· Set realistic fitness goals. Instead of setting a goal to “exercise more,” be more specific: “take a 10-minute walk.” Recognize that you want to change your lifestyle for the long term; don’t focus on a short-term fix.
· Learn to exercise everywhere. No matter your setting, there’s always something to do. Find small chunks of time during the day to get moving, as long as your activity requires moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time.
· Find a workout buddy who is at the same skill level as you are, so you can encourage each other.
· Identify cheap, local resources in your area, such as programs through your local schools, community center, park or recreation group, or worksite. Many Oklahoma schools are implementing shared use agreements with their communities to offer school gymnasium and other fitness resources to local citizens during school off hours.
· Implement new exercise routines – mix cardiovascular exercise with stretching and resistance training. They are all important.
· Get off the couch or out of your chair! If you sit at work, find opportunities to stand and move more during coffee breaks, phone calls or meetings. At home, turn off the television and take your family (or your dog) for a walk.
The unfortunate truth is that there is no magic pill to cure us of our physical inactivity. We must nudge ourselves into making better decisions about moving more. To get started, I encourage you to visit www.shapeyourfutureok.com for more ideas on how to make fitness a way of life for you and your family in 2013.