let's get up and get moving
One area of my life that I want to focus on improving this year is my health, including being more active. I know that my mind and body feel soooo good after I exercise, but in the constant tug-of-war of working out versus staying on the couch, I'll admit that the couch can win out more often that not. I'll share with you how I'm keeping myself motivated and keeping that New Year's resolution going strong!
GET OUT OF BED
This may sound silly and obvious, but I think we tend to overlook its significance: the first step to being active is to wake up and get up out of bed. The literal meaning has its own benefits; when I wake up and get up right away, instead of staying lying down and browsing through my phone, my brain is definitely more awake and alert. But perhaps in a more subtle way, I think this first step affects our entire attitude and posture. When life is stressful or I know that I have a long day ahead, the last thing I want to do is get out of bed and be confronted with reality. The days where I linger in bed are often the ones where I feel the most emotionally and physically drained. When I do get up and face the day head on, my entire outlook changes, I have way more energy, and I'm more likely to exercise.
LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD
Half the battle to working out is putting on the uniform, so to speak- it's easy to justify not exercising when you're still in pajamas or jeans! I feel so much more inclined to do something when I put on running shorts or leggings, a sports bra, and my running shoes, and I can tell there's an actual shift in my mindset when I'm wearing the part. When I feel confident in my attire, it causes my attitude towards exercising to be much more positive. One way to make dressing for working out simple is to wear workout sets, which make me feel effortlessly put together and ready to move. My absolute favorite workout set is from Everlane; you can choose from matching tops and bottoms, or mix it up for a fun color-blocking look that still remains neutral. I want my workout clothing to be comfortable, breathable, and sleek, and this set checks every one of those boxes.
SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING
When it comes to exercise, I live by the mantra that something is better than nothing. I know a lot of us are working from home right now and we're sitting more than ever, so it's crucial to stand up and move around, even if it's only in short bursts. This allows me to get into a better headspace and makes my workday much more productive! Stretching exercises and going on walks around the neighborhood (masked, of course!) are some of my favorite ways to get my body moving, especially if I'm short on time or simply don't feel like doing a strenuous workout that day.
KEEP IT CONSISTENT
Something I have learned about myself through navigating working from home is that I thrive on routines. Creating habits and daily practices gives my day structure and purpose, and I want exercising to mesh in with that framework. Whether it be early mornings, an afternoon pick-me-up, or in the evenings after a long work day, finding a time that best fits your schedule and keeping it consistent will make exercising more of a habit, and less of a chore. Another tip to improve consistency is to track your progress, whether it be in your planner, a calendar, or even by using your phone or smart watch. Visually seeing how much I've worked out over a course of time is both rewarding and encourages me to keep streaks going!
It's so important to dream big and at the same maintain realistic expectations of ourselves, which will make exercising less frustrating. If you haven't had a consistent exercise regime for some time, ease your way into it! For example, you could start out with 20-25 minutes per day of alternating walking and running, or following alongside a fun workout video, 2-3 days a week. As your body adjusts, you could gradually increase the time you spend working out and the amount of days- for example, from 20-25 minutes to 30-45 minutes, and 2-3 days to 4-5 days, whatever you're most comfortable with and aligns with your fitness goals! Ease your way into it, and you'll be setting yourself up for success.
I'd love to hear the strategies you are implementing to be a more active person this year! Let's help keep each other accountable and make our health a priority :)