What’s your relationship with fitness plans or a workout schedule? For many, this is a source of angst, frustration, and even shame. With the many demands in life, it can be hard to consistently fit exercise into your day. After all, there are so many responsibilities and only so many hours. We’ve all felt this tension before, and, at one time or another, most of us have fallen into the habit of letting physical fitness be the first thing pushed out of the schedule. What’s worse, many of us have even thought it indulgent to make time for regular exercise. 

If you’re experiencing this tension, we challenge you to change your thinking about exercise and to commit to making it a priority. Regular exercise provides a number of benefits that impact almost every aspect of your overall health, both mental and physical. Plus, daily exercise not only improves your quality of life, but it also increases your chances of living longer. Keeping up with an exercise routine is not easy, but it’s an important way to take care of yourself. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you implement an exercise plan today that you can commit to and stick with. 

The Importance of Exercise 

Exercise is one of the best things that you can do for your body and mind. It improves your mood, increases energy levels, and decreases feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. It also aids with relaxation and improves quality of sleep. Furthermore, it allows you to maintain a healthy weight, strong muscles, and bone density. It helps to decrease the risk of a number of diseases and chronic conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and osteoporosis. Finally, it improves brain function and helps to protect memory and thinking skills. Given the many benefits of physical activity, exercise should be a central component of your plan to maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall health. 

Finding the Right Exercise Plan and the Best Exercises for You

Exercise is broadly defined to include any movement that makes your muscles work and your body burn calories. There are many different things you can do from walking to swimming to exercise classes, so just try to find something that you enjoy. This will make it easier to stick with it and will enable you to get even more out of your workouts. 

When making a plan, keep in mind that the weekly recommendations for exercise are 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. As you’d imagine, it’s best to spread these minutes out over the course of the week and to aim for about 30 minutes a day. It’s also recommended that you do strength training for all parts of the body at least twice a week.

While your goal should be to find something that you enjoy and all types of exercises provide some benefits, there are some that are more efficient than others. Some of the “best” exercises include brisk walking, squats, lunges, push-ups, crunches, burpees, and side planks. If you’re new to exercise or strength training and feel overwhelmed by creating a plan, consider working with a trainer or consulting with a fitness professional. This can be an easy way to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your exercise minutes. 

Whatever your past experiences with exercise plans, we challenge you to recommit to making physical activity a regular part of your life. As you do, remember that anything is better than nothing, and don’t be afraid to start small and slowly build up your routine. It’s not an easy shift to make, but it’s one that will have amazing impacts on both your mental and physical health. Make this investment in yourself today and start enjoying the many positive effects that regular exercise will have on your life.