Incorporating more physical activity into your daily routine can help prevent many health conditions and diseases while giving you a productive way to fill your spare time. If your New Year’s resolution is to be more active this year, then you have made a great decision for your health! Here are a few tips for your first step into fitness that you can build upon every Monday this year!
Before you begin, identify your goals. Are you trying to lose weight, gain strength, or simply move around more? These are all positive goals that will keep your circulation going, your heart rate up, and your metabolism moving. By knowing exactly where to begin, you can avoid wearing yourself out too quickly or injuring yourself. Especially if you’re a beginner, it’s important to start slow.
Find a way to move every day. The recommended amount of physical activity needed per week is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. That’s about 30 to 45 minutes per day, five days a week. This amount can be accumulated – a few 5- or 15-minute walks or mini-fitness sessions throughout the day can add up to 30 or 45. It’s important to move around every single day, so keep that in mind if you find yourself being sedentary. Just take a short walk during your work day or squeeze in some push-ups, squats, or lunges while watching TV.
Stick to simple workouts. You don’t have to do intense regimens like CrossFit or run a mile on Day 1. Instead, walk a Monday Mile and build on the amount of time you spend or the distance you go every week. There are also plenty of easy exercises that work out your muscles and increase your heart rate without requiring equipment or advanced skills. Moves that use your own body weight are effective when done correctly and often. If you are really feeling motivated, consult a physical trainer who can show you the right form for moves like planks, squats, crunches, and other moves you can do at home. And remember to warm up and stretch first to avoid soreness and injury!
Build your foundation, week by week. Every Monday is a chance to start fresh and check in with your progress. If you felt like you weren’t challenged the previous week, up the ante and push yourself a little harder. Do more reps, move a bit faster, add to your distance, or add weights if you have them. It’s always more important to get your technique right before moving on to more advanced, higher-impact workouts.
It’s never too late to start moving. Start slow this Monday, like it’s a warm-up, and by next Monday you’ll be ready for more!