Monday, 4 February 2019

How I Incorporate Exercise Into My Daily Routine

It's probably the most common new years resolution to set yourself the goal to exercise more frequently. I myself have definitely given myself this aspiration at the beginning of a year, and more often than not I found myself slacking a few weeks into January. It's very easy to believe that exercise means going to the gym five times a week or waking up at the crack of dawn to go for a run, which I think plays a big part in why it's sometimes incredibly difficult to stick to a routine. It becomes less enjoyable! 
I definitely haven't always had a positive attitude towards exercising, and I still have numerous days where I just want to be a couch potato, but being someone who spends a lot of time sat down at a computer, I needed to find a way to incorporate exercise into my life and keep it there.

Nowadays, thanks to the invention of the internet, having support and guidance when it comes to exercise is so much easier to obtain that it's not necessary for you to join a gym. Sure there's plenty of benefits; it gets you out of the house, you're provided a variety of equipment, there's a social aspect to it, etc. but for a lot of people the gym isn't always a viable option. It costs a lot of money, they can feel intimidating and it takes time to travel which you might not have in your already limited day. I personally have never been an avid gym goer and much prefer to exercise in the comfort of my own home, or if neither appeal to you, going for a run or to a local park that offers outdoor exercise equipment can be a happy medium!

A huge part of exercising at home is that 100% of my motivation has to come from me. I don't have a scheduled personal trainer or the promise of meeting up with a friend, and sometimes it can be hard to push yourself into a positive mindset. I found that a huge motivator for me was allowing myself variety. It's not always possible to include a full body hit workout in your routine every single day, and trying to do so resulted in me feeling let down that I wasn't able to stick to my goals, so, I started to incorporate exercise in what was an achievable and adaptable way for me. I gave myself six different variations for getting my body moving;

  • STRETCHING - This involves taking 15/20 minutes to work on my flexibility, targeting all areas of my body, and including an aspect of meditation into my day. When I was younger I used to attend a martial arts class, so my stretching routine is essentially what I learnt from that, but a simple google will allow you to create your own stretching routine.
  • YOGA - I only recently started getting into yoga and for anyone who thinks it's easy, think again! I love yoga because again, it acts as a form of meditation, and you get your heart rate up in a calming and focused way. I usually follow along with a video on youtube, and despite it encouraging using a different video each day, I only move on once I feel comfortable with the routine and know I'm ready to progress onto the next step.
  • TONING WORKOUT - Over time I've collected a variety of my favourite toning exercises to do and created a personal workout, but on days where I want something a little different I'll usually follow along with one of Lucy Wyndham-Read's videos like this one. I love her videos and she offers so many different routines that you're never limited for choice.
  • DANCING - Sometimes, I don't want to follow a structured routine. Sometimes I just want to put my favourite uplifting music on and dance around like a lunatic for half an hour. It's actually a lot of fun to let yourself be free and let your body move the way it wants to move, and you can give yourself a very tiring workout doing this!
  • RUNNING - This is the only variation that I'm yet to do. The idea of going for a run in this winter weather isn't very appealing to me, so I'm not forcing myself, and I'm sure by the time spring/summer rolls around I'll be far more inclined towards this form of exercise!
  • CARDIO WORKOUT - Some of my favourite cardio workouts include this dance workout, and this full body hit workout, and I love how I feel after I do them. I've found that the more I do them, the more I want to do them, but allowing myself the freedom to choose a different form of exercise when I want to means that these cardio workouts feel much less of a chore.

Allowing myself the freedom to choose any of these 6 variations means that I'm much more likely to include some form of exercise within my day. Sometimes, I have absolutely no time for a workout, which means I'll most likely do my stretches just before I head to bed. Other days I might have more time on my hands, and can therefore choose between a more targeted yoga workout, toning or high intensity cardio/dance. I allow myself the room to be flexible and choose what works for me on that particular day, and I've found that this method allows me to include some form of exercise into my routine every single day. As time goes on and my fitness improves, I might find myself wanting to do more of the high intensity workouts on a daily basis, but even if all I manage that day is a few stretches before I go sleep at least I've done something

Allowing myself flexibility in what I do also allows me flexibility in when I do it. Typically, I've found that first thing in the morning works well for me as it puts me in a positive mindset for the rest of the day and I already feel as though I've achieved something, but there's also been numerous occasions where it's been a half an hour yoga session in the evening, or as I mentioned before, stretching right before I go to sleep. Do what works for you, and don't feel as though you have to stick to the same routine and time every single day. 
Also, as a little side note, exercise doesn't have to always be a workout of sorts. Standing up on public transport instead of sitting down, taking the stairs, walking up escalators, going for a walk with your family, playing fetch with your dog, all of this counts towards your physical and mental health. Allow yourself the freedom to enjoy getting your body moving and I guarantee you'll find yourself wanting to do it more often!

How do you incorporate exercise into your daily routine?
x
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6 comments

  1. Love this. I'm not a gym goer either (I get terrible anxiety in gyms) so I use online pilates and yoga as well as cardio on my treadmill. Sometimes I incorporate light weights, but it works for me!

    Deanna | luxandvitae.com

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    1. Thank you! It's so good that we're able to access these things online for free! <3 x

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  2. I have fallen in love with yoga at the moment, whenever I get a free moment I am doing it at home!

    Danielle xx
    https://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  3. I used to hate running but I'm lucky in the sense that we have a treadmill indoors at my house so I don't have to brave the elements to run. I noticed for me that I can only jog/run if I have a REALLY good playlist, otherwise it's like my motivation goes out the window. I absolutely love doing Popsugar workouts as well!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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    1. I completely agree - listening to music fuels my motivation! And they're so good aren't they?! <3 x

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