Get More Exercise


How Can You Get More Exercise And Enjoy it?

I’d venture to guess that most of us need to get more exercise, at least more consistent exercise.  It is not secret that exercise is good for us in many ways.  We are always encouraged to get more exercise, but it isn’t always easy to do, for a variety of reasons, right?

We have all probably heard these common excuses.  Admittedly, I have even used some of them myself.

-Don’t have enough time.

This doesn’t work so much anymore. Experts tell us that we don’t necessarily need long drawn out workouts. Even short bursts of 5-15minutes spread out throughout your day can be very helpful, maybe even more so.

-Too tired after work or just too tired, period.

I do find it hard to take that step to exercise when I am tired. But if you can just start doing something, physical activity can help boost your energy as you get going. If you can put some type of physical activity regularly into your day, you help fight fatigue in the long term too.

-Bad knees, hips, ankles or ….

Health problems can be a challenge, but generally everyone can find some activity which is safe for them to do in their situation. If you have some health challenges, discuss this with your doctor and find some safe exercises you can do on a regular basis.

-Too fat to exercise.

If you are overweight, it can be hard to get started sometimes, but you can do it. Find something simple to get you started. Maybe it is taking a short walk, maybe doing some arm or leg lifts while sitting down or find a fun exercise game like some of those with the Wii game.

-It’s just too hard and I don’t like it.

I understand. I have sometimes felt this way for a variety of reasons. The trick is though to find something fun where you are thinking about exercising, but you are enjoying your activity.

-Exercise is boring.

Yes, sometimes certain exercises can be boring, but again, find some type of exercise that you do enjoy or do some exercise while you listen to music or watch television. It provides a little distraction.

-I don’t need it, I feel fine.

You may feel fine, but whether you need it or not, I don’t know. It depends on your current daily activity. Maybe you are already getting a lot of exercise in the course of your day. Maybe at your job, you do a lot of walking or maybe you run a jack hammer all day. Only you know whether you need more exercise or not, I’d venture to guess.

-and so on.

Time To Begin Getting More Exercise

As always, it is good to check in with your physician before starting an exercise program, particularly if you do have health concerns. It is very important to choose exercises that are suitable to your age, health status and mobility capabilities.


1. Start with warming up a little, not necessarily stretching, unless it is light stretches. You want to make sure your muscles are loosened up a little before stretching too hard. That being said, just a little movement will help to stretch and warm up those muscles, then you can do some deeper stretches, but still gently.


It is helpful to be warming up the muscles you are planning to workout. If you are going to be doing push ups or arm curls, then you want to lightly stretch or move your arms a bit. If it is running, then walking a little bit first.


2. Do your planned exercise activity. Then spend a little time winding down, so your body cools and your heart rate starts to return to normal. This could be walking or doing some light stretching again. If you are exercising a long stretch, then you may want to have some sips of water during the activity and certainly replacing fluids afterward.


3. Be attuned to how you feel. If you are exercising to the point of exhaustion, like feeling like you are going to pass out, that is too much. You’ll need to back off. If your body is telling you it is in pain, you need to stop or at the very least, slow down, depending on what’s going on.


Recommended Amount of Exercise 

It used to be that we were told we had to do these long drawn out workouts. Research has now shown though that 150 minutes a week of moderate activity is very beneficial. That equates to 30 minutes a day 5 days a week. But recent research has also shown that you don’t necessarily have to do 30 minutes in one stretch. They have actually found that short bursts of exercise can have the same beneficial effect, so maybe split that up to two 15 minute sessions or even three 10 minute sessions. That helps for those with the excuse of no time.


How Do You Know What’s Considered A Moderate Activity or Exercise?

When you are engaged in a moderate activity level, you’ll feel warmer, but you won’t be dripping sweat. That would be classified as heavy exercise. When doing moderate activity, you will be breathing harder. Not so hard you can’t talk to someone, but hard enough that you wouldn’t want to sing a tune.


Get More Exercise and Enjoy Doing It


1. Enjoyment: Find something you enjoy that fits into your lifestyle and health status.


2. Start Slow: Don’t go from no exercise to exercising for 2 hours. Start at a level that fits where you are at. If you are active and pretty in shape, you can maybe start exercising for a longer duration from the get-go, but generally, it is still better to start slow. Sort of work into it. The goal is to build up a habit, which takes at least 21 days, sometimes longer.


3. Triggers: Part of making a habit is finding triggers that cause you to just start doing the exercise automatically. Maybe it is seeing the dog leash by the front door in the morning, so you take your dogs for a walk. Maybe it is an alarm you set on your phone for a particular time of day. Think of what make exercising automatic for you and implement it. Tweak it as you go if some trigger works better for you.


4. Schedule it. Michael Hyatt says if it is scheduled, it doesn’t get done. That is often true. If that will help you, put it on your schedule. You can use your phone alarm or other alarm to ring at that time as another reminder.


5. Reward yourself: You can add a reward to yourself for after you have accomplished your exercise goal for that the day.


Got To Be Some Exercises That Bring Some Enjoyment


What exercise you do will depend on your interests, resources and lifestyle. If you like the equipment you can find at the gym or the weather is nasty, then having a gym membership might be the way to go. If you enjoy exercise that takes you outdoors, then it could be something else. There are numerous sports activities that you may like. Kayaking, hiking, skating and the list goes on. It could be taking dance classes, pilates or yoga. It cold be simply taking the dog for a brisk walk. They need exercise too.


Do you like to exercise alone or with family, friends or co-workers? Sometimes having a partner in the exercise game can help. You can even join a basketball team or maybe a water aerobics class.


Talking about triggers or reminders to exercise, how about doing short bursts of exercise during commercials during your television show. Research shows short bursts of activity can be just as effective as one long stretch.


get more exercise for your dogBe sure to include your dog when you can. They will love it. If the exercise you choose doesn’t include them, make sure you also take them on walks. If the thought of walking a dog sounds like a good activity, but you can’t or don’t want to own a dog, the shelters always need volunteer dog walkers.


There are also lots of exercise videos to fit your interest and fitness level. There are also interactive games on the Wii that can be quite rigorous.


Give it some thought and find something that you will enjoy doing consistency, then go at it. If you lose interest in that, try something else until you find what floats your boat. Don’t have to stick with one thing either. It could be the Wii game 3 days a week, kayaking one day and taking a hike another. Just find what works for you. Once you develop the habit of being active, it will just become part of your lifestyle. Then exercise shouldn’t be so hard to do.


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