The best way to start exercising regularly is to add exercise to lifestyle, for the long term. You do this over time, with the right balance and supports in place.
Start with small volume, nail it and then grow
Aim for something/anything, rather than perfection
Engage family members in your activity to start with
Start with activities with a low barrier to entry
Eliminate the chance for you to think each week
When you start exercising, start with 1 session per week. I have not yet come across anyone who can’t find 1 20 min session in a week. For best results pick a day and time and stick with it.
Are you struggling to find that 20 mins? How long will watch TV for tonight? What could you do with 1 of your lunch breaks at work each week? Did you drive to the train station this morning?
Exercise doesn’t need to be perfect. It doesn’t need to be a session that flogs you, especially when you are start exercising. The habit of moving and making time for it is the priority right now – that is your sole mission. When it starts to stick and you enjoy it, your brain will filter in more opportunities for you to exercise, methods of exercise – you won’t even notice it happening.
For many women family support and participation can be a big boost. Why not get the family to walk with you? It may be easier for you to get them to come with you than to wait for the chance when you can get out on your own.
The more prep you need to do for a session, the harder it is perceived to be. If an outlay of money is involved, this can be another hurdle or even create a sense of guilt – which can be demotivating and create a negative association with exercise. The further you need to travel the longer you need to be available.
Take a walk from your front door step. No cost, no travel, no prep beyond putting on your walking shoes!
The less you have to think about scheduling or what to do in the session each week, the more likely you are to enjoy it, stick with it and be able to build off it. The more you have to make it up as you, the higher the chance you will talk yourself out of it.
Put some of these elements in place and you have a great place to start that will hold you steady, as you create a healthy new habit and lifestyle that includes exercise.