discipline.
Certain strategies can help you keep it up.
If you exercise regularly, you’ll begin to see and feel the benefits it can have on your body and well-being quickly.
If you’re considering starting to exercise but don’t know where to begin, this article is for you.
Here’s all you need to know about starting a routine and sticking to it.
Regular exercise has been shown to improve your health significantly.
Its primary benefits include helping you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight and muscle mass and reducing your risk for chronic diseases.
Additionally, research has shown that exercise can lift your mood, boost your mental health, help you sleep better, and even enhance your sex life.
And that’s not all.
It can also help you maintain good energy levels.
In short, exercise is powerful and can help improve your life.
Check your health
It’s important to consult your healthcare provider and get a physical medical examination before starting an exercise routine.
This is particularly important for those new to strenuous and vigorous physical activities.
An early check-up can detect any health problems or conditions that could put you at risk for an injury during exercise.
It can also help you optimise your work-out, making it easier for you and your personal trainer, if you choose to work with one, to understand your limitations and create an exercise plan tailored to your particular needs.
Make a plan and set realistic goals
Once you decide to start exercising regularly, try to create a plan that includes attainable steps and goals.
One way to do this is to start with a plan of easy steps to follow.
Then you can continue building on it as your fitness level improves.
For example, if your goal is to finish a 5-kilometer run, you can start by building a plan that includes shorter runs.
Once you can finish those short runs, increase the distance until you can run the whole 5 kilometers in one session.
Starting with small achievable goals will increase your chances of success and keep you motivated every step of the way.
Make it a habit
Another key component of exercise success is to stick to your routine.
It seems to be easier for people to maintain an exercise routine in the long term if they make it a habit and do it regularly.
A review of studies concluded that replacing an unhealthy behavior with a new healthier habit is an excellent approach to maintaining it in the long term.
Furthermore, making a schedule or exercising at the same time every day are good ways to sustain your routine and make it last.
For example, you can make exercise a habit by planning to work out right after work every day or first thing in the morning. It’s important to choose a time that works best for you.
One week sample exercise program
Below is an easy-to-follow, one-week exercise program that doesn’t require equipment and will only take you 30–45 minutes a day to complete.
This program can be adjusted to your fitness level and made as challenging as you want.
Monday: 40-minute moderate-pace jog or brisk walk.
Tuesday: Rest day.
Wednesday: Walk briskly for 10 minutes.
Then, complete the following circuits, resting 1 minute after each set but not between exercises.
Circuit #1: 3 sets alternating 10 lunges for each leg, 10 pushups, 10 sit-ups
Circuit #2: 3 sets alternating 10 chair-dips, 10 jumping jacks, 10 air squats
Thursday: Rest day.
Friday: 30-minute bike ride or moderate-pace jog.
Saturday: Rest day.
Sunday: Run, jog, or take a long walk for 40 minutes.