New year, new goals and some of you will definitely have on the to do's doing more sports and having an active lifestyle.
Indeed, this is the time of the year when gyms were fully booked and you couldn't find any spot free in fitness studios. At least in pre-covid times.
Now, with covid circulating around, the game has changed. Most of us, we need to carry on with an online lifestyle. On top of this, if you live in a country where winter just arrived, unless you ski or enjoy outdoors winter activities, you probably want to simply hibernate.
Days get darker, it is cold outside... you may be telling yourselves: how am I supposed to have the energies to exercise?
We all feel in the same way. I even feel like a just want to eat high caloric food and sleep the whole day. But at the same time, I know how dangerous it can be the vicious circle that I would get in, and how quickly I would get "moody". Indeed, lack of exercising boosts mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. At the same time, you lose the muscles that help you holding your body and joints, leading you to muscular pain and silly injuries.
But you know what?
We can do it!
We can sweat, we can rise our heartbeats and we can exercise even in a covid world!
Happy to share with you the top 5 tips I found useful on myself, and hopefully they help you too getting a healthy active routine in your daily life.
1. Know yourself
"What do you mean Zohar?" well, I mean that we all have a certain living and sleeping pattern. Are you a morning or evening person? If you get yourself into one topic, can you suddenly stop, or you need to keep working on, until it is done? If you don't know "how you work", you probably won't be able to define an activity schedule that will fit your lifestyle.
For example, you work in a 8am-5pm schedule and you enjoy staying in bed until the last minute, you will probably be more keen on doing sports at lunch time or after work. Be honest to yourself and recognize your pattern.
2. Define an activity timetable
Print out an empty monthly calendar and note there your favorite fitness classes and physical activities. You may not participate every week in all of them, but at least you have an overview of what is possible to do, and looking at it, you will get motivated (hopefully ;-)). Once you have done the activity, cross it or highlight it! It can be rewarding to see by the end of the week how steady you increased your exercising routine. Or even opposite, it also give you a feeling how little you are doing for yourself.
3. Be realistic
Keep it as realistic as possible. Often we get super motivated and overexcited, and try to join every day few fitness classes or do various sports activities. If you are a normal person, meaning not an athlete who is used to train 30h per week, your body won't be able suddenly to cope with the excess of exercising. Start with minimum daily 30min routine (walking also counts). And from here, if you want, start increasing the activity time. Once you have reached a daily 1h/3h exercising routine, I highly advise you start taking at least one day to let the body completely rest.
4. Use the lunch breaks
Lunch breaks or other breaks within your daily routine can be key to help you moving towards a more active lifestyle. Identify the best times to have a little break and exercise, even if it is 15min outdoors walk.
For instance, I usually find mornings perfect for a walk or an outdoors run; while during lunch or after work I feel to lazy for it!
5. Find your exercise
Having an active lifestyle should not be bothering and it should feel effortless. You aren't obligated to go to the gym or do something else if you don't like it.
You may feel lazy for a run, but once you start, you do enjoy it. Having troubles to start doesn't mean you hate it. However, if during an activity you don't feel happy, or it is even boring, this is probably not your activity. Find a type of exercising/sports activity that brings you joy and helps you centering yourself in the present... clearing your mind.
Last but not least, do not let yourself get dragged by those hibernating feelings. Exercising (without becoming an obsession) can bring you more happiness than what you think! Physical activity is so much needed in our daily life! and I don't mean it for the outside appearance but for our mental health.
Do let me know if these tips have helped you towards your active lifestyle goals!
Stay healthy, active and safe!