Spring is all about fresh starts. Nature gets to start over — flowers bloom and trees bud — and so do we! If you’ve never exercised regularly before or if you have but are out of the habit, now is a great time to reboot. Here are some tips for getting started, which is the hardest part.
1. Choose something you like. It sounds obvious, but many people think that exercise has to involve the gym and spandex. Not true! Walking, dancing, biking, rollerblading are examples of exercise you can do right at or from home in sweats and a T-shirt.
2. Make it your goal to simply create the habit. For now, don’t think about losing weight or even getting healthy. Just create the habit. It takes 4 to 6 weeks to form a habit, so commit to doing it for 6 weeks. On days when you don’t feel like it, promise yourself that you can revisit the whole idea at the end of those 6 weeks, but for now you still have to do it.
3. Choose your exercise timeslot wisely. That means choose the time that’s least likely to compete with other your other priorities. Take an honest look at your weekly schedule and see where exercise really could fit. Pick a time, block it on your calendar and think of it as “attendance required, not optional.”
4. Show up — even if it’s just for 10 minutes. There will be days you don’t want to exercise. On those days, tell yourself you only have to do it for 10 minutes. Since getting going is the hardest part, chances are good that after those 10 minutes, you’ll be up for the rest of your workout.
5. Give yourself some credit. If you showed up, even for 10 minutes, acknowledge your effort. You got up off the couch! You’re taking steps in the right direction and if you keep taking them, you’ll get to a healthier, more energetic you sooner than you think.