How to start exercising – guide for the lazy in you

My entire childhood’s PE classes were spent making excuses. I hated every moment of the activities that were compulsory: handball, throwing the ball far, jumping in the sand box, running. Maybe because I was not good at them. Maybe because I was so freakishly tall that I always came first in line, even before all boys in my class. Please, I would have done anything but be there. The fact that I also had my first cigarette when i was 13 did not help my lung capacity and sports skills either.

As I  grew older and wiser  advanced in age however, I experimented with sports. Some I tried because it was the latest trend and everybody was talking about it, like spinning, zumba and power plates. Some because I was interested, like yoga, rock climbing, skiing and roller blading. And the last category, the sports that I have tried because I felt I had to, like straights training because I watched Dr. Oz telling me that my muscular mass is decreasing 1% every year after 30, or running because I talked to my friend who was training for a marathon and was loving every minute of it, or one of my least favorite sports, tae bo, because Gisselle was giving credit to that for her VS perfect body.

And there is nothing wrong in trying. By experimenting as much variety as you can, you may stumble upon great activities that might one day become the activities you do all the time. But what is the way to get here?

Find activities you love I love the no sweat/stretch/relaxation feeling that I get from yoga. And because I love it I was able to stick with the practice for more than 5 years. I sometimes go to classes and I also do it at home. Finding the activities that suit your body and your preferences is the singular and most important component in doing exercise consistently. If you dread going to the gym and using the treadmill, stop it right now and find something that you do with a smile. Even if that is ping pong. Your body, your time, your way.

Exercise first thing in the morning I found that for a lazy person like I am, the best approach is to schedule my exercise time first thing as I wake up. I prepare my workout clothes the night before, lay my yoga mat in the living room or set a post-it next to my toothbrush. The more you delay the activity, the more you decrease the chances of actually doing it. On the bright side, starting my day with exercise makes me feel energized for the rest of the day and make me feel good about the fact that I did it. Put reminders, schedule your wake up time 30 min earlier, and simply have that time just for you.

Mix and match I get bored quite easily, so I needed couple of activities to alternate during the week. Monday is yoga, wednesday is rollerblading and friday is walk/run sessions. Or mixing. Or one week only yoga. In winter I go skiing whenever I have a chance and try more aerobics DVDs in the house. Try to keep it varied and you are less likely to abandon the project. If you are somebody who has a hard time following a routine, then simply give yourself the freedom to do whichever activity you feel like from your top 3 favorites. Or just toss a coin every morning.

Have a catchy tune This one is particularly important for running and walking. I have my clubbing days tunes that still give me goose bumps and make me sing along and push for those last 300m. It can be anything from Abba to Moby, nobody has to know what’s that sound in your ears.

Buddy-up We tend to perform better in a herd. When seeing somebody else faster or more flexible, we tend to push more to reach our abilities further. When seeing somebody slower, we tend to praise ourselves and congratulate our accomplishments. Either way, competition is good. Seek it, and make it a fun day out in the nature with your friends or like minded people.

When it comes to sports and activities, we tend to be extremist: if I didn’t exercise today, there is no point at doing it tomorrow. Or if I didn’t do the complicated, burning 800kcal/hour workout, I better don’t do anything at all. This will only bring the feeling of yo-yo ing through life. And that is not you. You are the master of your own life and your own fate. And pretty much the master of your own pants size. So give yourself that amazing healthy body that you deserve.

Any minute counts. Any workout counts. Have a blast!

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