Try to make physical activity more a part of your routine. Now that you have started to build a schedule for physical activity, let’s make sure that you’re on the right track and having fun. Physical activity does not have to be a hassle. On the contrary, it can add new dimensions to your life, new friends, new hobbies, new outlook; new body, that can be fun and rewarding. And you may even surprise yourself and do things you didn’t think you could do.
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Having a positive outlook and enjoying the activities you do will help you stick with them over the long run. But feeling frustrated about exercise can throw you off course. If you are still working out your routine, let’s find ways to get it right and make physical activity something you enjoy and look forward to.
Check in with yourself every month or two, and ask yourself the following questions. This will help you to get in touch with how you feel about your physical activity routine and let you whether it’s time for a change.
– Do you enjoy physical activity? If you find that you are enjoying your physical activity routine, then it seems you have found the right set of activities for you. Keep up the good work, and remember to check in with yourself from time to time. Even if you are happy with what you are doing, it can’t hurt to experiment with new things and liven up your routine a little.
– Are you bored, frustrated, or distracted when you exercise? If you find that you are bored, frustrated, or distracted, a little trial and error can help. There will always be distractions, but if you aren’t enjoying the activities you are doing, try to experiment with them until you get it right.
You might try fitting your activity in at a different time of day when you aren’t so rushed or distracted by other things. Or you might try doing a different activity, but keeping the same time slot you already set aside. Again, classes are great for adding variety to your routine.
– Do you feel good physically when you are active? If your answer to this question is no, make sure that you are not doing too much. You may be straining some muscles.
Stretch before doing any physical activity and take it slow. A gradual approach can take away some of the frustration of feeling that your body is not keeping up with what your mind wants it to do. Make sure to check with your physician if you experience persistent physical discomfort as a result of your physical activity. With the money you will be saving from not smoking, you may also consider trying a couple of sessions with a personal trainer.
Trainers are available at most gyms and YMCAs and some of them even offer free consultations as part of your orientation. By measuring your level of endurance, a trainer can work with you to create an activity plan that is safe and effective. A trainer can also help you decide when to increase your level of physical activity and are often great for keeping you motivated. Trainers are also helpful for making decisions about adding a strength training program into your routine.
– Do you feel a sense of accomplishment from your physical activity? . You’ve done some really great work. Quitting smoking is a difficult thing to do and you managed to do it and work on getting more active. These are two of the main ingredients in building a healthy new you, and you are well on your way.
If you aren’t feeling good about what you’ve accomplished, remind yourself of all that you’ve learned and how much time you’ve spent working on your health. Practice a little positive self-talk to build your confidence and get back on track.
Finally, if you find that for some reason you get entirely thrown off track, even if it means starting over. There are many things in life that can get in the way of one’s routine: holidays, vacations, being extra busy, sickness, and pregnancy.
If possible, try to plan ahead. But if you cannot, try to get back to your physical activity again, when things calm down. Remember those benefits, and be confident about how much you’ve learned and already accomplished.