After hibernating in your den or on your couch all winter, let those first warm breezes of spring be a call to action. There's no better time of year to stretch your mind and muscles -- and launch an exercise routine that will take you through the summer and into the fall. The key to developing a fitness routine that will help you reach your health and weight goals is simpler than you may have thought. There are only two firm rules: Keep it simple and keep it up.
Simplicity is key
Often, the hardest part of an exercise program is getting started -- particularly after a long and sedentary winter. So priority number one is to simply get moving by setting aside 20 minutes every day for some kind of physical activity. Spring days are great times to take a walk, go for a bike ride in the neighborhood or rake those leftover leaves from your lawn. If there's still a bit of winter in the air, stay inside and dance to your favorite tunes or do some chores to fast-paced music. Mopping, vacuuming, dusting can be good exercise if you do them continuously and at a moderately fast pace.
The important thing is to keep yourself moving for 20 minutes. The following week, add an additional 10 minutes and change up your activities. After two weeks, you will have developed the habit of taking time to move, which is essential to making any exercise routine stick.
Consistency gets results
The bottom line is this: Once you are in the habit of exercising, it's much more likely that you will stay with it. What you do during your exercise time isn't nearly as important as simply doing it -- and making it fun. If exercising outdoors with friends will help keep you moving on a regular basis, build an exercise routine that includes walking with others a few times each week. If it's solitude you seek, search out two or three walking routes that are quiet and serene. Building in variety is another key to keep your exercise plan going strong.
Ask for help
Building new habits is hard, and you don't have to do it alone. There are fitness resources galore both in your public library and on the Internet. It's also a good idea to consult your physician for any exercise tips or suggestions.