Staying active can be tricky. If you’ve slacked off on your exercise routine, know that you’re not alone. Millions of people start exercising only to get off track. But there are steps you can take to get back, and stay on track.
I used to exercise in fits and stops when I was younger. I’d get into a workout routine and go like hell. But after a few months, I slacked off. Slowly, the amount of exercise I did decreased to zero. I’d get fat. Then I’d start over again. Does this sound familiar?
Over the years, I’ve discovered a few tricks that have helped me stay active. I can’t even remember the last time I slacked off.
The Secret To Staying Active Is Simple
- Choose simple forms of exercise: If your exercise program relies on a gym or expensive equipment, you’re much less likely to stick with it for the long haul. Gyms are out of the way. Memberships are costly. Instead, choose simple forms of exercise such as walking, running, and riding a bike. Good old pushups and crunches work, too.
- Don’t push too hard: Exercise takes time. When you push too hard, your routine eats up more of your schedule. You’ll reach a point where you feel overcommitted and you skip a day… or three. Pushing too hard can also lead to injuries. That can put you out for weeks, or even months.
- Embrace variety: This is why I haven’t slacked in years. I change it up. My core exercise is walking. Between my job, caring for my dog, and short walking trips to the store, I walk several miles a day. But I mix in running, biking, hiking, light weightlifting, jump roping, stretching, swimming, snowshoeing, and just plain old physical labor. This variety keeps me active all year long.
If You’ve Slacked, Read On And Get Motivated
Of course, as with anything in life, we need to ask ourselves some questions to discover our strengths and weaknesses. Lets get started:
- Why have I slacked from exercising? For me, injury, busyness, or sickness has usually been the cause for slacking. That’s why I’ve started exercising less, but still keep a regular schedule. It’s easier to stay with it.
- How can I restart? Start slow. Walking is my go-to exercise for restart. I had a hernia repair done last summer. I was back to walking a mile within a week. After a month, I was back to running a mile. But I didn’t push too much beyond these short, simple distances.
- But I’m not seeing any difference, so what’s the point? This was big when I was younger. I wanted to be athletically built. I was never satisfied with my physique. But it’s not the outside that’s important. It’s the inside: your heart, your lungs, your muscles and joints. Exercise for longevity, not to impress others.
It Only Takes Half An Hour A Day
No excuses. Getting adequate exercise only takes about half an hour a day, even if it’s in ten-minute segments, I’m sure you have half an hour to spare. In time, you can increase your routine to 50 minutes or an hour. I encourage you to start today!