Starting a new habit and sticking to it is difficult for many people. So many things get in the way and your favourite comfy chair or TV program look good after a long, busy day. Here are some tips to help you fit-in your fifteen minutes each day and get you started.
1. Have a distraction
Research studies show that people who have a distraction are more likely to stick with a fitness activity than people who don’t. If you are fitting in your fifteen minutes indoors, listen to the radio, play music you enjoy or work-out while watching your favourite TV program. These are all pleasurable distractions that will make your fifteen minutes fly by and add to your enjoyment of fitting in time for yourself.
Brisk walking outdoors provides its own distractions. The scenery and street activity will keep your senses occupied while your feet keep you moving.
2. Have a buddy
Research studies also tells us that people who get active with a buddy find it easier to stay active. Invite your partner, a friend, neighbor or relative, one of your children or the family dog to join you for a 15 minute walk or work-out. Make it a time to talk, laugh and connect.
3. Pick a specific time of day
Decide on the best time of day to set aside time for your fifteen minutes. That way it becomes something to look forward to and you can schedule your other activities around your fifteen minutes. Keep to your scheduled time as much as possible.
4. Try not to miss a day
Think of fitting in 15 minutes as a regular daily activity - like taking a shower in the morning. It can be easy to find reasons not to Fit-in 15 – there are always so many other things to do. But the more you fit it in, the easier it gets until you hardly have to think about it. Like brushing your teeth. If you miss a day or two, don’t give up, just fit it in again as soon as you can.
5. Change up your program
Keep your fifteen minutes interesting by varying your activities. Try out the different ideas in the section My Fit-in 15 or create new activities of your own. Tired of walking through the neighborhood? Put on your favorite music and dance your heart out for 15 minutes. Have you mastered the strength and flexibility exercises? Maybe it’s time to invest in some hand weights to up the challenge. Whatever you choose, focus on the things you find enjoyable and that work the best for you.
For more ideas on how to build physical activity into your day, visit Canada’s Physical Activity Guide website at www.publichealth.gc.ca/paguide.
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