Stepping Up Your Exercise Game

How’s it going with this past New Years resolutions for regular exercise? Are you like most who get derailed by February? Are you finding it hard to motivate yourself to exercise or having difficulty fitting it into your schedule?

We all know exercise is important yet we find ourselves putting it on the back-burner.

So how do you get yourself moving? Where do you find the motivation?

1) The facts

Regular Exercise

  •  Increases metabolism and calorie burning for 24 hours post exercise
  • Releases endorphins, a chemical in your brain that makes you feel happier
  • Prevents type 2 diabetes and lowers insulin resistance
  • Improves REM (rapid eye movement) sleep- the deepest part of your sleep that is important for mental health
  • Decreases risk of heart disease and sudden death
  • Decreases physical and psychological stress
  • Increases life expectancy

2) How much exercise do you need?

The USDA recommends adults between the ages of 18-64 exercise for at least 20 minutes per day. Like eating it’s not an all or nothing mentality. Every movement or activity counts so whatever makes you move bring it on!

Breaking down the workout walls

  • Find a workout buddy to help keep you company and accountable
  • Take an exercise class or consider a trainer
  • Prepare your clothes and running shoes the night before
  • If the gym is not your thing, find something you love, and schedule it into your routine
  • Fun options may help such as dance classes, hiking, swimming, yoga, or Pilates.

3) Getting motivated

Since knowledge of the benefits of exercise may not improve consistent activity, how can you find the internal motivation?

Have a conversation with yourself. When you have been successful at exercising in the past what worked for you? Looking for internal motivation and change is individual so think about what worked for you in the past, what type of exercise you enjoy and build upon that foundation.

There may never be a great or right time but finding the right exercise you enjoy and sticking to it is key. The rewards of starting a program now can save holiday weight gain and make your lifestyle New Year’s resolution list shorter, and your clothes options list longer.

This blog was co-written by Susan Dopart and RD intern Farah Alrajaan