What is the best exercise to do?

The very best exercise is—drumroll please… whatever you will do!

Think about your schedule, your responsibilities, your available time and energy, your resources, as well as your restrictions and limitations. How much time can you carve out and dedicate for physical activity?

Consistency is key for physical activity but that doesn’t have to mean every day. Consistency can be one day a week~every week. That’s still getting it done 52 times!!!

Schedule your workout just like you would a doctor’s appointment or important event. This shows that you are prioritizing this time.

If you’re just starting out, or starting something new, give yourself time to build up your body and the habit. Something else to consider, when you exercise, your central nervous system is getting a workout as well, so allow your entire self plenty of time to strengthen and recover.

Physical activity can improve your strength, cardiovascular health, flexibility and mobility, balance, endurance, and stamina. Engaging in a range of different activities can help target each of these areas. Physical activity has also been shown to improve overall mood, quality of sleep, and increase how energetic you feel.

You don’t have to join a gym or need fancy equipment for a great workout. For example, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) has a fantastic (and free) website that offers many exercises and workouts you can do at home (with or without equipment)—check out the exercises acefitness.org/resources/everyone/exercise-library/

You can substitute water bottles or cans for dumbbells.

Move your body in whatever ways feel good to you, do what brings you joy. Be willing to try new things: dance, play in the playground, toss a frisbee, roller skate, walk backwards and side-to-side. You can also combine movement with a purpose: help people move, do a deep cleaning, volunteer at an animal shelter to walk dogs, start a neighborhood garden.

Whatever activity you do, be sure to allow your body to warm up first. Simple movements like marching in place and arm circles are fine.

Just as important as the warm up, is the cool down. Give yourself at least five minutes of slow movement to allow your heart rate and breathing to return to normal.

Don’t wait for motivation. Instead, lean into your determination. Motivation says you feel like doing it, determination says you’ll do it whether you feel like it or not.

Read the SMARTY goal setting article here at MyHumanCoach, and practice setting a goal for how you might include physical activity.

Physical activity is just like everything else—perfection is NOT required for progress.

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