Being More Active

Tips for Making Physical Activity a Daily Habit

Estimated Time
HMR Team
September 29, 2020
When life gets busy, physical activity (PA) is often one of the first things to get cut from the schedule. Then it’s a slippery slope from “I’ll just take the day off,” to “I haven’t had exercise in a month.”

One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to establish habits and routines. Consistency is key, although it may take some experimentation before you figure out what works best for you. But once you do, it can become as natural as brushing your teeth or commuting to work.
If you want to develop new routines for PA, these strategies are a great place to start.

  • Most people say finding time during the day is the biggest obstacle to getting regular physical activity. Try finding time to do a couple 10-minute bouts. That’s enough time to walk around the office or do a couple of laps up and down the stairs. 
  • Sometimes early morning is the best time to get your PA. Try getting up half an hour earlier than normal. Set out your sneakers and clothes the night before so you can get right to it when your alarm goes off. This way you can have all your PA done for the day before your first cup of coffee.
  • If you take public transportation to work, get off a stop or two early to extend your walk to the office. If you drive in every day, look for a spot in the back of the parking lot and walk a lap around the building before sitting down at your desk.
  • Commit to “Going to the gym no matter what.” If you haven’t been putting that gym membership to use as much as you want to, make a serious commitment to going two to three times a week. Hold yourself to that commitment even if you are feeling tired or stressed after work. Even better, find a gym or walking buddy to increase the accountability, and the fun!
  • If you have dogs at home, take them for an extended walk every day instead of just letting them out in the yard. 
  • After dinner can be one of the best times to take a walk. Many people also believe that an “evening constitutional” can be the perfect thing to help with digestion.
  • Getting the family involved can be a really fun way to get PA. Hiking, bike riding, or even bowling can be great options for busy parents with kids. 
  • Setting goals for the week is another way to help you get regular PA. Making the commitment to burn 2,000 calories in a week can give you more flexibility to exercise when it works best for you if your schedule tends to be unpredictable.
  • Keeping daily records of your activity will help you do more. It takes just a couple of minutes each day and allows you to track your progress toward a goal.