Has your summer been filled with barbecues, beach lounging and very little working out? You’re definitely not alone, many of us enjoy a more lax schedule in the summer, but if you feel like it’s time to return to an exercise routine, now is the perfect time. You can use the change of season as motivation to recommit to your health goals.
Personal trainer Stephanie Mansour says the key to getting back on track with fitness - and staying there - is to “start with small changes that don’t really feel like you’re doing much at all.” She recommends these easy ways to make exercise part of your daily routine again:
- Add just five minutes of movement - You have to start somewhere and going from zero to 100 never works, Mansour says. But committing to five minutes every single day - whether it’s stretching or a core routine - helps you show up for yourself and makes moving your body a habit again.
- Set up a self-care corner - Create a small space for your yoga mat, free weights, something that makes you smile and anything else that will inspire you to exercise. Treat it as a space for you to relax and de-stress so you associate fitness with improving mental health and it may help change your mindset.
- Think about the holidays now - Does the food and fun of the holiday season tend to derail your fitness routine? By starting now, you’ll have an established habit that you’ll be more likely to maintain when the holidays hit.
- Get outside whenever possible - The heat makes outdoor exercise more challenging in the summer, but the crisp fall air is welcoming your workout.
- Join a challenge - We could all use more structure and accountability and an easy way to get both is by committing to a challenge of some kind. Mansour recommends starting with 30 days, which is long enough to see results, but short enough that you’ll be able to see the finish line.
- Make a new playlist - One of the best ways to boost motivation and quiet negative thoughts and that never-ending mental to-do list is by listening to music while working out. Adding new songs to your playlist will help with the mental motivation your workout routine depends on.
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