Mental Health Professionals

Creating a sustainable exercise routine

Regular physical activity allows you to maintain a healthy lifestyle by reducing your risk of chronic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, depression, anxiety, and dementia. By preventing chronic conditions from developing, you can save yourself a significant amount of money in the long term.

Exercise recommendations

There are two main types of exercise:

Cardio – involves activities of moderate to vigorous intensity (i.e., walking, biking, dancing, running). Most adults should spend at least 150 minutes per week on cardio.

Muscle strengthening – involves activities that target the major muscle groups (i.e., lifting weights, walking uphill, squatting). You should train your muscles around 2 days per week, in addition to your cardio exercises.

How to build a routine

Finding the time and motivation to maintain an exercise regime is difficult for many individuals. Consider these tips to help you build an exercise routine that’ll work for you.

  • Start small and build up. If you have not participated in any physical activity in a while, it is important to begin with short sessions with mild intensity. If you overextend yourself, you are more likely to feel discouraged and quit. Starting small allows you to track your growth each session, build confidence, and hopefully create a new healthy habit of exercising regularly.
  • Do what you enjoy. There are a wide variety of exercises in which you can partake. Choose one that you are good at or enjoy. Those who find exercising fun are more likely to continue.
  • Exercise at times of high energy. Monitor your energy levels for a few days to determine when you have the most time and energy to dedicate to your workout. Some people prefer to exercise first thing in the morning, while others prefer to workout right after work. Once you determine the best time for you, create a schedule and stick to it. When exercising is scheduled, it is easier to become habitual.
  • Find a workout partner. Accountability is key when maintaining a routine. Having a workout partner allows you to work together to achieve your fitness goals in a fun and sustainable way.

 

Any exercise is better than no exercise at all, so start small, create a sustainable routine, and achieve your wellness goals.