Are you trying to work exercise into your daily routine? Try the exercise tips below to help you get started or to improve your existing workout routine.
Most exercise plans come about when we get frustrated or even disgusted with ourselves and our current health and fitness state.
This can lead to an overly aggressive schedule that’s not well thought-out and leads to failure.
The tips below along with the other tools on this website can help you build a solid routine gradually and effectively.
Our days are filled with dozens, if not hundreds, of movements that change very little from day to day.
These daily habits start when the alarm clock goes off and end as our heads hit the pillow. Our meals, our breaks, our snacks, and all of our movements in between are often based on what we’re comfortable doing because we’ve done it many time over for many years.
Sadly, for most people, exercise is not one of these habits…but it can be!
The tips below will help you introduce exercise into your routine so that you keep doing it.
Everyone is different and will have a different “starting point”, so use these tips only as a guide and modify your plan so that it meets your current situation.
- Exercise Tip #1: Slow & Steady Wins the Race!
Many exercise plans come about out of a sense of urgency for a beach vacation, a wedding, a prom, or some other event. And often times the changes we want to achieve take months to safely attain…not weeks. Be patient. In order to make exercise part of your daily routine, you must gradually introduce change into your daily habits. Start off slow. Add a few sets of crunches 3x-4x per week or a lunchtime walk. Don’t get too carried away. After a few weeks of success, add another small change…and so on. The benefits of exercise are too good to pass up…but they also are based on a lifestyle…not a few weeks worth of effort. Slow & steady will ultimately get you to where you want to be!
- Exercise Tip #2: Proper Form Trumps Quantity
Many people will focus on a number of repetitions rather than the quality or form of the exercise. For example, it’s far better to do 10 slow push-ups where your chest is lowered all the way to the floor as you inhale and you push your arms to their full extension on the exhale; than it is to do 50 super-fast push-ups where you barely bend your elbow. (Don’t laugh…watch some of the fitness tests for police, military or PE classes…and you’ll see what I mean!). When it comes to your daily exercise routine, it’s better to spend the time on form than it is to focus on quantity…you’ll see much better results over the long-term.
- Exercise Tip #3: Same Time / Same Place
As mentioned above, our days are a tapestry of habits. Habits are easy to form…both good and bad ones. If you want to make exercise a habit in your life, carve out a small time slot and start doing it. For me, it was easiest to do calisthenics before my morning shower and daily cardio on my daily lunch break. And while your schedule may differ, we each have some times that are more convenient than others to fit in some exercise. Some people have even had luck substituting a bike ride for their daily commute which has saved them money, time and added a nice cardio workout to their day. Go with whatever change that you’re able to fit into your daily routine.
- Exercise Tip #4: Measure It!
Most of us want to exercise for the health benefits…the weight loss…the improved mood…etc… And while these are noble goals, there will be times when your motivation will dwindle and you’ll need a goal of substance to shoot for. So take a minute and create an exercise log, or write your goal weight in your locker. Write down your daily workout and weight, and chart your progress. Simple measurements can motivate us to keep going. No one likes leaving a blank line in their workout log or missing a goal that’s on paper…so go ahead and measure your hard work…and write it down.
- Exercise Tip #5: Strength = Stress + REST
Without rest, our bodies will never grow stronger. Our bodies need to be stressed through exercise and then rested, in order to gain the physical improvements we desire. If we look to accelerate the process and skip the “rest” part, we risk fatigue, burn-out, and possibly even injury. Rest does not have to consist of lying on the couch, it can be a scaled-down version of exercise (walking instead of running), light cross-training, or another opportunity for our bodies to recoup & rebuild. So don’t feel any guilt for taking a day off, here and there…rest should be a part of any good fitness and exercise plan.
Use these exercise tips to work some basic calisthenics into your daily routine. After you get comfortable with that, try walking or start running.
Little by little, you’ll build a solid exercise foundation one habit at a time…and you’ll begin to wonder how you ever lived without it!
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