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How to become more active

How to become more active

For some people the idea of exercising can often be thought of as torture. Many people just hate the idea or can’t be bothered or are just too lazy to want to get fit and healthy. However that doesn’t mean you should miss out.

In this article I will list ways to help those mentioned above become more active in their lives. You don’t need to spend hours a week running, buy elaborate equipment, use more energy than you can afford to to get some benefit for the least amount of time and effort. Who knows you might get to eventually like it and turn things the other way around?

Reasons you may not be very active

For some people who have done exercise in the traditional aerobic or HIIT way or took an exercise class, it may have been just too much for them and they then became disillusioned and simply quite. It doesn’t have to be that way to get a large majority of the benefits from just being more active by doing fun activities or useful work. If you don’t enjoy working out and exercising then you won’t stick to it for very long.

For others you may simply feel too tired after work, be short on time, have no motivation, don’t know where to start, not very organized or are simply just too lazy. Sometimes you just don’t feel like doing something, we have all been there, believe me.

However something is better than nothing and if you can do just a little then you may just get the many benefits that being more active can give and if you can be bothered you can read about those benefits here. If not just keep reading on.

Where to start

The reality is we all have time to become more active. Think how much time you spend watching TV, playing video games, sitting in front of the computer etc. You surely can find 30 minutes every other day or even just 10 minutes a day for example. It’s all about time management and becoming more motivated.

Set goals if you have a specific achievement in mind and become positive. As a side note, while setting goals can greatly help in giving you something to aim for and achieve, it doesn’t always work out for many, so don’t feel you need to do this.

Start slow and do small things, getting started is the first step. Don’t put it off until tomorrow as it will never come. Stop making excuses, but don’t do too much at the beginning otherwise the likelihood is you will burnout too quickly and quit.

Find activities to enjoy, if you are struggling to stay committed then you obviously won’t last long – see the following list of ideas below.

Tips and activity ideas for getting you more active

Following is a list of ideas in no particular order to help get you more active. Choose activities you feel fit into your life are you are likely to want to continue doing. As you get more active you may find your health and fitness levels encourage you to do more adventurous activities or sports for example.

  • Get organized and write down a daily plan of jobs to do. Create a tick list to follow. This greatly helps with organizing time management and getting stuff done.
  • Find inspiration on-line, find inspiring people and get motivated. But don’t try to emulate what they are doing, do everything at your own pace.
  • Use stairs as often as possible. In fact you could use them to do a bit of stair climbing as an exercise in itself.
  • Park further away from the shops or any destination and walk more, walk to the next bus stop down the road, get off the bus earlier. In fact just go for a walk and enjoy your surroundings. Walk when you are on the phone – just remember to watch where you are going and be safe.
  • Learn to get a proper night’s sleep.
  • Get a bicycle and get out and about. Go for a bike ride with the kids. Cycle to work or use a fold up bike and drive part way/use public transport and ride the rest of the way. If you find it too hard or live in a hilly area, try an ebike to assist you with your cycling instead of a regular bike if you prefer.
  • Sit on an exercise bike or walk/jog on a treadmill while watching TV.
  • Can’t concentrate during your favourite TV program? then be physically active during the adverts. Be creative, do some dancing, some exercises or simply walk about.
  • Join a workout class and make friends.
  • Join a help group such as a conservation/gardening group.
  • Get a friend or two involved in your activities to help encourage each other.
  • Find a charity event where you can get active or prepare for a charity run for example.
  • Get up on a regular basis if you sit for long periods of time.
  • Play with the kids in the garden or go to the park. Getting the kids active will help them in the long run and you get to spend some valuable time with them.
  • Stop looking at the clock when being active.
  • Get changed for a workout or activity. This simple act will help prepare you mentally and ease you into your physical activity.
  • Have a dance. Dancing to your favourite music also has positive effects on our mind.
  • Go for a swim, it’s easy on your joints and can be relaxing or as physical as you like.
  • If you want to exercise, choose just a handful of exercises and aim for a certain number such as 10 of each and then next time add one more rep to either one or all the exercises. Simple bodyweight exercises such as press ups, chair squats, lunges and crunches for example.
  • Be positive but also realistic. For example, don’t aim to run a marathon in a few weeks. Work your activity level up slowly.
  • Really pushed for time or dislike the idea of doing an activity for 30 minutes or more, then try doing 3 lots of 10 minute sessions throughout the day. Short workouts put less pressure on you. You can also create a list of different activities and choose which you like to do as it takes your fancy. For example 10 minute walk, 10 minutes of dancing, 10 minutes of cleaning, 10 minutes of exercise, 10 minutes of skipping, 10 minutes of hoovering etc. Try something different each time you want to get active, different activities, different exercises. This can help overcome the monotony many people find with exercise routines. If you are interested in getting to grip in a small way with working out why not checkout my abbreviated workout article.
  • Try combining cardio and resistance training by doing circuit training. This can save time trying to squeeze separate cardio sessions and resistance training in a weekly plan.
  • Still too busy to do anything? Do squats, crunches and press ups when you get up or when you go to bed, just a few minutes and your done.
  • If you don’t like doing something – stop doing it, as it’s not good for long term sustainability. Create a list of things you like to do from the list above or create your own ideas, be creative, but try to choose things to do that get you more active. As many of these are short or simply getting you more active, do as many of these activities as you can in a week certainly 3-5 things per week would be good, but there shouldn’t be a limit with these activities.
  • Treat yourself after working out. But don’t make it an excuse to eat or drink anything. Stick to things like a small piece of dark chocolate, a cup of nice coffee (home brewed and not the fat/sugar filled café bought stuff). Maybe you have a hobby, game or TV show you enjoy, do your physical activity first then have your treat.
  • Finally with the extra effort to become more active why not look into eating more healthily.