How to Integrate Exercise into Your Routine
Thrive Blog

How to Integrate Exercise into Your Routine

Written by Elise Cunningham, Kinesiologist at Thrive Urban Wellness

How many times have you had to adjust your daily routines over the past 21 months? My guess is a lot. COVID-19 has changed the landscape for all of us, many times over.



Working from home, having your kids attend virtual school, not being able to go certain places, and not being able to connect with people as you normally would have; all of these life adjustments that we have been asked to make have made it extremely difficult to get into a steady routine. Then when we do, it quickly changes. This constant state of change is not only mentally exhausting, but physically exhausting too. People simply haven’t been able to get the levels of physical activity they otherwise normally would. Given the mental health challenges that are abundant during times of uncertainty, it is now more important than ever to integrate physical activity into your daily routine.


To quote an ancient Roman poet, “A healthy mind lives in a healthy body.”

 

How-to-Integrate-Exercise-into-Your-Routine

 

 

Physical activity has proven to be one of the most effective ways to enhance mental health and well-being. It has been shown to reduce stress, increase energy levels, boost cognitive function, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and lift mood.

 

While the benefits are many, integrating exercise into a busy – and ever changing – schedule, can be tricky. Fundamentally, in order to make a change, three things need to be present.

 

1. Desire

  • Ultimately, you have to want to do it; getting regular exercise has to be important enough to you to make it a priority.

  • Action: As a point of reflection, consider what exercise means to you and why it is important to you. What value do you place on obtaining some of the benefits of exercise?

 

2. Belief

 

  • You have to believe you can do it, otherwise you won’t get started.

  • Oftentimes, when trying to start an exercise habit, people set their goals too high. This leads them to early frustration, becoming discouraged and in many cases, abandoning the habit all together. This is even more relevant given the stress that people have been under.

  • I would encourage you to set your goal as low as possible; as you start to achieve it, you’ll build belief – you’ll see yourself meet your goal repeatedly. That confidence sustains your motivation and helps you integrate exercise into your daily life.

  • Action: Consider what your goals are. If you took your goal and made it as small as possible, what would it look like? For example, want to start jogging or walking for 30 minutes per day? Start by committing to walking for 1 minute a day. You’ll be amazed at what happens once you get started….

 

3. A System

  • Starting is the most important aspect of building a new habit, a close second is consistency. To achieve consistency, it can be extremely helpful to have a clear system that tells you what to do and when.

  • Action: Look at your really small goal that you set in the previous section. Where would you like this to fit in your day? What would you do right after exercising?

  • For example, if I wanted to work on my flexibility, I might have the goal of stretching for 30 seconds each morning before I brush my teeth. Putting my goal in the context of my daily life makes it easier for me to stick to it.


 

In conclusion, to get the benefits of exercise, we need to integrate it into our daily life. Breaking the goal down into the smallest, most achievable size, helps us not only get started, but builds our confidence. A well-constructed system that places the exercise within our daily routine, helps us stick to it.

 

Consider using a kinesiologist at to help you get started in therapeutic exercise and fitness training to make a positive change to your life. We can provide the support you need to figure out how to put exercise in your daily life.

 
Make the New Year a new beginning for yourself and become a better version of you!
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