It’s a brand new year which means there’s no better time than now to get back into being active. Sometimes it can be daunting to start something new. Plus, getting your body used to the increase in physical activity is tough. It’s easier to succumb to sore limbs today than to get up and hit the pavement again tomorrow. We’re here to remind you that you can take your time and ease back into getting active at your own pace. Whether you’re intending on getting into better shape, setting a goal to train towards, or simply setting out to live a more active lifestyle, keep these 8 tips for getting active in mind to help achieve your goals!
1. Mental toughness takes practice. Even professional athletes don’t wake up every single day excited to exercise. It’s always easier to focus on relaxing than testing your body’s endurance. Even if you love to exercise, the mind is very good at convincing you that relaxing is more rewarding. Focus on how great you feel after you workout, and remind yourself of this feeling each day when you’re debating whether or not to exercise.
2. Set goals. On a calendar, mark a black X on the days you manage to get your exercise in. On the days that you don’t, mark a red X. Sometimes, it’s easier to maintain progress if you can see the pattern you’re creating. The excitement and positivity that comes from seeing yourself advance will help train your brain to enjoy exercising and achieving your goals. Day in and day out, you’ll start to find yourself excited about marking another big black X on the calendar.
3. Get the right gear. Whether you intend on exercising at the gym or hitting the pavement outside, make sure you have invested in the right gear so you feel comfortable while you exercise. When it comes to running shoes, New Balance’s lightweight 860v9 will help ensure stability and support. Available for both men and women, the 890v9 breaths well and has responsive cushioning; moving with your foot to reduce the possibility of irritation and tired feet. As you improve and get quicker on your toes, these shoes are sure to handle going the distance because they’re engineered to withstand the longest of runs!
4. Stretch. Some find stretching to be counterproductive. It’s hard enough to find the time to get moving, let alone to take extra time to warm up and cool down. But, it’s best for your muscles to be warm and limber at all times to minimize the risk of injury. What’s the point in dedicating all this time and energy to getting back into exercising if you may set yourself up to get injured?
5. Take breaks. Getting back into exercise can be exciting, so much so that you may push yourself harder than you should. If you feel any pain or find yourself too exhausted to do a great workout, take a rest day. If you’re a runner, take time to let your body adjust to more frequent runs. Even if you are feeling great, going too hard too early can lead to injuries since your body isn’t used to the effort. Taking breaks will help you perform better later.
6. Invite your friends to exercise with you. Sometimes it’s easier to get going if you have others relying on you. Once you’ve made plans with friends to exercise, it’s easier to follow through. Exercising with friends is enjoyable and time always flies when you’re having fun.
7. Recognize that activity always counts, no matter how much or what kind. It’s hard to maintain readiness, willingness, and motivation day in and day out. Fortunately, it never hurts to do a more leisurely activity. Whether it’s to your regular degree of exertion or not, you’re activating your muscles, getting your blood pumping, and keeping your body moving. It’s never a wasted effort to do something athletic—no matter what kind of exercise it is.
8. It’s all about the process. Every path has ups and downs and twists and turns. Whether you hit the pavement running or start with a few at-home workouts, remember to pace yourself. Take your time and ease back into exercise. Some workouts may be harder than others, and you may find yourself with drive and motivation today, but lacking energy tomorrow. It’s normal to have ups and downs. Getting going, moving forward each day, and focusing on the progress you’ve made up to now will keep you achieving your goals.