Ten easy steps to make exercise a daily habit

Whether you are looking for motivation to start exercising, or are interested in changing your current routine, here are 10 tips for making exercise a habit.

Whether you are looking for motivation to start exercising, or are interested in changing your current routine, here are 10 tips for making exercise a habit.

Piece your workout together. You don’t need to get all your exercise at ago. Ten minutes morning, noon, and night can give much of the same benefit as 30 minutes all at once.

Exercise with a friend. Finding a workout partner can help keep you on track and motivate you to get out the door.

Keep it brisk. When you walk, make it brisk, since this may help control weight better than walking at a leisurely pace. What is brisk enough? Walk as though you are meeting someone for lunch and you are a little late.

Move your feet before you eat. Hit the gym or go for a 20-minute walk with coworkers, and have lunch afterward.

Try a pedometer. Step-counters (pedometers) are an easy, inexpensive way to motivate yourself to be active. Work up to 10,000 steps per day.

Turn off TV, computer, phone. Cutting back on screen time is a great way to curb your “sit time.” Move around instead, by visiting the gym or even cleaning the house.

Turn sit time into fit time. Try to combine cardiovascular exercise with a sedentary activity that you already do. For example, try doing simple exercises while watching TV, or set a reminder at work to get up and walk between work.

Sign up for a class. Check out the fitness course schedule at your local gym or community centre, or the dance or yoga class schedule at a nearby studio. You may find that having the structure of a class helps you learn a new activity and keeps you on track.

Plan exercise into your day. Set aside a specific time in your schedule to exercise and put it in your planner.

Reward yourself. Set short-term goals and reward yourself for achieving them. Try targeting a specific event, such as a road race or a walk-for-charity.

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