An essential ingredient for a long and healthy life is to get moving and live a more active lifestyle. And being active is not referring solely to workouts. There are many other ways we can move our bodies and still enjoy the health benefits.
Having an Active Lifestyle is more about how you approach the way you live. It is a lifestyle choice. If being healthy is important to you, then being active should be high up on your priority list. Physically activity essentially protects both your mental and physical health. Some of the most important benefits include better circulation and heart health, stronger joints and muscles, healthy weight control, a clearer mind and lots more. Whether you are gyming, hiking, practising yoga or simply walking your dog, being active in any capacity will benefit your health and happiness.If being healthy is important to you, then being active should be high up on your priority list because it protects both your mental and physical health. Click To Tweet
The important thing is to get your mindset right. If you want to be healthy and don’t currently have an active lifestyle, here is where you start. First, you need to truly realise the benefits of regular physical activity on your health. Second, start changing your mindset and approach your life in a more active way. From there you can keep building, but rather start small. Small achievements will motivate you and propel you towards bigger goals.
Of course, it’s a great idea to get in at least 3 proper workouts a week. However, many people just don’t feel like they have the time or it just feels like too big of a task. The truth is, you make time for what is important to you. So, if you’re struggling to get more exercise into your life, just start small. Start by introducing physical activities in small doses, within your everyday life. Like something as simple as going for short 10 minute walks after lunch. From there you can slowly introduce one 30 minute exercise session a week. And when your one workout has become ingrained into your routine, add another one. Over time, you can work up to 3 or 4 workouts a week and your body and mind will be thanking you. So start small, and gradually build up.
Are you ready to live a more active lifestyle? Below are a few super simple ways to get you started, enjoy!
1. Start Your Day with a Morning Stretch.
One of the essential ingredients for a great day is how you start it. Over the years I have experimented with different morning routines. I found that incorporating exercise into it was a game-changer in setting the tone for the rest of my day.
This doesn’t mean you need to get up and do an intense 60-minute workout. This is more about waking up and stretching your body. And creating a motivated positive mindset for the rest of your day.
A morning stretch is the first simple step to living a more active lifestyle. And, it can be done in as little as 5-10 minutes. However, I would recommend at least 10-15 minutes of stretching to give yourself time relax in your routine and not feel rushed.
For the perfect morning stretch routine:
- Have a little natural stretch in bed before you rise. Stretch your arms and legs tall and wide. Let your body wake up a bit before you leap up into the day.
- Make yourself a big cup of warm lemon water to clean your system. Simply add 1-2 slices of fresh lemon to your mug, and pour in your freshly boiled water. Let it steep for 5 minutes next to you while you start your 10-15 minute morning stretch. Lemon water is a fabulous natural body and skin detox.
- For the easiest morning routine: Lay out your yoga mat in a room with a comfortable amount of space around you. Set up your laptop on a chair or table that allows for good visibility when standing and sitting on your mat. Open up YouTube, and follow one of the many fabulous morning yoga routines. Easy as that!
Here are some of my favourite short morning yoga routines on YouTube:
- Yoga to Get the Juices Flowing by Adriene (8 minutes)
- Easy Morning Yoga For A Positive Mind by Boho Beautiful (10 minutes)
- Travel Yoga Morning Sequence by Adriene (10 minutes)
- Morning Yoga Workout – Better Than The Gym by Boho Beautiful (15 minutes)
And if you’re ready to commit to 20 minutes or more, here are a couple others I’ve enjoyed:
- Morning Yoga – Yoga To Start Your Day by Adriene (26 minutes)
- Total Body Beginner Flow by Yoga by Candace (20 minutes)
By incorporating as little as 10 minutess of stretching to your morning routine, you’ll get all the yoga benefits and set the tone for the rest of your day. By committing to being active for as little as 10 minutes a day, you could transform the rest of your day. You’ll feel like you’ve already achieved something right at the start. And you’ll propel yourself into the rest of your day, with a motivated mindset. Try it, you’ll see!
