How to incorporate More Exercise into your life

To add more exercise to your daily routine, you will need to make a change in your lifestyle and the way that you think and act regarding exercise. Exercise should be fun and easy to do. You don’t need a membership at a fitness center, although that is a great way to get exposure to a wide variety of exercises and be protected from bad weather. However, a lot of exercises can be done at home (see below: 50 exercises you can do at home) or outdoors for free: walking around the block, walking your dog, hiking, biking, swimming, running, climbing up and down steps, and many others. To make this change in your lifestyle, you need to make exercise fun, rewarding, and easy to do. Visual imagery can be very helpful when you are trying to make a change in your normal habits (see Visual Imagery page).

Even if you can only exercise for 10 minutes – DO IT! Just go outside and do it (inside if there is bad weather). That extra 10 minutes of exercise each day will make a positive difference in your life. Obviously the more you do the better, but start small and make it reasonable and easy to do. Exercising with others is a great way to connect with old friends and to make new friends with common interests and goals.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are not currently exercising on a regular basis, please check with your physician before starting a new exercise program. This is especially important if you have had a recent injury, have a physical impairment, recent surgery, heart or lung disease, poor circulation, or other medical disease.

  1. Use a pedometer or fitness tracker to measure how many steps you take on an average day. Depending on your job and current lifestyle, you may be taking 4,000 a day or as many as 12,000 a day. Whatever the number, try to add 500 additional steps to your daily average. After one to three weeks, add an additional 500 steps to your daily average. If you do not increase the number of calories you are consuming each day, then you will lose weight.
  2. Park far away from the front door of your work place, grocery store, shopping mall, or other final destination. Those extra steps each day really can make a difference. Parking will be much easier when you stop trying to park as close as possible everytime you go out.
  3. Use your lunch break to exercise: walk, bike, run or visit your local fitness center.
  4. Start a home exercise program: walking around the house or yard, walking up/down stairs repeatedly, lunges, squats, planks, repetitive arm movements, add resistive bands - JUST MOVE!
  5. Spend more time gardening or landscaping around your house.
  6. Walk every time you talk on your phone.
  7. Walk, jog or bike before or after work—even if it's just for 10 minutes.
  8. Use the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
  9. Do yoga or Tai Chi at home, in a park or at a studio.
  10. Join the YMCA, local gym or fitness center. Group classes are a great way to get started and make new friends.