Exercise can help reduce symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and depression. Reap the mental health benefits of exercise!
Here are 10 tips to help get you started with exercise - if you're already exercising regularly, these tips can help keep you motivated!
I realize that ability levels, time constraints, and interests regarding exercise vary, so I've tried to include something for everyone. Of this list, pick your top 3-5 favorite to help you get your exercise to an optimal level:
⭐ Exercise first thing in the morning. There are a few reasons why this works best- you have the most energy in the morning and if, you wait until the afternoon or evening, you might not get around to it. Something else will come up that distracts you from the plan of exercise. Sometimes gyms are less crowded before the workday than after. Exercising in the morning is actually something I started doing recently and it makes a huge difference! You also start your day with an energy boost having exercised, and a sense of accomplishment.
⭐ Exercise with a friend. This can make exercise more fun, but it also creates accountability. If you're meeting a friend at the gym or for a walk, you're less likely to back out because they're depending on you.
⭐ Hire a trainer. This is also great for accountability and getting on a set workout plan. It can also help a beginner learn the right techniques to maximize the exercise experience.
⭐ Do things you love. I mentioned this in the last email too, but it doesn't hurt to repeat. If you can't stand running, then deciding to train for a 5K or a marathon might be a set up for failure. There are so many ways to exercise- hiking, walking, biking, yoga, skiing, playing sports, group fitness, machines at a gym, Pilates, running, swimming, and more. Make a list of activities you like, and work those in to your exercise plan.
⭐ Exercise with your significant other. If you're in a relationship, exercising with your partner can help to enhance your connection. In fact, I often suggest to my couples clients, that they try to get outside and exercise together (usually a walk will suffice) at least twice a week.
⭐ Write down your exercise goals. Research shows that people are 40% more likely to achieve their goals, simply by writing them down. Make a list of short-term and long-term goals; revisit them every week to stay on track. The more specific the goals, the better!
⭐ Talk to your doctor. Of course, whenever starting a workout routine, it's good to have an evaluation and conversation with your doctor about your health and exercise plan.
⭐ Stretch. Make a habit out of stretching everyday. Stretching is a great way to keep your exercise routine front of mind, even on the days you don't exercise. Plus, there are mental health benefits from stretching since it promotes relaxation and stress relief. It will also increase the benefits of the exercise you are doing, and make you less prone to injury.
⭐ Plan a day to rest. When you write down your plan and goals, remember to plan in a day or two to rest during the week. Exercising everyday is not necessary to have optimal benefits, and planning a rest day is great for your body and mind.
⭐ Make a short list of exercises you can do from anywhere. Having time and access to a gym can certainly make it easier to engage in your exercise routine, but what about the days you're on the road, working late, home all day with your kids, or snowed in? There are still great exercises you can do, no matter what the circumstances. These include sit ups, push ups, lunges, jumping jacks or running up and down the stairs. Make a good list of things you like to do from almost anywhere, and keep it on hand for when hitting the gym or getting outside for exercise is not an option.
Enjoy all of the amazing benefits of exercise. Some days will be harder than others, but it's always worth it. 😊
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