While I grew up as an extremely active kid/teen, that activity quickly faded away when I got to college and no longer had gymnastics/cheer practice to go to. Since those days I've had my ups and downs with working out but within the last couple years I finally discovered the mental benefits of weaving some activity in to my everyday life.
Without getting to in to it, a few years ago I was struggling with a not so happy mental state. I was bummed out for seemingly no reason with some frequency. In an unrelated decision, my (then) fiance and I decided to get a dog. Once we did that, I started taking daily walks just to ensure that little Cooper was getting exercise and not destroying our house. Little by little, those daily walks started to help my mental state improve.
As the great Elle Woods once said "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy." (if you know how that quote ends, we can be best friends).
I am by no means an extremely active person now, I might not even make the moderately active category most days. However, I do believe in weaving exercise and activity in to my day to day.
Here are a few of the things that help me stay active:
1. Get a fitness tracker- I started with the Fitbit a few years ago then transitioned over to the Apple watch. I love having something that tells me about how active I was (or was not) on a given day. Plus sharing your activity with friends can be a super motivating way to encourage you to do just a little bit more.
2. Start small. Any movement counts.- I used to think I had to do a major workout- run on the treadmill, go to an exercise class, do P90x- to be active. But that's just not true. Being active can be as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood. Jumping and playing with your dog in the backyard. Questions to answer- does it get you moving? Did your heart rate increase above your resting rate? If the answer is yes, you're being active and that's great!
3. Find a form of exercise you enjoy.- One reason I struggled in college with a normal gym was because I had never learned how to use a normal gym. All I knew was gymnastics and cheer leading. It took some exploration to find out what I like and what motivated me to work out. For me, I discovered that I love spin classes. We actually bought a spin bike of Amazon awhile back (which I don't use nearly enough). I also recently found a studio near me to take classes.
If you're in the Houston area, I'd highly encourage you to check out Rush Cycle. I joined the #RushFam this past October and I absolutely love it. It goes above and beyond you're average spin class with riding set to the beat of the music, dim/neon lights, and the most motivating instructors I've ever experienced. I love it and I'm sure y'all will too.
What tips do you have for keeping yourself motivated?