2. Enjoy Walking More.
Since the invention of wheels, we’ve naturally become less active. Why would you walk to the shops when you can simply drive there? Makes sense, but it’s important to still find ways to incorporate more walking where possible.
Walking is a simple way to keep your body active. Especially if you don’t have time for a regular exercise routine. Besides getting fresh air and clearing your thoughts, walking has many other benefits. Like healthy weight loss and strengthening your muscles and bones.
Take a look at your daily routine and weekly activities, and see where you can incorporate a little more walking.
Here are some suggestions:
- Go for a 10-15 minute walk after lunch. This will get you away from your desk for some fresh air. You’ll also get a fresh start to the second half of your workday.
- If your supermarket is reasonably closeby, walk there next time you need to do a small shop. You’ll not only get the benefits of walking there and back, you’ll also get some arm strengthening by carrying a bag in each hand on your way back.
- If your city has good public transport, think about leaving the car at home once a week. I have found that living in Rome without a car has been a blessing in disguise. Walking to the bus stop, then to the tram, and then out and about in the city, has added thousands of steps to my everyday life. It feels so much healthier than sitting in a car.
- If you have a dog, take it out more often. Even if it’s just for a 10-minute walk-around-the-block, every step counts and your dog’s excitement will brighten your spirits even more.
If you’re amped to walk more every day, track your steps to motivate yourself with your progress. I track my steps with my iPhone’s built-in Health App, which is synced with my Yazio Health App. Yazio is awesome, as I can also add in my exercise workouts, along with calories when necessary. Checking out how many steps I walked at the end of the day is pretty motivating!
By incorporating a little more walking into your day, you’ll be doing your body and mind a big favour. You’ll create a naturally healthier and more active lifestyle for yourself.
3. Take Your Weekend Outside.
After a long week at work, it’s easy to spend most of your weekend on the couch with an epic series. However, as fun as this is, it’s so important to also get outside for some fresh air.
If you’re an active body, going for a hike may already be on the cards. But for everyone else, there are plenty of simple ways to get that ass outside. Aim to have at least one outdoor weekend day every two weeks, and make it fun.
Here are some fun ideas to do with friends on the weekend:
- Enjoy a picnic in the park. Jazz it up with a little frisbee, ball throwing or hula hooping if you’re feeling motivated.
- Go for a lovely long walk or bike ride in the park with a good friend.
- Get a group together and go for a full day trip somewhere cool. On a hike in the mountains, or to another town where you can stroll around and explore by foot.
- Plan a beach day, and head out for a day of swimming and picnicking by the seaside.
There are so many lovely ways to spend your free time. Often we end up doing the same things when there is an array of other activities to enjoy. You know what they say… Change is a good as a holiday. Break out of your comfort zone, and have some more fun with your weekends. Get out for some fresh air, and get that body moving!
4. Focus on changing your mindset.
If you really want to live an all-around active lifestyle, you need to change your mindset. You need to approach your everyday life in an active way.
The first step is truly understanding how important being active is for your mental and physical health. Then you can start to reframe your mindset, and think of how to add a dose of action to your every day.
Here are some examples I practice regularly:
- Simple Online Workout Videos: These have been a lifesaver for me. I just get my ass out of bed, get onto my mat, and press play. The instructor motivates me and before I know it, I have done a full 10-30 minute workout. Afterwards, I feel amped up to conquer the rest of the day.
- Super Stairs: Whenever possible, I opt for the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Just this small decision gets my heart rate up regularly every week.
- Supermarket Strolls: If I need something from the supermarket, I opt for the one at the bottom of a hill near our apartment. I have a relaxing stroll on my way there and then face up to a pretty steep hill with my shopping bags on the way up. It is a good 5 minutes of intensity, and I always feel proud of myself when I finally reach the top.
