To maximize our overall well-being and health, it’s important to eat well and exercise. One really can’t be without the other. Eating all the kale in the world is just not going to make you “healthy” if you don’t get your body moving as well. Regular exercise has benefits that go hand in hand with a balanced diet, ranging from weight control, better sleep, increased energy, reduction of inflammation, decreased stress levels and improved cognitive function.
When building a personalized exercise program, consider the following to find one you will enjoy and stay committed to it!
Think of what you enjoyed doing as a child.
What physical activities did you see as “fun” back then? Running, gymnastics, dance, sports? This might give you a hint as to what type of exercise you’ll want to revisit that would motivate you to get moving.
What time of day do you feel most energetic?
Are you a morning person or does your energy soar at the end of the day? Notice how your body responds to different types of movement. Identifying an ideal time you are ready and willing to exercise helps decide when exercise should be scheduled in your day.
Identify your exercise goal.
Are you looking for a workout that will shred calories? Ease your mind? Reduce stress? Help you become more flexible? Investigate types of exercise programs that will help you meet these goals. Hold yourself accountable to your exercise commitments by monitoring your progress towards this goal. Enlist a family member, friend or trainer to help you stay focused. Go further and use tech to your advantage; there are numerous apps available to help support your exercise journey as well.
Keep movement at the top of your mind, everyday. Take the stairs, walk an extra block by getting off transit one stop before yours, make a coffee date with a friend a walk instead. Go to the park with your kids. Even the smallest amounts of movements can add up to your overall daily activity.
Developing a regular exercise program to suit your particular body type and lifestyle will have numerous rewards. Start small. Listen to your body about what kind of movement it desires. Make exercise a daily habit and scheduling it in your calendar to make sure it gets done just like your commitment to your job, friends or family! Most of all, find exercise you like and have fun doing it!
How are you choosing to move today?
Publisher’s Note: Marina Mason is Yoga Alliance Certified Instructor and an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.