I’m sure you’ve heard the old proverb that the “,” but let’s be honest, even that first step can be a doozy if you’re just starting to exercise.
Getting into a workout routine is nothing short of daunting sometimes, and like my mother I blame television. Intense routines, heavy impact, and loud music might not be your cup of tea, but that’s what we love to advertise. So let’s talk about exercise, what it is, and where you can start.
Now don’t get me wrong, working out at a high level is a great way to get stronger, move easier, and lose some weight. However, one of the big keys to exercise is regularity. We want to be active multiple times a week to see a change in how we move and look, and being afraid of your workout might work against. Exercise does not have to be dropping for burpees for 60 straight minutes thankfully, and some of the best advice I’ve ever heard about getting started if you already know that’s not for you is to find an activity that isn’t “exercise” per se. If an hour of running doesn’t sound like fun to you, don’t worry, I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole myself!
So how about we talk about something at least half of the people reading this probably love: your puppy. And yes, even if they are 150 pounds and have been around forever, they are still a puppy. That puppy needs to get walking, and probably enjoys it too. So how about taking them for a 10 minute walk tonight? I’m willing to bet you probably do that anyway. Well guess what, there’s your first step.
So how about another 10 minutes over lunch? Maybe before work too. We’re at a half hour already.
See that’s the thing, that time exercising doesn’t have to be all at once! The little things you already do during the day that feel like work already are that first step. Now of course you want exercise to be a bit more of a challenge, and that walk might not have been too tiring for you. So maybe we can go a bit further, move a bit longer. All you need to do is get moving long enough to feel a moderate amount of fatigue, nothing intense, and build up to at least 30 minutes total per day and you have gotten a workout in!
Now obviously not all of us have dogs, but almost all of us have something we like doing that definitely counts as exercise. The trick is: once you’ve figured out it counts, forget that immediately. I don’t go to self defense classes because I need a workout those days, I do it because it’s fun! My mom likes exploring the woods around her house, my dad loves walking through downtown. Anything that gets you moving is exercise, but you don’t have to think about it that way. The more you do, the better at it you will get, and the more intense an activity you will be able to work into over time, and that moving better is really what matters.
As you get moving more and more throughout the day doing things you already love, you may find that those things that once seemed out of reach look a lot closer, and some of the higher end activities that looked impossible now look like they might be worth a try to see if they are any fun too. And if you can’t figure out a fun way to move, there’s still some good news: figuring it out is part of my job. Trainers and therapists can be a great resource, even to just get some ideas for more engaging ways to get moving, so if you ever have any questions about how to take that next step, stop by and ask!