Well, here we are. We are still sheltering in place. Have you gotten into a routine? What does your “new normal” look like? I hope it includes daily activity. Getting some exercise is so important now that we are not out running as many errands as we used to. Here are 5 tips to make getting active and staying active easier:
- Make a plan. Put going for a walk (or whatever activity you choose) on your calendar. Make it a regular meeting just like you would a work meeting.
- Find an accountability buddy. If you can walk with a member of your household or be socially distanced with a friend, awesome! If you do not have that option, you can walk with others virtually via Zoom or by having a good old-fashioned phone call while you walk. Sharing the time with others makes the time go much faster. If you cannot get outside with someone else or you prefer to walk alone, check in with your accountability buddy before and after your activity so you are accountable to each other for getting up and moving.
- Start small. Any activity will do. I enjoy walking because not only is it relaxing, it’s easy! We all do it every day, so I know you can do it. However, if your schedule does not allow you to get outside, how about getting up and stretching for a few minutes a couple of times a day? Whatever you choose to do, start with a small amount of time. Do not try to accelerate your body from zero to 60 miles per hour overnight. Even 10 minutes is worthwhile and should be easy to fit into your schedule. Gradually increase the time or distance as you develop a habit, but give your body time to adapt before taking on any big increases.
- If something hurts, get help. The problem may be easily fixable, so do not just give up. Correcting your stride or stretching certain muscles may help. But also, do not just ignore it and try to keep going either, because that is how people get injured. Being active should be enjoyable. This is not about suffering. If you are suffering, you are doing it wrong! If you do not know where to get help, you can always reach out to me and we can brainstorm together.
- And finally, have a goal. I know a lovely lady is who working toward being able to walk for a whole hour without being tired. I know another wonderful woman whose goal is to be able to hike hills regularly. And I have a fabulous friend who used to have difficulty walking 2 miles at the time, but after developing a habit of walking every day is now walking 6 miles at the time! And many ladies, including myself, set daily step goals for themselves. Having a goal gives you something to work toward and makes being active even more fun!