New year, new you? Forget the mindset that January 1 is the only time to restart your commitment to being active. Don’t wait. Begin today, right now. Jumping right into exercise is often the best way to push past any mental or emotional barriers. Or, as the famous slogan reminds us, “Just do it.”
Still not sold? Try this: you don’t have to embrace a complex workout program or a strict exercise schedule. Instead, begin small and focus on making regular activity a daily habit.
Three easy ways to add activity to your day
Here are three strategies you can adopt to get active and help build discipline and confidence. Try one for a week or two, and then evaluate. Not your thing? Do one of the others, or mix and match.
1. Do a five-in-five workout. If the traditional 30-minute workout feels too intimidating, fear not. You can do a great, all-around workout in just five minutes. Here’s how: do each of the following four exercises for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and then repeat to complete one minute. (Repeat any exercise for your final round.) For a challenge, do each exercise one time for 50 seconds then rest for 10 seconds. You’ll be sweaty and energized in no time.
- Jumping jacks: This exercise raises your heart rate, helps warm up the body, and builds lower body strength.
- Air squats: Squats build your leg and hip muscles. Squat either with a shoulder-width stance with your feet pointed straight ahead, or a wider stance where your feet are wider apart than your shoulders and pointed outward at a 45° angle. (A wider stance is often easier, as you don’t have to squat as far.)
- Push-ups: This works the shoulders, triceps, and chest at the same time. If you can’t