Many people have a short-sighted approach to fitness. They look only as far as their next goal which may be to lose weight, train for an event, or get a better body for a vacation or reunion rather than making lifelong fitness a priority. When you incorporate fitness into your everyday life, you’ll live longer, be healthier and happier, and you’ll be able to age more gracefully.
What Does Lifelong Fitness Mean?
Lifelong fitness means making fitness a part of your life. It’s about creating a fitness habit that supports you to get and stay healthy. It requires a balanced approach. Train too hard and you put yourself at risk for injury. Train too little and you’re not doing enough to achieve your goals.
Let’s take a look at three steps you can begin taking today to make fitness a part of the rest of your life.
1. Small steps
Instead of setting huge goals that may seem overwhelming or impossible, strive to set realistic goals and make lifestyle changes to support them. For example, someone who hasn’t exercised in years may feel burdened by the idea of exercising for an hour a day. That type of goal will be difficult to follow through on.
Yet, you could probably exercise for ten minutes a day. Gradually increase the time you exercise week to week from ten minutes to fifteen, to twenty, and eventually you’ll be at that hour mark. Your life will be able to slowly adapt, and your body will too.
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2. Enjoyable activities
Fitness doesn’t have to mean “exercise.” Identify activities that you enjoy or are interested in. Like to dance? Take a dance class or go dancing once a week. Enjoy getting out in nature? Try hiking on the weekends. Love to play tennis? Join a recreational tennis club. Focus on moving your body and having fun. Make fitness a part of your life.
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3. Build your community
One of the benefits of many fitness activities is that there are others who are doing the same activity. For example, if you enjoy running then you could join a running club. If you enjoy soccer then join a recreational team. Love to dance? Join a studio and take regular classes. Community is important to a feeling of identity and well-being. When your community supports fitness and good health, it’s a win-win.
You can also do little things throughout your day to increase your fitness. Become the person who parks at the back of the parking lot, takes the stairs, and walks every day to get some fresh air and sunshine. Your future self will thank you for it and you’ll reap immediate benefits too.
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How do you fit fitness in to your busy day? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.