Good Exercise Habits - Build on the Basics

Enjoying a beautiful sunset in Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida, after a 2 mile run on a beautiful April Florida evening. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Undeniably, we have had to deal with a lot of changes over the last few year.

Looking forward, it is likely that these changes will resonate for weeks, months or even years, changing the way we operate.

Navigating the lifestyle changes can be difficult and disruptive and keeping up with good habits can fall to the wayside.

Many may even have given up on the idea of trying to exercise at home entirely due to lack of equipment, space, time or motivation.

Some experienced the “quarantine 15”.

Whatever your status, it is especially important during times like these to look after our health and well-being and to consider the role of physical activity in managing various health risks.

Exercise is a mainstay in preventative management of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Physical activity is also essential for the development of the brain.

Increased oxygen while exercising can boost concentration, memory and mood, helping to fight stress, anxiety and depression associated with uncertainty.  
Building or rebuilding the habit of exercising can be difficult even at the best of times.

However, there are proven strategies that can make the process easier to manage and maintain:

  • Start small – Choose one exercise to start with and set aside five minutes in the day to do it. When you’re ready, add another exercise or two and expand the time you set aside to do them. Aim for six 5 minute segments throughout the day or 30 minutes a day – the minimum recommendation for adults.
  • Celebrate success – It is helpful and reinforcing to write down or mark off in a diary or calendar every time you do exercise. This way you can track how many days in a row and for how long you exercised. It’s also provides a visible daily target … seriously, you can’t hit a target you can’t see. Celebrate the small victories as well as the big wins. Celebrate if you exercise for five more minutes one day or if you exercise every day of the week for the first time. Giving yourself this positive reinforcement goes a long way to helping you     stay motivated, accountable and provides feedback on progress.
  • Make it enjoyable - When thinking about what kind of exercise you want to do, it is always important to make sure it will be something you enjoy. That way, it makes it easier to incorporate it into your daily routine and make it into a habit. Try dancing to your favorite music, going for a walk down to the park on a sunny day, or joining a friend for a bike ride. 
  • Set accountability goals – Sometimes it can be difficult to stay motivated without a goal in mind. If you’re having trouble setting a goal and sticking to it, try making it a SMART goal. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time based. For example, I want to be able to squat 15 times by the end of next week.  

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Let's go on this journey together and change your life as always, “Practice with Purpose and Live with Passion!”



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