- Get a pedometer, app or fitness tracker:
If you don’t already have a way of tracking your activity then a simple device like a pedometer, smartphone app or fitness tracker that counts your daily steps can be a great way to help you easily get a measure on how active you are. There are several smart phone apps like Argus, Endomodo, Moves and Pedometer++ that you can download for free or for a few euros that will track your steps and more. Basic pedometers can cost less than €10 and smart watches vary in price greatly and usually have a built in activity tracker function.
- Focus on movement, not on exercise:
Not everyone loves the thought of structured exercise like running and for every gym bunny there are several more who just don’t like the gym. Instead of beating yourself up because you didn’t make yourself go to that cardio session or run focus on where you can easily add some extra movement in to your day. A flight of stairs here, a 5 minute walk there or even a quick boogie in the kitchen to your favourite song when no-one is watching will all add up, keeping your metabolism high and burning extra calories.
- 10,000 steps:
One of my favourite process goals for wellness is the 10,000 daily steps. Admittedly you will almost certainly need a device like a pedometer or activity tracker to keep a count on your steps but once you have this in place the next step is to find your baseline (how many steps are you currently making) and then start building towards 10k steps a day if you aren’t there yet. Anything less than 5,000 daily steps is considered sedentary so if your starting are below that.
- Follow the one hour rule:
Because sitting for long periods of time has such a negative health impact it will be imperative that you break these sitting sessions up. Ideally you want to sit for no longer than 1 hour at a time and break this up even with a short break to stretch your legs, grab a glass of water or change activity. Set yourself up for success by setting up a reminder on your computer, laptop, phone or watch so you are alerted every hour to get out of your chair.
- Do what you love
Many people associate exercise with pain! The memory of the aches and stiffness you had for days after that intense gym session can live stronger in the memory than any joy you got out of it!So expecting yourself to stay motivated with some form of exercise you don’t really like is not reliable. Instead remind yourself of what kind of movement you do like to do and try and get back into that. If this doesn’t work get creative and experiment in new areas that might be more suitable to your life now compared to 10 years ago. Dance, swim, climb, play, stretch, walk, hike, skip or jump until you have found the activity you love to do. Once you find it you will be intrinsically motivated to do it again and again.