Seven ways to make physical activity a daily priority

Including physical activity into our day can be a struggle for many of us. Work or other commitments may take up a large portion of our time and at the end of the day it’s hard to generate the energy or motivation required for exercise. There are however some simple ways to help ensure that physical activity remains a daily priority.

1. Make exercise an appointment:

Just like you would with a doctor’s appointment, schedule exercise into your diary and if something comes up respond “sorry I have an appointment then”. After all, you exercise to ensure good health, just like you visit your doctor as part of looking after your health, so why treat these “appointments” any differently!

2. Exercise in the morning:

By going to an early gym class or on a morning walk you can ensure that you’ve accomplished your daily exercise before the other demands of the day start to take up your time and energy.

3. Cater to your own likes & dislikes:

It’s easy to find excuses to NOT do something we don’t like doing; so find something you do like and that fits with your lifestyle, personality and taste. Remember, it’s okay to experiment with different activities to find the one that fits you best!

4. Make it social:

Incorporate active get-togethers with family and friends. Take a dance class together, ride your bikes to the park or take a walk along the beach. You’ll keep your fitness routine from getting stale, and discover ways to build regular exercise into your relationships.

5. Boost activity throughout the day:

Think about opportunities over the day where you can boost your activity levels. Walk instead of driving short distances; park further away, or get off a bus stop or two before your destination; take the stairs rather than the elevator; do strength exercises during the ad breaks.

6. Work out efficiently:

Choose a workout you can do anywhere, with little preparation or equipment needed. You want to accomplish as much as possible in as short a time as possible. Body weight exercises and interval style sessions would be efficient exercise choices!

7. Set a goal, track your progress and reward yourself:

Setting a goal can help keep your exercise routine on track, for example if your goal is to compete in the city to surf then you’re going to need to train in order to be successful. Once you have set your goal, put an exercise plan in place to help you work towards it. And don’t forget to give yourself a reward (like a weekend away) for achieving your goal!

You don’t need to be an athlete, you just need to move a little more than you did yesterday.

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