Does exercise just seem too hard? Trick yourself into making it easier with exercise physiologist Caitlin Reid’s easy tips.
‘Sneak’ more exercise into your day
It makes sense that the more comfortable your shoes are, the more likely you are to get up and move around – even if it’s just a walk to the kitchen or office printer. Wear a comfortable pair of sneakers as often as possible – and keep those shoes with less support, like stilettos, for special occasions.
Set yourself goals
Don’t roll your eyes – it sounds obvious, but how many of us actually do this (and do it properly)? To reap the benefits, goals should be specific, realistic and achievable. Write them down so you’re accountable and can track your progress. And reward yourself when you achieve them!
Buy a waterproof mp3 player
Swimming is a fantastic, lowimpact, whole-body workout, but many of us shy away from the idea of staring at that lone black line lap, after lap, after lap. If this sounds like you, a waterproof mp3 player could be the solution. Load it up with upbeat tunes, strap it to your arm or cossie and jump in!
Listen and learn
Jump online and download an e-book to your ipod. But only listen when you’re out walking or running. You’ll want to keep listening to find out what happens next, so you’ll be more motivated to keep moving!
Change your pyjamas
Wear your workout gear to bed! Sleep in a comfy pair of shorts or trackies and a t-shirt so you have one less excuse the following morning. It makes it easier to get up and move.
Just do 10 minutes
You know what they say – it all adds up. And it’s true! Plus, once you do the first 10 minutes, you might find yourself doing 10 minutes more. And another 10. And another…
If you’re an early riser, try exercising first thing in the morning. Life will be less likely get in the way of your plans and you’ll put yourself in a ‘healthy’ mind frame for the rest of the day.
Walk the kids to school
Get a little more family togetherness into your day by walking the kids to school. If school isn’t close by, get the family involved in other ways – take them to the park, go for a family walk or walk the dog together each afternoon. Two birds, one stone!
Reduce your pain levels
…by partnering up with a friend. Research shows that exercising with a mate doubles your tolerance for pain, meaning you’re more likely to work harder. Plus, they’re great motivators for sticking to your workouts.
Exercise on Mondays
Research shows we’re most likely to fall off the healthy bandwagon later in the week. Take advantage of that ‘fresh start’ mentality we often have on Mondays and allocate some time to exercise.
Plan your weekend
Many studies have found that we eat and behave differently on the weekends – usually to the detriment of our health. Weekends should be a time to rest and relax, but they should also include some activity – especially if you plan to log some time on the couch. Commit to one exercise session, or rope someone into trying out a new sport or activity with you. It could be as simple as a new walking track, or as challenging as a trapeze lesson!
Utilise your work day
A lot of us spend our workdays sitting down. Be creative and find ways to boost your activity levels – volunteer to do a coffee run; walk over to talk to a colleague, instead of emailing; sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair or take a 10-minute walk around the block.
Try the elliptical machine
If you go to the gym, give the elliptical machine (also known as the ‘cross-trainer’) a go. You can exercise as gently or as vigorously as you like and, unlike the treadmill, it’s low-impact.
Really can’t exercise today?
Don’t worry – you can still actively burn kilojoules simply by moving – that includes walking to the office printer, spring cleaning the bathroom or just cooking dinner. Research has even shown that being fidgety is linked to weighing less! If you really can’t fit an hour of exercise into your day, at least aim to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting by 1 hour. You’ll boost your daily energy expenditure by 588kJ – and be ready to get back on the exercise bandwagon tomorrow.