Lots of people struggle to get enough physical activity. If someone you care about is having a hard time getting active, you can help. Here are some tips to get you started.
Suggest activities you can do together.
- Start small. Try taking a walk after dinner twice a week, or do crunches (sit-ups) while you watch TV.
- Mix it up. Learn new stretches and warm-up exercises.
- Join a fitness class. Choose an activity that’s new for both of you.
Make it part of your regular routine.
- Meet up at the local gym or recreation center on your way home from work.
- Wake up a bit earlier so you can go for a brisk walk together before breakfast.
- Pick a certain time for physical activity, like right after your favorite TV show.
- Ride your bikes or walk to the store or coffee shop.
- What are your loved one’s reasons for not being more active? Maybe he or she feels overwhelmed or embarrassed. Ask what you can do to be supportive.
Recognize small efforts.
- Be patient. Change takes time.
- Remember, some physical activity is better than none!
- Offer encouragement and praise. (“Great job doing your crunches today!”)
- Point out positive choices. (“I’m glad we’re walking to the park instead of driving.”)
12 Habits of Super-healthy People
Have Breakfast: It’s important for many of reasons. It jump-starts your metabolism and stops you from overeating later.
Plan Your Meals: It’ll help you save time and money in the long run.
Drink Plenty of Water: It can do so many good things for you.
Take an Exercise Break: Don’t just grab another cup of coffee—get up and move.
Go Offline: Set a time to log off and put the phone down.
Learn Something New: New skills keep your brain healthy.
Don’t Smoke: If you light up, quit.
Sleep Well: Aim to get seven to nine hours a night.
Train Your Muscles: Strength training helps your body trade fat for muscle mass.
Head Outdoors: A few minutes in the sunshine raises vitamin D levels, and that’s good for your bones, your heart and your mood.
Keep Your Balance: No matter your age, good balance means better muscle tone, a healthier heart and greater confidence.
Be Mindful: This can mean meditating or simply stopping to smell the roses.
Restart the Habit
So how do you get back on the treadmill after an extended time off? These tips can help you get back to your exercise habit after time away.
1. Start slow. Trying to pick up exactly where you left off can result in some very sore muscles the next day, or even an injury. Start at a more moderate intensity and lower frequency than before, and work your way back to where you left off. You don’t want to set yourself back even further by injuring yourself.
2. Manage your expectations. You may have run a nine-minute mile or bench pressed 150 pounds when you last trained, but it’s unlikely you’ll hit those numbers your first week back. Recognizing this as you return to your workout will help you move forward.
3. Recover well. It’s likely your muscles will be sore after your first workout back. Spend some time using a foam roller on muscles you worked out and stretching tight areas.
4. Set manageable goals. Setting and achieving short-term goals can keep you motivated. As you get back into the swing of things, think of a time or repetition goal to achieve each workout.
5. Use a Training Partner. Having a friend to motivate you and hold you accountable will keep you on track and make the experience more fun.
6. Have a plan. Work with a trainer or coach to develop a plan that works for you. This will help increase motivation and decrease the risk of injury as you see progress and acquire new skills/fitness.