3 easy ways to get active — right now – Harvard Health Blog
New year, new you? Forget the mindset that January 1 is the only time to restart your commitment to being active. Do not wait. Start today, now. Exercising is often the best way to overcome mental or emotional barriers. Or, as the famous slogan reminds us, “Just do it”.
Still not sold? Try this: You don’t have to adopt a complex training program or a strict exercise regimen. Instead, start small and focus on making regular activity a daily habit.
Three easy ways to add activity to your day
Here are three strategies you can adopt to get active and help build discipline and confidence. Try one for a week or two, then evaluate. Not your thing? Make one of the others, or mix and match.
1. Do a five out of five workout. If the traditional 30-minute workout sounds too intimidating, fear not. You can do a great all-around workout in just five minutes. Here’s how: Do each of the following four exercises for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then repeat to complete one minute. (Repeat any exercise for your last round.) For a challenge, do each exercise once for 50 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. You’ll be sweaty and energized in no time.
- Star jumps: This exercise increases your heart rate, helps warm the body, and builds strength in the lower body.
- Aerial squats: Squats strengthen the muscles of the legs and hips. Squat either in a shoulder-width position with your feet pointed straight ahead, or a wider position where your feet are further apart than your shoulders and pointed outward at a 45 ° angle. (A wider stance is often easier because you don’t have to squat that far.)
- Push ups: This works the shoulders, triceps and chest at the same time. If you can’t do traditional push-ups, do them on your knees or against the wall.
- Board: This movement works your entire core and lower back. Make sure to keep your back straight and not to lift or dip your hips. If this is too difficult, hold the plank position on your knees.
2. Add activity to daily routines. You have to complete specific tasks each day, so use those times to squeeze in a movement. For example, walk around your neighborhood for 10 to 20 minutes after lunch or dinner; make your age in push-ups or sit-ups as soon as you wake up; make boards for 20 to 30 seconds while waiting for your coffee to brew.
3. Put fitness in full view. Visual cues help keep exercise front and center. For example, park your bike in full view where you will see it regularly. Place your running shoes by the front door and store the dumbbells outside the bathroom or kitchen. Or dress for success – in workout clothes, that is – whenever you can.
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