With the holidays approaching ever more quickly, many of us will commit to exercise and a proper diet for our New Year's resolution. Yet how many of us will follow through? Perhaps the most difficult aspect of exercise is mustering the motivation to exercise in the first place. Once exercise becomes habit, other details fall into place.
The first step in making exercise a habit is to schedule a day and time to exercise. Do not go overboard in making such a plan. Promising to work out for two hours sounds rewarding in theory, but for those of us who see the inside of a restaurant far more than the inside of a gym, the challenge will likely prove too daunting. Instead, commit to 20 or 30 minutes of an exercise that sounds appealing. Go for a brisk walk or a jog, perform sit-ups or push-ups in front of the television, or visit a local gym and use its treadmill or an exercise bike.
The first days or weeks of exercising are usually the hardest. Keeping up the routine can prove just as difficult. Fitness experts recommend 20 to 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week. Keeping your work and day-to-day responsibilities in mind, start slow by penciling in at least three dedicated exercise days a week. At each scheduled time, visit the gym, go for a run, or perform some other routine. On off days, stay active by doing something such as taking a walk after dinner or parking far away from work or shopping centers and walking to the entrance.
Above all else, keep exercise fun. Seek exercise routines and equipment that appeal to your interests. If the treadmill is not working, try an elliptical, or invest in a bicycle to spend time outdoors while exercising. Better yet, gather with friends and colleagues to play a fun sport like basketball. Reward yourself at the end of each week of exercise by indulging in something you enjoy, such as a favorite snack, and resist the urge to indulge before then. In this way, you can train yourself to view treats as a reward for hard work.
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