Living Your Best Active Life: 5 Simple Ways to Get Moving
Hey friends! If you’re looking for ways to get more active in your daily life, you’ve come to the right place. I used to be a total couch potato until a few years ago when I realized my health was really starting to suffer. Now, I actually look forward to my daily workouts and outdoor adventures! Trust me, it’s so worth it to find activities you genuinely enjoy.
In this post, we’ll chat about why an active lifestyle is so crucial for your health and happiness, as well as 5 totally doable strategies that can fit into any schedule. I’ll also give you plenty of real-world examples and tips that have helped me stick with it over the years. Sound good? Let’s get moving!
Why Being Active Matters
I don’t know about you, but I used to see exercise as a chore – something I “should” do but didn’t actually want to. Boy was I wrong! Regular physical activity has absolutely transformed my health.
For starters, it gives me so much more energy and mental clarity. I used to slog through my workdays, drinking cup after cup of coffee. Now I breeze through without the 3 pm crash thanks to my morning workouts. Exercise also significantly reduces my stress levels and anxiety. It’s like built-in therapy!
But the benefits go way beyond feeling good day-to-day. Being active has been proven to lower the risk of major health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers. It also helps strengthen your bones, joints, and muscles so you stay nimble as you age. And of course, it keeps you at a healthy weight.
Start Small for Success
When I first started trying to be more active, I would make these grand plans to suddenly run 5 miles a day or do hardcore boot camp classes. Yeah…that never lasted more than a week or two before I got frustrated and quit. What finally worked was starting small – like comically small.
I began by just committing to a daily 10-minute walk on my lunch break. When that felt totally manageable, I gradually increased it to 15 minutes, then 20 minutes, working my way up over a few months. I also started taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Tricks like parking far away from stores to get extra steps in making a difference, too.
Setting these tiny, “no excuse” goals kept me from feeling overwhelmed early on while building momentum over time. Within a year I was running miles without a problem! The moral of the story: focus on consistency first, intensity later.
Weave Movement Into Your Existing Routine
Another lightbulb moment for me was realizing I don’t actually need big blocks of time to exercise. I can weave it into all parts of my routine! Now, I have little workout “appointments” sprinkled throughout my day. Even 10 minutes here and there adds up.
For example, I installed a compact stationary bike in front of the TV and pedal while I watched my favorite shows at night. I also started pacing while on phone calls or doing bodyweight squats during commercial breaks. My friend Sarah has walking meetings for her job rather than always sitting in a conference room.
Getting creative with these micro-workouts makes it so much easier to build consistent activities I actually enjoy without overhauling everything. What little habits could you incorporate to sneak more movement into your day?
Finding Activities You Genuinely Like
This was a total lightbulb moment for me: exercise should be fun! For ages, I thought I “should” run or do intense boot camp classes because that’s what everyone talks about. But in reality, I dreaded every second of it.
Everything changed when I realized I could do any activity I genuinely enjoy – it doesn’t matter what the “trendy” workouts are. I experimented with biking, rowing machines, dance classes, trampoline workouts, and rock climbing. I found things that make me happy while getting my heart rate up.
Focus on finding what YOU love, not what you feel you “must” do. Try out different studios and sports teams in your area, chat with friends to get recommendations, and don’t be afraid to get creative. You’ll be 1000x more likely to stick with it.
Get Some Accountability Buddies
While I’ve definitely become more self-motivated over time, I still have days I don’t “feel” like working out. And that’s normal! So, I’ve built an accountability squad to keep me on track.
I joined a recreational soccer league, which gets me out running every Saturday morning (with friends counting on me). I also started occasionally taking classes at a nearby yoga studio instead of just following YouTube videos. Showing up for something I signed up and paid for keeps me consistent.
I also chat openly about my goals with close friends and family who cheer me on. Maybe we can text each other our step counts or have an agreed-upon workout time. Having people in your corner makes all the difference!
Mixing Up Your Activities
While it’s great to have one or two workouts you love, it’s also important to mix things up occasionally. Different activities provide different health perks – working various muscle groups and keeping your body guessing.
I aim for balance by doing some cardio like biking, running, or dance classes to keep my heart and lungs healthy. Strength training keeps my bones strong and my metabolism fired up. Yoga and pilates work on balance and flexibility. And sports like tennis or rock climbing help with coordination.
I don’t stress about having a perfect split between each every week. Try to incorporate different elements broadly when you can for an all-around fitness approach.
Overcoming Speedbumps Along the Way
Of course, life sometimes throws us curveballs that derail even the best-laid fitness plans. When my work schedule ramps up with long hours, exercise is often the first thing to slip through the cracks.
For those busier seasons, I’ve learned short, efficient home workouts are my friend. I have a pair of adjustable barbells and resistance bands stashed under my bed for powering through a 20-30-minute session that gets my blood pumping. Walking meetings are also a go-to when I can’t escape my desk.
Illness or injury can knock you off track, too. I tweaked my knee skiing last winter and had to rest for a few weeks. As soon as I was back on my feet, I started slowly to prevent reaggravating it.
Learn to be adaptable to keep making progress at your own pace. Every bit counts!
Sticking With It Over the Long Haul
The last thing I’ll say is progress isn’t linear. I still have periods where I work less or plateau with my goals. And that fluctuation is normal! The key is dusting yourself off and getting back at it rather than quitting completely.
I also make sure to listen to my body. Pushing yourself is great, but know when to take a rest day when needed. Pay attention to staying properly fueled and hydrated to keep your energy levels from crashing.
If you’re ever frustrated or need some fresh motivation, remember all the reasons WHY you started on this path – more energy, reduced stress, health improvements, etc. A few days of slacking doesn’t undo all your amazing progress!
Pulling It All Together
Whew, we covered a lot of ground! Here are the key takeaways:
- Start small to set yourself up for success
- Find natural ways to build activity into your existing routine
- Focus on workouts that put a genuine smile on your face
- Rally friends and family for accountability and encouragement
- Mix up cardio, strength training, flexibility work, and more
- Adapt your approach when life gets in the way
- Celebrate little victories and stay patient with yourself!
I hope these tips help you ditch the excuses and start living a more active lifestyle. Trust me, in the future, you will thank me! What new activity will you try this week?