We all know we should lead an active lifestyle. But knowing and doing are two different things. Especially when life is already filled with work, home, family and friends (and Netflix).
Here are some points to consider and simple ways to start adding more activity into your life.
Discover Your Why.
Simon Sinek defines your WHY as “the purpose, cause or belief that drives every one of us.”
Intellectually, we understand the health benefits of an active lifestyle. According to heart.org, “Regular activity may help lower your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers.”
Doing some activities also has mental benefits. Mental Health America points out that activity decreases stress, anger, and tension, and reduces anxiety and depression.
Discovering your “why” means finding out for yourself what matters most to you:
- I want to see my children grow up.
- I don’t want anyone to have to care for me.
- I want to be able to care for others.
- I want to walk my daughter down the wedding aisle.
There is no right or wrong “why.” But defining yours will bring clarity on why you want to live an active lifestyle – and motivate you when you feel like stopping.
Set a Goal.
No matter your fitness level, you can set a goal. Like your “why,” your goal can be anything that matters to you – as long as it has a clearly defined outcome.
For example, if you haven’t been active for a while, you can set the goal of, “I’m going to start walking every day for 10 minutes. In two months, I will be walking 30 minutes a day.”
It’s important to make sure your goals push you but are realistic. If you’ve never run a day in your life, saying you’re going to run a marathon in a month only sets yourself up for failure. According to Gaiam, “Set realistic goals that include clear milestones, and as you progress toward your goal, you’ll find a ripple effect occurs and things fall into place in your work, home life, and health”.
Make Small Tweaks.
Getting active doesn’t mean you have to join a gym or take part in the next 10K in your town. Instead, incorporate activity into your daily life:
- Catch up with friends on a walk instead of on the phone.
- Park your car as far away as possible from a store’s entrance so you have to walk farther.
- Hop off the bus or subway at an earlier stop and walk the rest of the way.
- Take a walk on your coffee break – and bring your coffee with you.
- Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator.
- Pace while talking on your phone.
Make Small Tweaks – and Save Money.
Rather than paying someone to do chores, you can do them yourself. Not only will you burn extra calories. You’ll save money in the process.
- Wash the car.
- Do yard work.
- Create a vegetable garden (and then eat the vegetables).
- Clean the house as quickly as you can.
- Use a basket instead of a shopping cart – you’ll be forced to buy only the essentials.
Make It Fun
Instead of simply “working out,” find an activity you enjoy – or try something new – and make that your vehicle for getting active. Not only will you have more fun exercising, you’ll also be more likely to stick with the activity if you enjoy it. You could:
- Take dance lessons.
- Even better, take dance lessons with a friend.
- Sign up as a dog walker (getting paid is fun).
- Try boxing or martial art.
- Lace-up and go ice skating.
- Feel like a kid again and get a bicycle.
- Get an exercise app.
Leading an active lifestyle is a choice. By committing to this choice you’re making a promise to yourself – and no one likes to break promises. Literally, write out your commitment: “I’m going to do x, y, and z every day.”
If you miss a day, don’t worry about it. The worst thing you can say is, “Well, I missed exercising today. I might as well stop.”
Instead, revisit your “why” and recommit to your plan – no matter how small you think it is. Ten minutes of exercise a day is better than no minutes.
As you lead a more active lifestyle, you may want to consider what you’re putting into your body as well. Try our Ekoa Fruit Bars, our plant-based, low sugar healthy energy bars, with only 100 calories and just three ingredients. They have no added sugar, no preservatives, and are vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free. Take our all-natural nutrition bar everywhere you go – fitting them perfectly into your new active lifestyle.