Three Steps to Exercise

Start Exercise

You’ve likely heard and read one too many times that you should be exercising regularly. Like eating better, it’s something we all know we should do but struggle to start. Maybe you had an unpleasant experience that turned you off from gyms or group fitness; maybe you equate exercise with running and hate the thought; or maybe you just can’t possibly figure out when you could squeeze this whole exercise thing in. Here’s the good news: Getting started isn’t as complicated as you might be making it. And the better news: Starting is harder than continuing.

Here are three steps to start and stick with exercise.

  1. Find Your Why: Why do you feel like you need to exercise? Is it health? Is it for community? Is it to change your appearance? All or some of the above? Knowing why you want to start something is important. It’s what keeps you motivated to continue in the moments you want to stop. And you will have those moments. We all do.
  2. Find Your Jam: You don’t have to do any form of exercise you don’t enjoy. There are a plethora of ways to get your body moving. Cardio exercises other than running include: Zumba, cycling/spin, rowing, and aerobics. Muscle strengthening exercises other than weight training include: body-weight movements and resistance bands. Find the activity(ies) that you enjoy. You’ll be more likely to continue if you do what you love.
  3. Find your nooks & crannies: Look at your calendar for the week or day ahead. Where can you sneak in the time to exercise? Maybe you have a full 30 minutes. Maybe three pockets of 10. Figure out what you can commit to and treat it like a commitment to yourself and your loved ones. Taking care of yourself is self-care. It’s also keeping you mentally and physically healthy enough to care for others.

Finally, remember that you eat the elephant one bite at a time. Start with small, manageable goals. Once those goals become habits, add to them. That’s how you make lasting lifestyle changes.

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