Physical activity is one of the best ways to stay on top of your health. Even a small amount of exercise every week can improve cardiovascular health and flexibility, making life easier and -- if you stick to it -- longer lasting. Despite these perks (and many more), most people struggle to commit to their workout routine; things come up and the difficulty of finding your rhythm can discourage people before they have a chance to see the positive aspects involved. If you're ready to get off that couch and into a gym, for good this time, here are three things that may help you along.
- Don't be too hard on yourself. Commitment can be hard regardless of what it pertains too, but an exercise routine can make even the most positive people start to doubt their abilities. Remember that building a routine takes time, and that you shouldn't beat yourself up if it takes you several weeks to find your groove. Reward your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem to you, and before long you'll be crushing your fitness goals.
- Go at your own pace. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." When formulating an exercise plan, you need to focus on yourself, and yourself alone; start slow and start small to avoid becoming overwhelmed, and increase sessions or weights when you feel you're ready for them. Don't think about Johnny Big-Muscles or you'll find yourself giving up early in the game.
- Make it fun. The best way to ensure you will commit to a habit of any kind is to make the experience enjoyable. If you're having a good time, mistakes feel like learning opportunities rather than grand defeats. Find something you love, and sticking to it will be easier than you'd ever imagined.
Unfortunately, a staggering 28% of Americans are physically inactive -- this includes children above the age of six, who need to stay active in order to grow up healthy. Joining a gym or fitness center is one of the easiest ways to develop a workout habit; by offering strength training classes and a variety of equipment, you'll be surrounded by the tools you need to succeed and people who will support and encourage your health. It's time for you to face your fears; join a gym near you today.