Are you thinking about getting in shape?

One of the best things you can do for your overall health and psychological well being is to get in shape. Although getting in shape can often seem like a daunting task, there are quick and easy ways to incorporate exercise into your routine, maintain your motivation and your commitment to reaching your fitness goals.

We are used to thinking of exercise as a formal process – we go to the gym and work out on a machine, or we take some type of a group class. While this can be a great way to get into shape, it is not the only way to do it. It is indeed possible to incorporate small amounts of exercise into your daily routine here and there. One trick some people use is to park further away from the store. When you go grocery shopping or go to the mall, park your car in the parking spot that is furthest away from the entrance. Do the same when you go to work. A few minutes of walking here and there can add up! Likewise, take the stairs rather than the elevator or the escalator. Do pushups or other types of cardio during commercial breaks. Yard work or work around the house can also add up!

If you stick with the same type of exercise over and over, you are likely to get bored quickly. It is when exercise feels like a chore that we are the most likely to talk ourselves out of working out. To avoid boredom, vary the types of physical activity that you engage in. Try to do at least two different types of exercise a week. If you enjoy dancing, see what dancing classes are offered by your local community center. Likewise, if you enjoy playing sports, your town probably has intramural sports leagues. Check them out to see if this could be an option for you.

Those of us who lead a healthy lifestyle and are physically fit typically have more energy and stamina than those who are not in shape. If your energy level is often lacking during the day, regular exercise will likely help give you a boost that will be more long lasting and healthier for you than downing coffee. Take a look at what you typically eat, as well, to make sure you are making food choices that support your commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

If you are having trouble sticking with your exercise routine, consider enlisting the help of a friend. Having an exercise buddy can help you stay accountable and on track. This person can either be someone you exercise with regularly or simply someone that you check in with to report your progress. Many people find that working out with someone else can help the time to go by faster.

The benefits of being physically fit are numerous! You are likely to feel happier and less stressed, more energetic, and less likely to be at risk for physical ailments. Good luck!