Old habits die hard. Changing your habits is a process that involves several stages. Sometimes it takes a while before changes become new habits. And, you may face roadblocks along the way.
Making small changes in your day to day routines can make a huge difference to your lifestyle.
How can I make exercise a part of my regular routine?
- Make everyday activities more active. Even small changes can help. You can take the stairs instead of the lift. Walk down the hall to a colleagues office instead of sending an email. Wash the car yourself. Park further away from your destination.
- Be active with friends and family. Having a workout partner may make you more likely to enjoy exercise. You can also plan social activities that involve exercise. You might also consider joining an exercise group or class, such as a dance class, hiking club, or volleyball team.
- Keep track of your progress. Keeping a log of your activity or using a fitness tracker may help you set goals and stay motivated.
- Make exercise more fun. Try listening to music or watching TV while you exercise. Also, mix things up a little bit – if you stick with just one type of exercise, you might get bored. Try doing a combination of activities.
- Find activities that you can do even when the weather is bad. You can walk in a mall, climb stairs, or work out in a gym even if the weather stops you from exercising outside.
- Remind yourself why you want to be healthier. Perhaps you want the energy to play with your children or your nieces and nephews or to be able to carry your own shopping bags. Recall your reasons for making changes when slip-ups occur. Decide to take the first step to get back on track.
- Problem-solve to “outsmart” roadblocks. For example, plan to walk indoors, such as at a shopping centre, on days when bad weather keeps you from walking outside.
- Ask a friend or family member for help when you need it, and always try to plan ahead. For example, if you know that you will not have time to be physically active after work, go walking with a colleague at lunch or start your day with an exercise video.
- After reaching a goal or milestone, allow for a non-food reward such as new workout gear or a new workout device. Also consider posting a message on social media to share your success with friends and family.
- Choose rewards carefully. Although you should be proud of your progress, keep in mind that a high-calorie treat or a day off from your activity routine are not the best rewards to keep you healthy.
- Pat yourself on the back. When negative thoughts creep in, remind yourself how much good you are doing for your health by moving more and eating healthier.
For more information on our exercise referral program, contact a member of Team SF.