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Top ways to start doing exercise

You do not have to become an athlete overnight to make exercise a part of your lifestyle. It is actually better if you commit to making small changes in your daily routine instead of reinventing yourself overnight, because you are more likely to stick with it.

Develop an agile mindset

Carving out a specific hour of a day for a workout is great but first, start each day with the mindset to move more. By reminding your body to get more movement throughout the day, you will be more likely to do it. So sit less and stand more. Take more steps and stairs. Walk to talk with a coworker instead of emailing them. Stretch in your chair, squat to pick something up, park far away from stores so you will walk more, stand up when you talk on the phone and do some exercises while you watch TV. There are numerous ways you can sneak more movement into your day. Begin each day with a move more mindset and you will find them.

Commit to regular activity

You may not be the type of person who wants to train for a triathlon and that’s perfectly okay. You do not have to become a fitness buff to benefit from exercise and movement. Start by committing to getting activity regularly. Schedule exercise like any other appointment on your calendar and treat it as a commitment rather than something you squeeze in if you have time. Even if you can only allot 15 minutes at a time, schedule it. Take a short walk. Walk at a leisurely pace at first if exercise is new to you. You can build up to a power walk. If that is not your thing, take a fitness class, swim laps or sign up for dance classes. Whatever exercise you start, build up slowly so you do not overwhelm yourself and give up. If your body is not accustomed to regular exercise, build up slowly day by day so you do not get too sore and throw in the towel altogether.

Find your favorite exercise

Out of all the forms of exercise out there, find one you just love. Get really specific and discover what form of it is your favorite. You can try swimming laps or water aerobics or maybe you would dread a step class but you cannot get enough of pilates. A good way to identify what type of exercise is right for you is to first figure out if you like to exercise alone, with a partner or in a group setting. You may have to experiment a little bit before you know. Try different forms of exercise until you find one that energizes you physically and mentally. Find your favorite exercise—one where excuses won’t even enter the equation when it is time to exercise.

Focus on health and strength

Many people can get easily discouraged and give up when there is too much emphasis on weight loss rather than an exclusive focus on weight loss, focus on the joys of exercise and movement instead. Take pride in your body getting stronger or your new ability to able to exercise longer, even if it is just in baby steps. Think about the great way your body feels after exercise and the exhilaration you feel. Taking the time to consider what really connects you to exercise on an emotional level, is powerful because you can use those thoughts to motivate you. Most likely what motivates you runs much deeper than getting skinnier or being a specific set of three numbers on a scale. Identify what it is for you. Maybe you want to have more energy for your children or grandchildren or you want to be in more control of your health, whatever is your core motivation, connect to it.

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