It’s easy to find excuses for why not to exercise, even if we know it’s good for us. I don’t have time. I’m too tired. According to the National Institutes of Health, regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. It can improve your overall physical fitness and reduce your risk for many conditions, including depression.1
Specifically, the NIH recommends that adults "get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week." Yet finding time to work out, and finding a workout you actually enjoy, can be tough.
The best approach is to find a physical activity you like to do — so it won’t feel like your workout is work. Need inspiration? Here are 4 ideas to shake up your exercise routine.
Step up your step count
Taking the first step is often the hardest part. Start by going for a few 10-minute walks throughout the day. Those short walks will add up — and you’ll soon be on your way to reaching that 150-minute weekly goal. Need help staying motivated? Try tracking your step count with a smartphone or wearable fitness tracker. You can set daily reminders to go for a walk and even track your progress.
Enjoy the outdoors
If running on a treadmill or going to the gym isn’t for you, there are many ways to get outside and work up a sweat. Activities include everything from hiking and biking to surfing and scavenger hunts. Plus, just being outdoors in nature is good for you. So hit your local hiking trail, park, or even your own backyard.
Strike a pose
Studies have found that exercises like yoga may be helpful for depression, anxiety, or PTSD.2 Plus, you can do many low-impact yoga poses when you have a few free moments to spare. You can also find classes that teach different styles of yoga – and cater to different skill levels.
Joining an athletic team is a great way to get moving. Nowadays you can find local teams that play everything from softball to dodgeball. Also, finding a friend to work out with could be helpful. Many people find accountability is the key to staying motivated.
For more ideas and inspiration, check out our list of recommended fitness activities.