Perhaps you made a New Year's resolution to be active, but your motivation has tapered off. Or maybe you have been cruising along with an exercise routine but are getting bored with it.
Now that longer days and warmer weather are here, it is a great time recommit and add zip to regular exercise. The Centers for Disease Control recommends 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity and at least two days a week of muscle strength training to stave off weight gain and reduce risk of chronic disease.
Here are some ideas to keep moving forward with your activity and exercise goals.
Make it fit into your schedule by breaking it up into 10 or 15 minutes bursts. Activity doesn't necessarily have to be consecutive to be effective. For example, walk over your lunch time and then again in the evening.
Make it fun by taking ordinary chores such as house cleaning and gardening to the "extreme." Can you weed faster? Can you do lunges while vacuuming? Stand on one foot while washing dishes?
Although it might seem silly, challenges like these are proven ways to boost activity levels.
Make it a challenge by trying a new kind of exercise each week. The benefits of exercise can drop off as your body becomes accustomed to the routine of, say, your daily 2-mile walk.
So venture into that yoga class you have wanted to try, meet with a trainer to learn how to weight train, or jump in the pool and do a few laps.
Challenging a variety of muscles increases your body's calorie burning power.
Make it interesting by changing up the scenery. Looking at beautiful things while you exercise are great diversions.
Stanislaus County is a great jumping off point for many of California's state and national parks and other recreational areas to walk, hike, bike, and swim that take the boring out of any exercise routine.
Make it competitive by adding friendly competition to your workouts. Start a workplace challenge to see who can log the most exercise minutes. Utilize apps and websites like www.mapmyrun.com or www.runtastic.com where you can compete against others for best times in running and cycling.
Bottom line: create opportunities for exercise, mix it up, and make it fun!
Pam Noonan MS, RN, CDE, is a diabetes educator at Sutter Gould Medical Foundation.