It takes 21 days to develop a habit. Make a commitment to yourself and mark your calendar for the next 21 days to start a physical activity. Start with small steps. For example, start today before you take your shower with 10 jumping jacks or crunches. Add 10 more jumping jacks or crunches daily until you reach 100. Once you reach 100, stick with it on a daily basis before you take your shower to begin to develop the exercise habit.
Choose activities that are fun and easy to do regularly. Be sure to do at least 10 minutes of activity at a time. For example, walking the dog for 10 minutes before and after work, or a 10 minute walk at lunchtime helps to start the journey to develop an exercise habit. Keep a pair of walking or running shoes and comfortable clothes in the car or at the office to be ready for physical activity.
Ideas to increase physical activity
• Replace a coffee break with a brisk 10 minute walk
• Take the stairs instead of the elevator
• Start a walking club at work during lunch time
• Invite co-workers to take a walk or move to a workout DVD after work
• Get the whole family involved – take a bike ride or walk around the neighborhood
• Walk up and down the soccer field sidelines while watching the game
• While your dinner is baking in the oven, try yoga or Pilates
• Exercise to a workout video
• Walk, skate or cycle
• Join a dance class
• Take a nature walk
• Most importantly – have fun!
Before you know it, 21 days will have passed by, an exercise habit is formed and the journey begins for a more active life!
Writer: Beth Stefura M Ed, RD, LD. Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, Crossroads EERA, email@example.com
Reviewer: Michelle Treber, MA, LD. Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, firstname.lastname@example.org