Living a sedentary life doesn’t promote good health, everyone knows that. But the lack of time to train shouldn’t be an excuse to give up on being active.
Even if you don’t train regularly, it is possible to have a more active life than the one you currently lead. Starting with small steps of daily activity and a better diet can help you gain motivation to start exercising more.
But where can you start?
Stay Active Every Day
If it is really difficult for you to take the first step, make it all about fun, and not about changing habits. For example, play your favorite music and start dancing. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks as you walk. Just start moving. You can explore your city or nearby parks on a bike. Bring a small lunchbox with you and reward yourself with a picnic when you get to your destination.
Make a tasty healthy meal for yourself. Choose foods that won’t make you sleepy and are easy to digest. Prepare a meal that will give you a lot of energy and won’t leave you feeling bloated.
Choose Exercises That You Like to Do
Walk with a friend. Take your bike and ride it to work or a friend’s house. Play with your children or pet. You can plan activities that the whole family can enjoy. Try hiking, swimming, or some sports. You can play basketball, football, tennis or any other sport with your family, friends, or at a sports club.
Have you tried dancing? That can be fun too, and useful.
Make Physical Activities Easy to Perform
Always choose comfortable sneakers. Walk before or after lunch. Get off the bus or subway before the stop or station you usually get off at and walk to your home or work. Clear your mind and relax while walking. Explore your city, neighborhood or park in the meantime.
Set Realistic Goals
For beginners, it is recommended to start the exercises with a ten-minute walk. Gradually increase the duration of the walk. Your goal is to reach an average of between 30 min and 45 min at the end of the first week.
With time, you will notice that you feel better and have more energy. You can add new activities when you feel you’re ready. For example, do a resistance workout two or three times a week.
Drink Plenty of Water
Consume water before, during and after physical activity. Drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty. The ideal is to drink eight glasses a day, which can include teas, milk, juices or energy drinks.
Take Pleasure in What You Do
Find activities that you enjoy and exercise that are not boring you. If that bothers you, try something new, like yoga, karate or tap dancing. If you go a few days without exercising, no problem, start all over again from the second step.
If you live a sedentary lifestyle, with little or no physical activity, start slowly. Begin with a few minutes of exercise in the first few days. As your body starts feeling fit, increase the intensity. But be careful, “listen” to your body and don’t overdo it.
Set a very small goal and try to overcome it every week. If you are not in the habit of walking and you do spend many hours sitting, start small. Try setting the goal of taking 100 steps (in addition to those you normally do) per day. Increase your goal every week. Remember that the ideal number of steps per day is 10,000.
Ignore elevators and escalators and go up the stairs whenever possible. For more heart and fitness benefits, run up the stairs, or do squats or with a water bottle in each hand. Instead of a lunch or dinner with friends, schedule a walk, a hike or a run. You can still have a light picnic together.
When you feel tired and stressed, instead of ‘drowning’ your sorrows in food, go for a walk along the river or sea. Spend some time in the middle of nature or the city, with loud music in your headphones, or play a meditation app.