Following a fitness routine can be beneficial to your overall well-being because physical activity can help prevent disease, build self-esteem and serves as a great method for stress management. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is getting healthy and exercising regularly, but why wait until the new year to get started? Everyone can benefit from regular exercise, but getting started can be one of the hardest parts.
The health and fitness specialists at Cone Health recommend making SMART (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely) goals when beginning an exercise program. Understand where you are and create goals based on what works in your schedule and for your body. Set short-term goals, like first training for a 5K event, which will help support and build momentum toward your long-term goal of running a half marathon. Other, practical ways that can help you create a habit of exercising include:
* Do something fun – Finding physical activities that you enjoy will help you stay motivated and committed. Whether it’s Zumba, yoga or running, find what you like to do and do it!
* Plan for it – Set time in your schedule for it.
* Pick a time – Do you prefer working out in the morning or after work?
* Prepare – Lay out the clothing you plan to wear and have everything you take to the gym ready to go so you can get moving.
* Find accountability – It can be a friend or a personal trainer, but having someone who will encourage and motivate you can keep you on track.
Today’s biggest barrier to exercise is often time limitations. Luckily, when it comes to exercise, every little bit counts. When you don’t have time to spend an hour in a class or at the gym, find a 10-minute routine you can do at home. There are a variety of exercises that require little to no equipment, like wall sits, wall push-ups, standing crunches and jumping jacks. If you aren’t sure where to begin or would like more guidance on your workouts, contact a personal trainer. They can help you get started and make sure you’re practicing proper form to avoid injury.
Cone Health has an exceptional team of health care professionals dedicated to educating the community about fitness and how to safely incorporate it into their lifestyles.
Joni Garrett is a health fitness specialist with Cone Health. She received her Bachelor of Science in exercise sports science from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer.