Knowing that exercise is good for our health, mood and body is one thing. But actually turning that into a regular routine can be tricky. With work, children, and friends all standing between us and getting a sweat on, finding the time can sometimes feel like an impossible obstacle to overcome. And the time when your motivation matches up with the free slot in your diary can sometimes be rarer than hen’s teeth.
So whether you need lifting out of a slump or simply a little extra incentive to train, our dietitians are on hand with some helpful hints to help you build the habit of exercise into your daily routine.
And as with all habits that you form, sometimes baby steps (or as we call them ‘snack-size’ workouts) are a great way to kick things off.
Give our tips a try and I promise after a week or so you’ll feel physically and mentally fitter – and if you nurture this habit week on week, before you know it your body will crave exercise and you’ll miss it if you skip too many session.
Give it a go and let me know how you get on @louiseparkermethod
RESHMA (Lead Dietitian @ Walton Street)
- Only do what you really enjoy. Start with increasing steps and using the stairs more. Set small daily goals like climb the stairs 15 – 20 times today and build on this weekly
- You don’t always have to be motivated but you do need to build the habit. Always have a minimum that you will do to make you feel like you have achieved the goal.
- Get the support you need to help you build the habit and feel motivated. Some one to work out with, a PT or simply your fav youtube workout video
ARIANA (Dietitian @ Walton Street and trained yoga teacher)
- Get a fab new workout outfit to feel fierce!
- Find something you love doing! Whether it be dance, kickboxing, running, pilates – you name it! Having an open mind to be on the lookout for something you really ENJOY vs. feeling like its a chore.
- Set realistic goals – don’t overwhelm yourself with 5 exercise days/wk unless it’s realistic
- Find a friend you can buddy-up with to get motivated to at least START, and then set ongoing challenges with
CASSIE (Dietitian @ Walton Street and qualified Pilates instructor)
- Make it fun – a killer music playlist will always help!
- Build exercise into your weekend activities (swimming, bike riding, tennis, rock climbing etc. Exercise does not have to be structured and at a gym)
- Catch up with your friends by going for a walk (instead of meeting at the pub!)
NICOLA (Dietitian @ Walton Street)
- If you actually hate training or exercising, then don’t force yourself to exerise! Rather change your language to being less sedentary or moving more as the energy ypou burn doing this (technically called non-exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT) is really important.
- If you feel stuck and don’t know where to start, then a bit of a brain storming approach or a trial and error approach can be helpful. Sign up for a class or try a new workout. Just because you’ve made a decision to try one form of exercise does not mean you are committed to it. You can change their mind and try something else.
- Sometimes, exercising for exercising sake does not appeal so change the outcome or goal that appeals more e.g. being more social/meeting new people or spending more time outside etc. Then the pathway to achieve success becomes a form of exercise e.g. taking up a new sport/ playing tennis/ joining a group class of some sort or exploring walking routes/ parks in their local area etc.
Also never forget the benefit of planning. Putting it in the diary ideally in pen and showing up to do it much like you do for a doctor’s appointment or a meeting at work.
LYDIA (Dietitian @ Walton Street)
- Brainstorm your motivators for exercise or know your “why”. Whether it’s body shape/size, health, wellbeing, confidence, to be able to keep up running around after your children…. Then build on this by visualising how you’ll feel and what it will mean in terms of your core values after accomplishing your goal.
- Start with achievable, realistic ‘baby steps’ – whatever that means to you, even if it’s trying on your trainers one day, then a walk around town the next, building up gradually. Even the smallest positive action can inspires motivation for more progress.
- Make it fun and enjoyable, in a place and with people you love. Tink about what you love doing; walking or running being outside in a park with a friend, swimming / playing tennis with family. Make it something to look forward to.
### An extract from this article was published in the Huffington Post here.