Living an active lifestyle seems to get a bad reputation sometimes. Sure, most people admire those who are active, strive to do it themselves, and understand the benefits. But along with all of that comes the knowledge that staying active takes a lot of work.
Many people assume that it’s impossible to make staying active easier, and it will always be something that requires extra work.
However, while staying active requires a bit more energy than being sedentary, it doesn’t have to take too much extra work to maintain. Once you get in the habit of staying active, it begins to feel easier and easier.
So how do we start a habit and make staying active easier?
All it takes is a few simple things. Staying active during the summer seems to be relatively easy. When the temperature is warm and the sun is shining, most people want to go outside. But as the seasons change and the temperature cools down and darkness comes earlier, maintaining an active lifestyle gets a little more challenging.
But not impossible.
Making a few simple efforts to develop a habit of staying active each day before the seasons change will drastically improve your chances of maintaining the habit in the colder, darker months.
And the good news is that just a few simple changes can make staying active easier – much easier. These 8 simple ideas will help make staying active easier, develop a habit of remaining active, and keep you fit and healthy year round – even during busy times.
How to Make Staying Active Easier
Find a time to workout during the day and stick with it. It’s so much easier to workout at the same time each day, because you’ll eventually create a routine and know what to expect. It takes so much more motivation to get moving at times when the body is used to sitting around. Make your active time the same each day and pretty soon your body will respond without even thinking about it.
Lay your clothes out the night before.
…even if you don’t workout until the evening. Make a point to get your active clothes out and ready to go the night before, even if you don’t run or workout until after work. That way when you come home, you have no excuse but to immediately change into your workout clothes. This eliminates so many chances to procrastinate and will quickly help develop a habit.
Make your breakfast or snacks the night before.
Or if you’re feeling very ambitious – get them all ready at the beginning of the week. Eating the same snack after each workout makes meal prepping easier, helps your body know what to expect, and gives you less reasons to skip out on the post workout nutrition. Snacks help provide motivation during the workout and give you less to think about when you get home.
Related: 10 Great Healthy Snacks for Runners
Find strength moves or stretches to do at the end of your workout.
Do them every. single. time. This helps not only to develop a routine, but to know exactly how much time you’ll need to allow for a cool down after a workout. This makes it easier to plan for that extra time and ensures that you allow your body time to recover from being active.
Leave your gear all in the same place.
This includes your shoes, running belt, headphones, equipment, etc. When we can get everything we need in one place, our efficiency increases and we waste less time getting ready.
Focus on being present during your workout and stay in the moment.
Don’t just run through the motions while thinking about your to do list. You get less out of staying active AND stress yourself out for the rest of the day.
Ladies – invest in a shower cap and dry shampoo.
Not having to wash your hair after every single workout is a major time saver! As it turns out, it’s actually healthier for your hair to not wash it every single day. While everyone may not be able to skip the hair wash, it is helpful on those days where you don’t have time to dry your hair.
Plan out your workouts at the beginning of the week.
Planning only one day ahead sometimes leaves me with longer workouts on busier days, or multiple hard workouts in a row. Looking through the week before it starts helps me discover which days I have time to be active the longest. Don’t be afraid to adjust your training plan or move workouts around.
There are so many more ways to make staying active easier. Fitting those workouts in doesn’t have to feel like a chore! It is so much easier to maintain an active lifestyle when everything is ready to go ahead of time. Taking the extra time at the beginning of the week or the night before will save you even more time as you get ready for your workout. When our brain knows what to expect next, we look forward to being active and truly benefit from each activity.
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