“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen.” - Michael Jordan

After the first lockdowns, a lot of people took up running outdoors. The pandemic has been the catalyst for a lot of people looking to start exercising more.

Would you like to exercise more frequently? Did you get into a routine of working out at home and would like to keep going?

Then this article is for you. Here are some great ways to exercise and stay motivated.

From good habits to establishing a routine, here’s everything you need to know about exercising.

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Why Exercise?

It’s well known that exercising comes with a lot of benefits.

Why should you exercise?
Exercising comes with both physical and mental benefits. (Source: dsandzhiev)

If you’re not ready to start exercising yet, let us remind you of the benefits of exercising:

  • Decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Managing blood pressure
  • Balanced blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of diabetes
  • Combat stress and anxiety
  • Sleep better
  • Strengthen your bones
  • Improve your immune system
  • Reduce the risk of certain cancers
  • Maintain a healthy physique
  • Lose or manage your weight
  • Slow the ageing process
  • Reduce the risks of back pain
  • Improved wellbeing

In addition to the physical and mental benefits of exercising, it can also be a source of motivation. Think carefully about why you want to exercise and what you want to get out of your exercise routine.

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Choose the Exercise That’s Right for You

Exercising needs more than just motivation. Like anything else, if you're passionate about it, it won’t ever feel like an obligation.

Which is the best kind of exercise?
The best kind of exercise is the king that you're happy to do regularly. (Source: FabricioMacedoPhotos)

Once you’ve got a clear idea of why you want to exercise, think about what kind of sport or exercise will work for you. For a bit of inspiration, here are a few activities that anyone can try:

  • Light aerobic sessions
  • Crossfit
  • Boxing
  • HIIT
  • Qi Gong
  • Rugby
  • Walking
  • Tai Chi
  • Power walking
  • Cycling
  • Volleyball
  • Aquagym
  • Long-distance running
  • Nordic walking
  • Jogging
  • Swimming

Think about whether you prefer to do team sports or individual sports. From there, you can look for classes or sessions, hire a fitness coach, or practise your new activity outdoors.

If you’re a beginner, look for something gentle. You have to ensure that your new activity is appropriate for your fitness level since bit by bit, you’ll get better at it.

The activity needs to match your motivation, too. If you’re already in really good shape, then you can consider high-intensity activities and even get a fitness coach to push you.

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Establish a Routine

To get into a routine, you want to exercise at least 3 times a week. Sessions between 30 minutes and an hour should be enough to give you time to warm up, exercise, and cool down. It isn’t always easy to find the time, which is why you should plan. By being organised, you’ll find achieving your goals much easier.

How do you establish an exercise routine?
Establishing an exercise routine needs to be something you can do so regularly that it becomes a habit. (Source: tacofleur)

If you’re going to a gym, you should pick classes that you’ll want to go to and go at times that work for you. If you’re exercising outdoors, set aside time slots that won’t disrupt your schedule.

If you don’t have time to do either of these things, consider looking for video workouts that you can do at home. There are a lot of fitness coaches that stream workouts or pre-record sessions you can follow along to. The live streams are a great way to ensure that you participate.

All of this can help get you into the routine of exercising.

Try to start your week with some exercise on a Monday when you have the time and avoid looking for excuses not to do it.

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Set Goals

Have you heard of the SMARTER method?

This is a way to set and achieve goals and it works great for fitness goals.

You need to ensure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-related, Exciting, Rewarding. This is great for exercising.

By setting achievable goals, you’ll get a better idea of your strengths and weaknesses, better monitor your progress, and be more motivated to keep going. You need to set goals appropriate to your fitness levels and ensure that they aren’t too ambitious.

Your goals must be also specific. You can still push yourself, but having clear goals in mind will help you get the most out of a workout session. You’ll also want to set goals for the short-term and long-term. Regular easy goals can help keep you motivated.

Don’t be too hard on yourself, though. Start easily as regularly achieving your goals will help keep you motivated. Here are a few example goals:

  • Lose weight
  • Build muscle
  • Tone muscle
  • Get back into shape
  • Regularly exercise
  • Live a healthier life
  • Stay motivated

“You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.” - Michael Jordan

Track Your Progress

Regular exercise will help improve your fitness.

Think about your goals. What are you looking to achieve? Would you like to lose weight or get in shape?

If you’re running, consider apps like Runtastic, Strava, or even Google Fit to track your runs, the distance, pace, and calories burnt, for example. If you’re looking to lose weight, keep an eye on your scales. There are even smart scales that can measure your muscle mass and body fat. For those looking to build muscle, a tape measure is a good way to track your progress.

For different sports and exercises, there are different ways to track your progress. Take pride in your achievements, too., as this will help keep you motivated.

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Enjoy It

Never forget that exercising shouldn’t be a chore and you need to enjoy it if you want to make it a regular thing.

How can you get the most out of exercising?
To get the most out of exercising, make sure you enjoy it! (Source: StockSnap)

Exercising is a gift for your body and mind. If this isn’t the case, you need to think about how you’re exercising. Finding a sport that you enjoy will help since forcing yourself to exercise when you hate it won’t work in the long term.

There are plenty of sports and activities so find something that you love doing. Exercising regularly is recommended but never put too much pressure on yourself. Don’t set the bar too high. If you only manage to exercise one hour a week, it’s already better than nothing.

Start gently.

Try getting rid of exercises that you don’t like and replacing them with things that you enjoy since you won’t see any results if you just give up because you don’t like doing it. Don’t overdo and try moderate-intensity exercises rather than starting with high-intensity training.

Find somewhere you enjoy exercising, invest in comfortable clothing, and set aside part of a room to exercise if you’re working out at home. Having a routine can also help keep you motivated throughout.

Good luck!

If you're looking for help with your fitness routine, consider getting help from a personal trainer or coach on Superprof. There are instructors and coaches all over the country and around the world ready to start working with you on your fitness.

There are different ways to get fitness coaching and each comes with advantages and disadvantages so think carefully about which would work well for you and your budget.

Face-to-face coaches can train you at your home, a gym, or outdoors in a park, for example. With the session being just between you and them, you can guarantee that you'll have their undivided attention and that every minute will be planned with you in mind. However, all this planning takes time and expertise so one-on-one coaching tends to cost more than the other options out there but is often the most cost-effective option.

Group coaching is great for those on a tight budget as every member of the class will be paying for the instructor's time and expertise. It can also be really useful to have other people there to support you and spur you on. When exercising in groups, you'll probably be exercising in public spaces, gyms, or dedicated space.

Thanks to the internet, you can also get online coaching. This is useful if you can't find any suitable coaches in your local area but would still like to get guidance from one. Some might guide you through your workouts over video conferencing software like Zoom or Skype whereas others may just act in a consultancy role, providing you with a tailored workout and dietary plan for you to follow in your own time.

Remember that a lot of the coaches and fitness instructors on Superprof offer the first session for free so try a few out before deciding on the one that's right for you and your budget.

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