5. And finally… Commit to a Regular Exercise Routine
If you want to get fit, this is where you need to turn your active lifestyle up a notch. Exercise is important, but the key here is consistency. Rather do one hour of exercise every week, instead of on-and-off erratically.
If you’re already regularly exercising, amazing. If not, here is how you start:
- Commit to as little as 30 minutes of exercise a week. That’s all.
- Now, pick a day and time that works for you. I would suggest the early morning, as this kicks off your day to a great start.
- Spend an hour looking for workout videos on YouTube. Save the ones you like to a Playlist on your channel. This makes them easy to find when you want to exercise.
- The night before your exercise day, get yourself ready. Put your workout clothes out, and anything else you need.
- When that alarm goes off (if you’re doing a morning session), don’t snooze. Stretch out tall in bed, and get up. Don’t think, just get up, put on your clothes, and press play on that video.
I am committed to my daily morning exercise routine, except when my knees need a rest day. Even though I am a night owl, I exercise in the morning because it truly transforms my mindset for the day. It gives me the get-up-and-go-for-it mindset I need to conquer my to-do list.
This journey to committing to daily exercise was not easy. I would commit and exercise at least 3 or 4 times a week at the gym. Then, something would happen, like a long work day, and I’d fall off the wagon. I would get up and fall off regularly. It was very disheartening, as I was not seeing results, and feeling defeated.
Then I made some changes that helped me a lot:
- I stopped going to the gym and decided to workout at home instead. This was to save me time and make it easier for myself to workout regularly.
- I committed to shorter workout routines, every day. Instead of 1.5 hours at the gym, 3 times a week, I wanted to focus on 20-30 minutes every day. Consistency was my primary goal.
After some research, I discovered DoYouYoga, an online yoga platform with a great selection of videos and programs. I started their 30-day Yoga Challenge and began doing one 15 minute session every morning. When I started, I was sceptical about such short workouts. Wouldn’t an hour session be better? Oh, how wrong I was.
It was not about the workout length, or even getting fit and toned. What I learnt from this challenge, is the power of consistency. I committed to those 15 minutes every day, and it began to make exercise part of my every day. If I didn’t get to my session in the morning, I felt less than optimum the rest of the day. It felt like I had missed the foundation to my day. This inspired me, even more, to stick to it. By sticking to it, I felt such a sense of achievement, motivating me to keep going.
Over time, I have increased this 15 minutes a day to 30-60 minutes a day. I am working my way through the many DoYouYoga programs. When the sessions are only 15 minutes, I sometimes combine YouTube workout videos with them. So, I may do a 15-minute DoYouYoga video, and then a 20-30 minute YouTube video afterwards. Or, I may just do a full 30-minute video on YouTube. At this stage, I have fun mixing workouts up and trying different things, depending on what my body needs.
So, I implore you. If you aren’t doing any exercise at all, start by committing to a small goal. Pick one morning a week, and do a 15-20 minutes online workout video. You could even just stick to a 10 minute morning stretch session to start, and add workouts at a later stage. Or, go to a gym or yoga class, you call. Whatever it is, no matter how big or small, just be consistent. If you want to get a regular exercise routine going, start with consistency in small doses, and before you know it, you’ll feel the difference and be motivated to do more.
I hope that this post has inspired you to get moving and live a more active lifestyle. Remember, it’s the little changes you commit to, that inspire and propel you to achieve bigger ones. So make at least one small change and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, happier and more energised version of yourself.Remember, it’s the little changes you commit to, that inspire and propel you to achieve bigger ones. #healthylifestyle #goalsetting Click To Tweet
If you have any tips or comments to share, please do so in the comments below.
Here’s to being active and moving those bodies!
Other posts you may find useful:
- All in One Cardio: 15-minute Jump-Rope Workout
- Essential Exercise: The Benefits of Yoga
- Easy Exercise: The Ultimate Online Yoga Resource