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If you’re like most Americans, you probably spend several hours every week commuting to your job, and several hours every day sitting at your desk at work. On a busy day, you probably spend extra time running errands, and come home to catch the latest episodes of your favorite television shows before going to bed and repeating everything all over again the next day. If this sounds like your life, chances are you probably aren’t being as active as you should be.
Obesity continues to be on the rise in the US mainly because of the sedentary lifestyles we’ve come to lead. But if you can find time every day to fit in some type of physical activity, even if it’s for a few minutes, you can lower your risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other related health conditions.
If you’re struggling to find ways to be more active, try practicing one or more of these 12 ways to get yourself to exercise every day.
- Make time every weekend to plan out the following week and add exercise to your daily schedule. Will you have about 30 minutes of free time on Tuesday? Go for a brisk stroll around the neighborhood. Only have 15 minutes to spare on Friday? Go for a bike ride.
- Schedule workouts just as you would schedule and plan for doctor’s appointments and other important meetings.
- Sign up and pay for gym and yoga classes in advance so you’ll be more committed to showing up and feel less inclined to skip out.
- Get all your exercise clothes and gym gear ready the night before so you can grab your gym bag on your way out the door.
- Exercise first thing in the morning before you shower and start your day. Not only will you feel more energetic all day long, but you won’t have to worry about fitting exercise into your schedule later in the day.
- Don’t feel guilty about putting in just 15 minutes of exercise. 15 minutes is better than nothing, especially if you can do high-intensity interval training.
- Take a brisk walk around your office building after eating lunch instead of sitting around and chatting with co-workers. Better yet, invite your co-workers along for the walk.
- Make friends with people who enjoy exercising and make time for it every day. Spending time with like-minded individuals will motivate you to stay on track and make it more difficult for you to skip workouts.
- Turn your workout routine into a personal game or challenge. For example, push yourself to run an extra minute on the treadmill or to do two extra push-ups.
- Mark each day you exercise on your calendar so you can visually see how well you’re doing. Sometimes, seeing your workout progress on the calendar will keep you motivated.
- Reward yourself after every workout so you have something to look forward to. Purchase or make yourself a healthy peanut butter smoothie, or spend a few bucks buying new exercise songs for your iTunes workout playlist.
- Talk about your fitness success on social media. While you might roll your eyes at other people who talk about exercise on social media, you’ll find that your closest friends and family will commend you on your progress.