This post is part 2 in a 4 part series about bringing healthy living back to basics by focusing on sleeping, eating, moving and relaxing well.
Last week I wrote about all my best tips to get a better sleep. Now we’re moving on to the oh-so-important topic of exercise! Everyone knows that exercise is important to health, but despite that, it’s a really common area to struggle!
I’ve been there. I get it.
My best strategies for times like these involve keeping thing super simple! I’m going to keep it brief today and jump right in.
Commit to micro-exercise
I didn’t make up this concept. I first heard it from Mel Robbins, but I don’t even know if she originated it. Basically, it means committing to such a tiny amount of exercise that you can’t possibly use the excuse “I don’t have time”.
For example: I am going to do 5 minutes of exercise every day, no matter what. That might include a minute each of lunges, squats, push-ups, forearm plank and crunches. That’s it.
You could do this during a commercial break for God’s sake. Set a timer on your phone, and do it.
Often times you’ll find that once you’ve started you’re able to do more than just 5 minutes! But if at the end of that time, you’re not feeling it, or you’ve got other important things to do, you’ve given yourself full permission to call it a day on the exercise front.
Housework is still exercise
This might not be a popular idea but you know what counts as exercise? Vacuuming, raking your leaves, running up and down the stairs with a laundry basket repeatedly.
If you simply can’t set aside dedicated time to do what we would traditionally think of as exercise, I can bet you have some physical type chores that need doing. By tackling these things you can then feel accomplished because you’ve just crossed two things off your list at once!
Make it fun!
There are two areas that come to mind when I think of making exercise fun.
Number one is the activity itself. You might absolutely hate going to the gym, but a hike with your dog in the sunshine doesn’t sound half bad. Or maybe you enjoy playing volleyball or swimming. Pick something that feels less like work and more like a nice break from the rest of your to do list.
The second thing is who you’re with when you’re doing the activity. A standard class at the gym becomes a whole lot more tolerable when you’re doing it with your best friend … and maybe grabbing coffee after. Not to mention that having an accountability partner makes you a whole lot more likely to actually show up.
Move your body. Period.
Some months ago I was really feeling in a rut when it came to exercise. I had very little motivation. It was cold and snowy out. And I would have much rather curled up on the couch and watched a movie with popcorn and hot chocolate.
So I told myself I would simply move my body every day. This did not need to be anything even remotely strenuous. I might just stretch or do some yoga poses while watching said movie. Or I might walk on my treadmill for 15 minutes, again while watching said movie.
Action breeds motivation, and not the other way around. Within a couple of weeks, I was feeling back in my groove and was able to start incorporating more vigorous types of exercise into my routine again.
So there you have it! I told you I was keeping it simple didn’t I?
Until next week …