The new year is a great time to renew commitments to healthy habits and establish new health goals. One of the best ways to enhance your health and well-being is by adding physical activity to your day by starting to exercise or exercising a little more than you already are.
There are many great reasons to start exercising – from improving energy, mood, sleep, and health to reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. Despite your best intentions to make exercise a part of everyday life, it is easy to lose sight of your goals and fall back into old habits and unhealthy patterns.
Here are some practical strategies to help you stay on track, keep yourself motivated, and boost your chances of success throughout January and beyond.
- Choose activities you enjoy. Pick a start date that fits your schedule and gives you enough time to begin your program. Walking is a great way to get started!
- Try to exercise at the same time each day so it becomes a regular part of your lifestyle.
- Start slowly — don’t overdo it! Work your way up to more physically challenging activities.
- Move your way! Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise each week. Add muscle-strengthening exercises at least 2 days a week.
- Have a support system. Get your family involved. Ask a friend to start a program with you for motivation and mutual encouragement.
- Track your progress. Note the days you exercise and write down the distance or length of time of your workout and how you feel after each session.
- If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. Plan a make-up day. Remind yourself of the reasons you started. Also, think about how far you’ve come and the benefits you will receive.
- Drink water or healthier drink options before, during, and after each exercise session.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
Remember, small positive changes can make a big difference. With consistency and practice, old habits will gradually be replaced with a set of new daily rituals, leading to a healthier, happier you.
Always consult with your physician or health professional to learn how to exercise appropriately for your age, fitness level, skill level, and health status. For more information on employee resources, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.