January 1st of every year brings self-made promises the world over to exchange our unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles with much healthier choices. Millions of people join gyms with the well-meant plan to increase the amount of exercise “this year”. If you are like me and many others, and your plans don’t quite seem to pan out and actually start to sputter to a halt by now, then keep reading for the tips below. They may help get you back on track.

Tip #1 – Do What You Like

Exercise doesn’t need to mean investing hours at the gym stepping your way to nowhere on a stepping machine. Nor do you have to cycle your self to sleep. It also doesn’t mean you need to burn through loads of cash on machines you will probably never use (I have a great treadmill in the garage that is currently being used as a storage rack–works great!).

Anything you do to get your body moving will be far better than doing nothing. For example, walking is the easiest, most adaptable exercise there is. You can take a quick stroll anywhere or chose to simply walk in place. The choice is yours. Indoors or outdoors, doesn’t matter as long as you are moving.Adding exercise to your daily routine is easier than you think. Riding a bike, swimming, house cleaning, gardening, and even playing in the yard with the kids are just a few ways to add exercise to your daily schedule. Whatever you choose to do, have fun while doing it!

Tip #2 – Schedule Exercise Into Your Life

As you would a family gathering or a medical checkup, for some, the best way to ensure you don’t miss out on your opportunity to move is to put it in your planner or on your To-Do list every day. We’ve all got busy lives and we’re regularly so busy dealing with others that we never set aside a few minutes for ourselves.

When the practice of daily exercise is made to be part of your day to day schedule, we may be more likely to do it. It may be necessary to set aside a certain time (the same time) every day for exercise. And for some, a flexible workout schedule is in order. For those who require a little encouragement, practicing with a companion is a great idea. Do whatever way works best for you. Simply make sure to really go and do it!

Tip #3 – Know that Exercise Can Energize

Despite the fact that you may feel excessively worn out, making it impossible to work out, try to do it anyway. You may be shocked to discover how invigorated you feel while you’re grinding away. And, as exercise releases the ‘feel good’ endorphins, the feeling of euphoria can last even when the exercise is over. Exercise is an extraordinary stress reliever. That’s a big deal since stress plays a major role in many illnesses as it drains the body’s energy.

Tip #4 – Don’t be Afraid to Mix it up

Like anything that is done again and again, exercise can become boring. When you get bored with a routine, you are less inclined to keep at it. To keep boredom at bay, mix it up! If you are tired of walking, try riding your bike. If you are tired of aerobics, try weightlifting. If you are tired of the gym in general, try skating. When the weather gets a bit too hot, go for a walk in the mall or take up ice skating. Ask a few friends to join in and exercise as a group. Think outside the box.

Tip #5 – Always Begin by Warming up

Nonetheless, whatever exercise regimen you choose, it is crucial that you start every exercise session by warming up your muscles. A quick warm-up prepares your muscles for what is to come. It slowly revs up the heart, blood flow and therefore oxygen to your muscles, therefore preventing muscle damage. Just five minutes is all the time you need to get off to a good start.

Putting these 5 tips to use may help you finally get past the excuses and help you stick to a plan to ensure that you succeed this time around.

Do you have any suggestions to help ensure success with sticking to an exercise plan? Share your thoughts below.

   
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