How to Introduce Exercise to Your Weekly Schedule
Sometimes fitting exercise into your daily schedule can feel overwhelming. Whether you are a busy mom, work a lot or find it challenging to balance work and social life, healthy habits can find a way. It comes down to planning but with a few small tweaks, you should be able to introduce exercise to your weekly schedule so you can reach your fitness goals.
Exercise is Important
Along with a healthy diet, exercise should take priority in our lives, as it is a form of self-care. With benefits like weight maintenance, improved energy and clearer thinking, making time for you might not be as easy as it sounds. But you can begin now.
To introduce exercise into your schedule, first create a plan. Studies show that in spite of knowing the benefits of exercise, most people need to know how to add it into their schedules before they take action. Use the following tips to help you create your plan.
Write Out Your Schedule
Creating a plan begins with first writing out your current schedule. Write out what time you get up in the morning, shower and leave for work. If you stay home, write out what time you normally begin working or the timing of your daily commitments. If your schedule is loose, then create a schedule for yourself to help reinforce your commitment to exercise and self-care.
Once you have your schedule written out, see where you can conveniently add in bouts of exercise. If you are very busy or new to exercise and concerned about motivation, begin with short 10-20 minute exercise sessions. You can always exercise longer if you have time, but if you are busy, 10 minutes will benefit your physical and mental health and should improve energy levels.
Starting small simply means creating short-term goals that will easily fit into your current schedule. As ambitious as you might feel when you begin exercising, motivation can quickly wane when life gets busy or more stressful. Small goals could be walking around your neighborhood for 15 minutes each day or dancing in your living room for 20 minutes. The goal is to choose activities that you will enjoy so you don’t feel overwhelmed by it. If exercise fits easily into your schedule, it is easier to stick with it.
Choose an exercise that you will commit to, whether you are going to a gym or working out on your own. If you enjoy classes, then join a class two or three times each week. If you enjoy walking, then walk for 20 minutes three times each week. If nature makes you feel happy and relaxed, then make a commitment to walk in a local park, if there is one nearby and if not, then add a nature walk as part of your weekend plans. As you become more fit, you may begin to look forward to your exercise sessions. When people look forward to exercise, finding time to fit it in becomes easier.
Keep Your Goal in Mind
If your goal for exercise is to lose weight, gain energy or complete a race, then keep that goal in your thoughts as often as possible. Write down your goal where you can see it as soon as you get out of bed in the morning. Set reminders on your phone to remind you of your goal throughout the day. Add photos where you can see them to remind you of your goal. Keeping your goal in the forefront of your mind can make you feel more motivated to exercise.
Be sure to add self-care as a goal. Your fitness plan should be about you and why you want to exercise and get in shape. Exercise offers numerous benefits such as increased energy, a stronger body, stress management, improved self-esteem and confidence. Each of these are common results of regular exercise, and developing these traits can greatly improve your levels of happiness and quality of life.
To truly make time for yourself, incorporate forms of self-care into your weekly schedule, such as meditation, bubble baths, socialization and time for relaxation. Try to plan activities that make you feel joyful as this can greatly add to your mental health. Adding self-care activities such as these can keep your mood up, making healthy habits like exercise easier to do.
Change Your Mind
It is common to think of exercise as a chore. To overcome this, simply change your mind and remember that exercise will ultimately benefit you. You deserve to feel strong, healthy and happy and exercise can help make that happen.
Exercise is a recommended therapy adjunct for stress relief, so think of your workouts as therapy. Exercise can be used to improve mental and physical health, so approach each session remembering that you are making time for you. And exercise should be fun on some level, so find activities that bring you joy such as yoga, biking, hiking in nature at least once a week, kayaking or jumping on a trampoline.
To intentionally change your mind, make a list of the benefits that you want to see from exercise. Read these back to yourself as often as you can. Create reminders on your phone to read them if that helps. And then anytime you feel like you don’t want to exercise, remind yourself that you deserve to exercise and enjoy improved fitness.
Use a Fitness App
A fitness app is a handy tool that can help you accomplish a few of the strategies to fit exercise into your week. The Yes.Fit fitness app includes themed virtual races that users can walk, jog or run, which adds to the fun of exercising. Fitness challenges are also available and can be a fun way to check your progress or change up your routine. And you can find groups of like-minded people through this app so you can find motivation and make friends!
If you want to fit exercise into your weekly schedule, create your plan today and get busy. Making time for yourself will benefit you and those around you, so enjoy yourself as often as you can on your fitness journey!