Everyone is different, so to feel great and get healthy you have to find your own groove, and it’s probably somewhere between sitting on the couch and running marathons. When we picture health, we think of big muscles, flat abs and lots of sweat.
But maintaining a lifelong healthy routine can be as simple as finding what you enjoy and what works for your schedule.
For me, it’s been running. I started when I was a teenager, to relieve stress and be active. My groove was running a one-mile loop around my neighborhood daily.
I didn’t follow a structured exercise plan until I starting studying for my exercise science degree. I began with local 5K and 10K races. Then I wanted a challenge, so I decided to run a half marathon. I had never completed a race of any length. So I wrote a training plan, put it on my calendar and followed it.
Make a plan to incorporate activities that you enjoy. If you do not enjoy running, don’t run. Instead try a bike ride or a water aerobics class.
Need help finding what your groove is? Ask yourself the following questions from WebMD:
1. Where do you want to work out?
2. What is convenient?
3. Do you want to exercise by yourself or with others?
4. What would be fun?
If you don’t enjoy the activity, it will be that much more difficult to continue doing it long-term. Once you find what you enjoy, your workout won’t feel like work.
Remember, it’s never too late to make healthy changes. Start small. Choose a farther parking spot, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or meet a friend for an evening walk at a local trail.
If you’re not a morning person, exercise in the evening.
Also, remember that if you miss a day or fall out of your groove, don’t punish yourself. Tomorrow is a new day, and you can start over again.
I’m training for my 10th half marathon right now. I’m still loving the structure of my plan even though I’m not breaking any records. My goal is to enjoy my training and on race day, cross the finish line with a smile.