Making time for exercise isn’t always easy, but there are plenty of good reasons to do it as often as you can. Exercise not only improves your health, but it also reduces stress and makes you feel happier overall, which can help make you more productive at work and in your personal life.
If you’re having trouble finding the time or energy to fit in workouts, keep reading to find out why it’s so important to have a regular exercise schedule, as well as some tips to help you stick with it.
What does an effective workout routine look like
An effective workout routine can have many forms. The most common type of workout is an aerobic session, consisting of exercises like running, biking, or walking that raise your heart rate and keep it there. This can include interval training such as 30 seconds of full-speed running followed by 2 minutes of slower pace running.
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Some people prefer to do a combination of both high-intensity and moderate workouts–either strength training one day and then an aerobic session the next, or two shorter workouts per day rather than one long one.
Schedule your workouts
Set aside at least 10 minutes of physical activity each day. Do some stretching exercises or take a walk around the block. At least three times per week, go for an intense, full-body workout that raises your heart rate.
This could include walking uphill fast, taking an aerobics class or lifting weights to increase muscle strength and flexibility. If you have more than 15 pounds to lose, aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week–or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise
Have fun with your workout
I love going to the gym! I love trying out new classes and different trainers, but there are days when I just can’t find the motivation to get my butt off the couch. That’s why it’s so important to find an activity that you enjoy! Whether it be yoga, swimming, taking a hike in nature or running around with your kids.
When working out feels like playtime, who doesn’t want to have fun? Making sure you keep up a regular workout routine is not only good for your health, but also really great for your mental well-being.
Exercise releases endorphins which help relieve stress and boost moods, as well as releasing cortisol – this hormone helps improve mental clarity while improving our physical stamina! Not only does regular exercise help with weight loss by boosting metabolism, but it also boosts memory function and brainpower. So remember to work those muscles of yours into shape!
One way to stay motivated is to set short-term goals, such as joining your gym’s walking club or going on a 5k walk with your neighborhood friends. Commit to one event per month and eventually, it’ll be second nature. Another tip? Make an account on MyFitnessPal or another fitness app and track your progress!
Another trick is to think about all the reasons why you want to start exercising. You don’t want back pain in your 20s like your mom had, right? You want that bikini body by the pool in December? Let those aspirations motivate you.
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Remember how great it felt when you ran 5 miles without stopping during that charity race last year? Those are just two of the many benefits of physical activity! It can reduce stress, improve sleep quality, boost mood and self-esteem, strengthen bones and muscles, help prevent depression – the list goes on.
Think about what health goals you have this year – losing weight? Eating healthier? Running a marathon? Your personal goal may not be to lose weight but rather to get stronger: Whatever it is, make sure there’s something motivating you.
How much physical activity do I need to be fit?
The short answer is that it depends on your goal. You need at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (e.g., walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity (e.g., running) each week to maintain basic health, but as many as several hours per day to lose weight or build muscle and improve your fitness level. You don’t have to do all this activity in one session; the important thing is keeping track of the total amount during the course of a week.
Final word on having a regular exercise schedule
We all know that we need to maintain a healthy lifestyle by keeping our eating habits in check and staying active. However, not all of us know the other benefits of exercising. For example, exercising on a regular basis is good for your brain: it increases blood flow and stimulates neuron growth in the frontal cortex.
When this part of the brain is stimulated, there are tangible improvements to your thinking abilities. In fact, research has shown that people who have been physically active over 20 years score higher on memory tests than those who have never exercised at all! The easiest way to get started is by following an established plan. If you prefer more personalized instruction, then consider hiring a fitness trainer or joining an exercise class at your local gym.